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LitPick Book Reviews & You
What I Tell Myself FIRST (Book 1)
Michael A. Brown
Written by a US military veteran, this children's book, based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, will instill in children the answer to bullying, body-shaming, hate, and attacks on the self through daily affirmations. Author Mike Brown has learned many life lessons and hopes to convey some of those lessons acquired from public and private service in the Army, as a police officer, an anger management specialist, nonviolent crisis intervention instructor, educator, as well as the real-world wisdom accumulated so far, to everyone that reads this book. Teaching a sense of self-love as well as self-acceptance and giving a framework for both parents and children to help build their lives into sturdy and happy homes is his goal. What I Tell Myself FIRST: Children's Real-World Affirmations of Self Esteem is to readers what the AED is to a heart: it instills the defibrillator of self-esteem so powerful for when times are tough and your mind is under attack. Mike hones in on his military past and the methodology behind why servicemembers say creeds in various forms and military occupational specialties. This book will serve its purpose not for when times are good. But for when times are bad, when one is on that dark road and it feels like no one is there. It will serve as the proverbial jump pack to the battery of the mind. Like the hug that you needed but did not get. Like the words you needed to hear but did not hear. This book of reality-based daily affirmations are the “I wish I had this” of books. We MUST instill in our children the answer to bullying, body-shaming, hate, and attacks on the self through daily affirmations
What I Tell Myself FIRST (Book 1)
Twine: A Memoir
Dorriah Rogers
Composed from a collection of haunting and colorful memories, Twine chronicles the dark journey of a broken family spanning generations. Sliding effortlessly between past and present, this is the story of Dorriah Burke—a girl raised among California avocados and a bewildering array of dysfunctional family members. As children, trapped between their alcoholic mother and violent father, Dorriah and her brother are faced with untenable choices and lives of ever-increasing lunacy and sorrow. Now an adult, Dorriah finally escapes across the country with her own daughter in an attempt to restart her life, but the miles aren’t enough. Grief-stricken by her mother’s rapidly declining health, her father’s shocking choices, and her brother’s inability to help, she is forced to make a decision: unlock her past and her only hope to overcome her personal demons, or protect her only child from the dark labyrinth of her family history. Twine is a seductive memoir of shocking narrative power and sweeping honesty. Written with a clever and profane wit and populated by unforgettable and profoundly relatable characters, it is a beautiful narrative that’s impossible to put down—a story of agony and loss, betrayal and love, survival and reinvention that never allows the reader to rest for an instant as the story ruthlessly hurtles towards its surprising conclusion.
Twine: A Memoir
I Know When You're Going To Die
Michael J. Bowler
Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look people in the eye. One night while he’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, an old man forces eye contact and gives Leo the power to see Death. His best, and only, friend—J.C. Rivera—thinks this new power is cool until Leo accidentally looks into J.C.’s eyes and “sees” his murder, a murder that will occur in less than two weeks. Stunned and shaken, the two boys sift through clues in Leo’s “vision” in a desperate effort to find the killer and stop him before he can strike. Aided by feisty new-girl-at-school, Laura, the boys uncover evidence suggesting the identity of the murderer. However, their plan to trap the would-be killer goes horribly awry and reveals a truth that could kill them all.
I Know When You're Going To Die
The Last Orphan
Jeffrey Lowder
Parowan, Utah Territory - August 12, 1859 Two years after his mother and father were murdered in an attack on their California-bound wagon train, little Tommy Dunning crouches in an old root cellar, quivering with cold—and raw fear. Somewhere just above him, men are searching, army men who want to take him away from the only home he remembers. The Last Orphan is the journey of a courageous five-year-old and two strong women, each of whom believes God has chosen her to raise the boy in love and the “correct” faith tradition.
The Last Orphan
The Spinach in My Teeth
Gigi Carter
The Spinach in My Teeth begins when a little boy named Riley is getting ready for his first day at a new school. Riley's mom packs his favorite lunch, a big spinach salad. Of course, it gets stuck in his teeth. After the embarrassing discovery that he has been walking around sporting a green glob all afternoon, an encounter with a sly, sassy, rhyming rabbit and her friends—who naturally love spinach—gives Riley a new appreciation for the leafy green. And he passes it on to his friends, too!
The Spinach in My Teeth
Monsterland
Michael Okon
Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth. Wyatt Baldwin's senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, and then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker, over which monster is superior, has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance. But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville. With real werewolves, vampires, and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?
Monsterland
If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire
Carole P. Roman
Join Carole P. Roman as she travels back in time to visit the exciting Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa during the 1300s. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the past to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land and its rich history through the eyes of a youngster like you. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so you can be an armchair time traveler.
If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire
The Broken Shade
Michele Poague
An old Denver home holds the shade of a haunted past. It’s 1986, and waitress Freja O’Connell is remodeling a century-old house in a slightly seedy part of Denver known as Five Points. Dead broke and needing money to restore the old Victorian charmer, she elects to take a job slinging cocktails at a local men’s club, marking the beginning of her other-worldly adventures.
The Broken Shade

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