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CATtastic Crafts : DIY Projects for Cats and Cat People by Mariko Ishikawa

Holiday time is just ahead and of course you want some gifts for the felines in your house!  Here are more than 30 “cat-approved” projects you can make quickly and inexpensively.  

Projects include cat toys meant to give your kitty exercise and some interaction with you, a three-tier cat condo, and lots of projects for cat beds, bowls, kitty clothing and more. There’s even a section of cat-themed accessories for the humans in your cat’s life.

Many of these plans are simple enough that they would be great projects for older children to wor...

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Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

This book is about what it was like to be a girl growing up in 1970’s Brooklyn.  It’s told from August’s perspective as an adult.  She and her brother moved to Brooklyn with their father when they were eight and four.  Their mother was left behind, and August said she would join them “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.”  They sat at the window watching the street below while their father was at work.  Eventually, they were allowed to leave the apartment and join the kids in the street below.  August became friends with Sylvie, Gig...

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Hamilton: the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Although a hip-hop infused musical adaptation of Ron Chernow’s 800-page biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton probably seemed like an unlikely prospect at one time, Hamilton is now a Tony Award winner and the biggest show to hit Broadway in decades. With the box office sold out and tickets going for hundreds of dollars, this book by the show’s creative genius may be the closest any of us get to the magic for a while.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics are printed here in their entirety, (including some tidbits that didn’t even make it onto the two-disc Bro...

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All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All is not as it seems in the upscale town of Fairview, Connecticut. After being violently attacked at a party, Jenny Kramer, is given a drug cocktail to erase her memory. The hope is that this will allow Jenny, her father, Tom, and her mother, Charlotte, to go on about their lives. But Jenny is left reeling as she struggles with her inability to remember the facts surrounding the attack that left her physically and mentally injured. Jenny isn’t the only one suffering. Her father, Tom, has devoted his life to finding her attacker, but keeps coming up empty-handed. Her mother, Charlott...

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Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World by Michele Borba

Borba is a world famous educational psychologist and the author of twenty-two books that have been translated into 14 languages.  She appears regularly on the Today show, and has also been featured on The View, Dr. Oz, and the NBC Nightly News among other programs.  She is an expert on parenting, bullying, and character development.

Borba’s studies have proven one thing to be clear.  Children who are raised to value understanding and respecting other viewpoints and the feelings of others end up with what she calls the Empathy Advantage.  Empathy fosters kind...

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The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

Beth Wakeford is a nervous, overprotective mother, recently divorced after her husband’s affair. She is beset by a constant fear of losing her precious 8 year-old daughter, Carmel. Carmel is a day-dreamy child who has nearly been lost before.  She is at an age where she wants to be more independent, so she takes advantage of a moment of separation in a crowded, foggy festival to snatch a moment to herself.  Beth’s worst fear is realized when Carmel cannot be found.  This story follows Beth trying to live her life without her beloved child who seemed to simply vani...

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

The newest book by Liane Moriarty starts a little slower than her previous two, The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies.  The two main characters are Erika and Clementine, who have been friends since childhood.  They are very different and it is not an easy friendship.  Erika’s neighbor impulsively invites them and their families to a barbecue.   Something goes very wrong at that barbecue.  Unfortunately, you won’t find out what that is until the middle of the book.   Some might want to peek ahead, especially those with vivid imaginations...

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