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My passions are history and writing. I spend most of my time researching books I am planning to write or actually writing them. I have a PhD in Caribbean and Latin American history and I teach Latin American history at the University of Nevada, Reno.
I was born on the island of Jamaica and many of my stories are set in the Caribbean or have Caribbean themes. But I also write about lots of other things and I'm particularly fond of stories that help children see their value and stories that just plain make people giggle. I hope you enjoy reading Gunga Peas Books ebooks.
on May 31, 2012 :
A short, simple story about a complicated subject, My Name is Noel deals with an immigrant child who has come to America because of struggles in his home country of Haiti. So many of us lose what we are used to at one point or another, but experiencing loss through Noel's eyes brings extra thought to how grateful we should be for what we have and how we should be willing to reach out to others like him rather than judging them based on sight alone.
This is a book that should reach the hearts of older elementary children as well as anyone in an age range above them. The language is easy to understand and helps you to truly feel what the main character is going through. There are times when we literally see through Noel's eyes and feel through his heart and in these times a younger reader will understand the situation and emotions, but an older reader will be able to "read between the lines" and reach deeper for the true meaning of what is happening.
Anyone who has experienced loss of a home or a loved one will be touched by this book. Anyone who has experienced living in a new city or country, who has changed schools or neighborhoods will find commonality with Noel and his struggles throughout the pages. But more importantly, everyone will understand what it is to feel like the outcast in a new place, having to deal with all of the above at once and just maybe this may change the heart of one or two readers who might not otherwise have thought of the words they used to greet the newcomer they meet in the hallway.
Note: Though this book was a free gift from the author, the content of my review was in no way influenced by the gifting. The book speaks for itself and my review would have been worded just this way even if I'd gone out and bought it. I also give bonus points for Text To Speech enabling on Kindle format.... but that also wasn't a factor in the above review.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 19, 2012 :
At first I wasn't sure about this book, but by the end I did like it. I am uncertain as to what age I think this book is appropriate for and I wasn't sure what age this book was written for. I have a 10 year old son and I thought that he could definitely read this by himself and comprehend it. I do think that there are issues in the book that I would want to discuss with him and this book makes a great springboard for discussing things like: people from other cultures and how to treat people that are different from you. Overall, I liked this book and think that it would be a good one for kids in upper elementary school to read.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 16, 2012 :
When Noel arrives in Miami from Haiti everything is different, especially when he starts at St Mary's where he feels he will never fit in. The story is in turns emotional and uplifting as we follow Noel's journey to self discovery and acceptance.
A great book to get kids engaged in reading and cultural issues through the medium of football (or soccer!).
(reviewed the day of purchase)