Tag Archives: United States

Book Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass SwordTitle: Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Published: February 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 444
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 7/10

As a huge fan of fantasy, when I read young adult author Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel Red Queen, I had to know what happened next. In Aveyard’s novel Glass Sword, a young woman is accidentally thrown into a world of glittering jewels and magical powers in a futuristic take on the future of the United States.

Continue reading Book Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Can anonymous really accomplish something?

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, November 19, 2015]

The devastation of France has been written in blood all over the newspapers and cyberspace. The horrors that have occurred in that country, just one in a vast world of war, have brought out the true nature of humanity.

The United States and the world stand with France, as shown with the French colors overlaying profile photos on Facebook. But, what about Syria? What about every other country in the world we as Americans have forgotten to pray for or send thoughts to?

Continue reading Can anonymous really accomplish something?

Girl on Fire: Mother nature can be so breathtaking

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser October 15, 2015]

The sunlight was warm on my face as I trudged up a steep incline, little clouds of dust forming around my Nikes with each step. The dirt and grass were dappled with light until I reached an opening in the trees at the top of the hill.

Through the opening I saw a hill rolling downward, a small lake with kayakers creating sparking ripples and a tall, craggy hill made of loess and blanketed with emerald trees.

Continue reading Girl on Fire: Mother nature can be so breathtaking

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

EliteTitle: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection
Published: 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages:
From: Walmart
Rating: 6/10

As I’m sure most of you who have read The Elite know, it is the second in a series of young adult dystopian romance novels by American author Kiera Cass.

The Elite, the second of The Selection series, focuses on the main character America Singer as she climbs her way to the top of the royal food chain.

Continue reading Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

SelectionTitle: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection
Published: 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
From: Walmart
Rating: 5/10

This book made me wish I was a princess. Well, no. Not really.

Kiera Cass, an American novelist from South Carolina, started the Selection series in 2012, and since then it’s become a hit among the young adult female demographic.

There’s no doubt as to why: Cass’ story takes a young girl whose family makes very little money and throws into a whirlwind of dances and jewels and the love of a prince. But is it all it seems?

Continue reading Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Girl on Fire: U.S. in comparison to international education

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, February 19, 2015]

Recently, I’ve read stories about the nation’s education system, and the different pieces of legislation being considered to improve and expand graduation rates and work force.

I want to commend several people I know who are continuing their education. My friend and former coworker Sarah Brown is obtaining her master’s degree, while maintaining a job and caring for her family. Kelsey Hollen, another friend, also has her master’s degree in the works while working full-time at Southwestern Community College.

Continue reading Girl on Fire: U.S. in comparison to international education

Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

World War ZTitle: World War Z
Author: Max Brooks
Published: 2006
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Pages: 342
From: Walmart
Rating: 8/10

When I first picked up Max Brooks’ novel World War Z from Walmart, I immediately thought of sitting in a dark movie theater, watching Brad Pitt run from a flood of zombies with his family. I was expecting a book similar to the movie, not one where the two are very different.

Continue reading Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

Girl on Fire: Baby steps to further education

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, October 30, 2014]

Thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, I’ve been able to keep up with what my high school and college friends have been doing since graduation. Many have gotten married and had babies, while others have focused on themselves and climbed the career ladder.

This got me thinking about what I want to do with my future. I’ve so many options, but only one sticks out to me right now: continue my education.

Continue reading Girl on Fire: Baby steps to further education

Girl on Fire: Progress made to equal rights

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, April 3, 2014]

Last week, I found a story written by an employee of Al Jazeera America, an international broadcaster headquartered in Qatar, titled “Former President Jimmy Carter’s call to action.”

Carter gave a speech about his new book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power,” during a “Consider This” interview with Antonio Mora. Carter’s book takes a look at how he, now 89, learned about the issues of sexism from when he was a child through his life in the military, as a farmer and as president of the United States.

Continue reading Girl on Fire: Progress made to equal rights

Girl on Fire: How meth has slowly changed the firefighting game

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, February 20, 2014]

Sitting in a classroom full of firefighters from across the state of Iowa, I watched as John Ticer, special agent with Iowa Fire Marshal’s Office, flipped through a PowerPoint slideshow explaining the recipe and how to make methamphetamine.

Ticer taught Meth Lab Awareness, a class available to firefighters at Iowa’s 90th annual State Fire School in Ames.

Continue reading Girl on Fire: How meth has slowly changed the firefighting game