censorship, reading, and a book review request...?

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Hi, we don't occupy this blog much anymore, but we're still here, still interested in reading and writing, and still think about you all from time to time.

This is Christy.

Here's the story that goes along with the censorship portion of the title.  I grew up in a Catholic family, went to Catholic school from kindergarten through 6th grade, and I went to public school for the rest (through five years in college).  I graduated and got a teaching position in a public school system where I was trained and taught for twelve years.  I enjoyed my position, I learned a lot, and I believe very strongly in the public education of Wisconsin.  I worked with the best of the best.  However, during that time I also had three kids and moved.  The principal of my kids' Catholic school asked me to interview for a first grade position, so I did.  I got it and was able to drive two minutes to work, while teaching at my kids' school, and while teaching about my faith.  Perfect.

(This isn't about being Catholic or not, although I don't think this could happen in a public school, and shouldn't happen in my school this year, either.)

Until this year.  I still love all the above mentioned aspects, including the staff, parents, and children at my school.  But, no matter how peaceful and lovely something may be, whenever multiple people are involved, there will always be differences of opinions.  This year, there is a family that goes to our school who is very sensitive to literature.  So sensitive, that any teacher with one of their children has to really be careful what we read aloud or share in small groups.  The fourth grade teacher has had a particularly difficult year.  She first was told she could no longer read Louis Sachar with the class.  (I took great offense to this as I used to BE a fourth grade teacher and love Louis Sachar and also shared his books with my class.)  Then she was told she couldn't read Wonder with her class, and then Hatchet and then anything, but The Hardy Boys and Little Women.


Why aren't any other parents' opinions being taken into consideration?

She's the only teacher being harassed to this extent, but I can't help but wonder about the future for the rest of us. What about our children?  What about MY children?  Certainly my own will read these books as I am their mother and we read at home, but what about their education about literature?  And can't we teach children about society through a Christian lens?  Must we only teach the classics?  And...well, I could question on and on, and maybe I will some night.  But I've vented enough for one night.

But I'm receiving my masters in literacy, and censorship is NOT the way to reach struggling readers.

I'm sick about all of this going on.

On the bright side, my eldest son discovered Harry Potter this year and will spend four hours on a Saturday afternoon reading in his room. Yes, he is SO my son and I couldn't be prouder. He loves to read and in his excitement tells me all about his books--sometimes way past his bedtime (to the displeasure of his dad).  I'm loving it.

As for begging asking for a review.  I've submitted my novels to Swoon Reads.  Throughout the month of February, I'm looking for readers to read and review the first few chapters of my novel--what grabs you, what turns you off--and leave your review in the comments.  You can also rate (on a five heart scale) the novels.  In March the staff (an imprint of Macmillan) will look through novels (291 of them), based on ratings, and comment and choose several for publication.  One of mine could someday be on shelves at Barnes and Noble....

 Anyways, I know it's a lot to ask for your time, especially when we've been MIA, but if you could pop over to Swoon and take a look at 27 daisies, leave me a comment, I'd be forever grateful. Info below.


xox Christy  Thanks!

Swoon Reads publishes under Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan.
Our team is dedicated to finding and publishing new Young Adult love stories, with the help of the Swoon Reads community. We involve our readers in every step of the publishing process, and work closely with selected writers to help get their book ready for publication.

Now is the time for our readers to help us choose. For the month of February we will be looking for you to rate, comment and tell us what you love. All comments and ratings received by 11:59 est. on February 28th will be considered as we go into our editorial review in March. Remember, Swoon Reads is not a contest. The quality of the comments matter more than the quantity, and we’ve chosen manuscripts with all levels of feedback.


Book Cover
Seventeen-year-old Shelby Harris’s life is falling apart. Her plan to cling to her best friend and boyfriend dies when her grieving mom moves her three hundred miles from everything and everyone she knows.

Keeping to herself in her new high school isn’t a way to live, but she’s already lost her dad and her friends. Why bother making new connections when life continues to sever them thread by thread? So she throws herself into her studies and work.

Dane, the boy with a locker next to hers, has different plans for her senior year, however. Wanting anything but romance, she agrees to one cup of coffee to get him off her back. When one cup turns into an all night chat session, Shelby realizes she can’t lead him on. After all, she’s still hung up on her boyfriend back home…right?

What readers are saying:

I really, really admire the lyrical quality of your writing. I usually don’t read many books in a contemporary setting, but your prose really drew me in, and in a gentle way.  --Anna S.

 From Shelby’s initial emptiness to the marriage that otherwise never would’ve been to the unexpected romance between two people who put up with each other because they were “lost” without Shelby. Not to mention they boy that helps Shelby find her way back to God. Thanks for a great read.  --Quiana B.

I absolutely loved this story line! I appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed all the different point of views. You really feel the emotion and sadness in the beginning, and right when you’re to the point of needing the mood to brighten it does...  --Heidi

  This was a wonderful read! SO GOOD!
I loved so many things: the sayings at the beginning of each chapter, the fact that it was many stories in one, the poetry of your writing, the message that imperfection is okay and that forgiveness is okay, too. --Sue

And in the beginning Shelby was so sad, I swear her feelings were dripping off the page. And she wasn’t the only unhappy one. But in the end the story turned out to have a message of hope and carrying on. Lovely story. Well done.--Melissa

My other novel is Saving Noah, if you're interested in reading that one also/instead.




Hello....Hello?....Is anybody there?

The last time we posted was summer?! Yikes!  There's slushy snow on the ground now.  Those months traveled by quickly. :p

I'm off of work (teaching first grade) for Christmas break and decided to dust off this ol' blog.  If you're not there to listen, I totally understand!  If you are, well hey there!  Thanks for stopping by even though you probably figured we'd never post again!

What've you been up to?  Reading, writing, working, cleaning, eating, running,...?  Anything big to share with us?

Erica's busy with her sons, work, Christmas programs, and life.  I'm busy with sons and basketball and Christmas and work and grad school and rereading old manuscripts.  I try to get on the treadmill here and there and buy a book on my kindle once in a while.  If only one could wrap me up some time and put it under the tree! Now that'd be a worthwhile Christmas gift!

Other than that...we're out of the online loop.

Catch us up if you have time.  We'll try to venture out your way soon, too.

Have a blessed Christmas filled with family and joy.

Erica and Christy


What's your favorite summer read so far?

This is Christy.  Summer's been crazy.  The end of the school year is always a mess of report cards, parent letters, and cleaning out the classroom.  Once that's taken care of, I take off with my family for a week with my parents.  Upon return, I have one day to do laundry before my husband's family claims us from dawn until dusk for another eight days of fun.  This summer, I hastily agreed to take over our school's summer school class.  I thought, "It's only four days per week for three weeks.  That's only twelve days, 2.5 hours per day.  It'll be like nothing!"  Wrong.  I taught eleven students, Kindergarten through fourth grade.  In the summer.  The older students had fun working independently and with one another, the younger ones did not want to be there where I made them read, of all things.  Heaven forbid I make them read.  Anyways, that's over.  We camped this past weekend, and now finally I am home with no plans for a few weeks.  That means my one month of writing can begin!  I can catch up on very tardy critiques for a few CPs (if they'll still have me), and write something of my own!

I did make time to read one weekend in between family fun and summer school.  In that time I read four books or so. What did I read, you ask?  I'll show you.

The Trouble with Flying (The Trouble Series, #1)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

The One (The Selection, #3)

The Prince (The Selection, #0.5)

The Guard (The Selection, #2.5)

I'd love some more titles to read now that I have time to relax before heading back into the classroom, so if you haven't forgotten who we are and stop by to visit, I'd love a TBR list with help from y'all.

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