Tag Archives: sports

Hoo’s Driving the Bus by Nikki Estridge (Book Review)


The day of the biggest baseball game of the season is here, but Gigi the giraffe and her teammates might not make it – their team’s bus has no driver! Can Gigi come up with a plan to save the day?

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

What a fun cover! Each animal had its own personality/expression, which I found delightful. The inside contents were just as spectacular. We loved Gigi Giraffe. Their morning routine resembles many city children who have an early game to attend and make a mad dash to catch the bus. However, I’m sure when your child reaches the bus, their driver is there. Thank goodness for that!

In Hoo’s Driving the Bus by Nikki Estridge, the bus driver had an emergency. Animals/ball players were frantic. If they don’t find a driver soon, they’ll be late for the game. This means they would forfeit the biggest game of the season. EEK! 

Gigi Giraffe asks for a volunteer. Each teammate declined to drive in a way fitting for their animalistic nature. For example, the cat was “purr-fectly petrified” to drive. The dog stated they were “barking up the wrong tree,” asking him to take the wheel. 

Gigi Giraffe was left with no choice but to drive the bus. Oh, my goodness, Gigi Giraffe’s driving was terrible, which means kids will most assuredly laugh during the driving parts. The animal faces will amuse your child; they did mine. We liked Howard Horse and the frightened pig the most. 

Gigi Giraffe’s parking skills were no better than their driving skills, which caused my youngster to laugh (again). Hoo’s Driving the Bus had my daughter smiling for almost the entire book. They asked if I could buy it. I think I shall! (Note: We were given a reviewer file)

The illustrations by Syama Mithun elevated the already humorous story. 

Whether your child is a listener or an active reader, I encourage you to share Hoo’s Driving the Bus by Nikki EstridgeI plan on recommending this book to all my parenting groups for children two years and up. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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About the Author

Nikki Estridge is an American actress, writer, director and producer. She played collegiate softball for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers and graduated with high honors.

As an advocate for autism awareness and a person of multi-ethnic background, diversity, inclusion and equality are of the utmost importance to Nikki. She is very committed to her work with various charities and support networks.

Nikki is a sixteen-time IMDb-qualifying festival award winner most notably for her comedy short, ‘Don’t Make It Awkward,’ which she wrote, directed, produced, cast and starred in. Nikki is best known for her roles on Queen Sugar, Law and Order: SVU, and House of Cards. She is also the author of soon-to-be-published children’s book ‘Hoo’s Driving The Bus?’.

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Hey Charlie, You’re Next!  by Michael B. Judkins (Book Spotlight / Author Interview)

 
Charlie finds himself in the midst of bullying on Basketball day at school and is unsure of how to speak up for himself. With a little bit of advice from his teacher and some hope, there is nothing that can tear him down.
Hey Charlie, You’re Next offers readers a compelling story about overcoming negativity and gaining self confidence. It is the first book in the Hey Charlie series by Michael Judkins. Stay tune for the next books!
 
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Meet the Author:
Michael B. Judkins, is a local creative residing in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. He holds an Associate in Science in Journalism, Bachelor of Science in Human Services, and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling with over 20 years in the field of Human Services.

Michael self-published his first poetry collection titled, “Introduction to Sentimental Me”. After the release of this collection, Michael was signed to Aois 21 Media publishing house which published his second poetry collection released title, “Interlude to Sentimental Me.” In addition, to the “I Stand- Podcast” and “Interlude to Sentimental Book Tour (Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C, Bethlehem Pa, and Allentown, PA) which also included a virtual book tour (blog sites).

During this time, Michael started his independent film career in 2016, as a script supervisor on a short film produced in the Lehigh Valley area of PA. This project opened the door for Michael in the local film industry in the Lehigh Valley. After this, Michael worked on several film projects throughout the next few years as production manager, production assistant, Key Grip, and Producer. Michael also has written, produced, and directed his first stage play titled, “Interlude to Sentimental Me Stage Play.”

 

Do you have another profession besides writing?

I’ve been a mental health therapist for the past 20 years. I worked in various settings ranging from outpatient, residential, community, Inpatient, and Correctional.

 

How long have you been writing?

My writing journey started in High School.  I’d write short stories and poems and would not share the writing. I wrote a poem on the back of a global studies test and my teacher read the poem and graded me an A.

 

Where do you write?

I like to write mostly on my desktop. I craft out ideas, storylines, and characters throughout my walking day, and when it’s time to write I have my outline.

 

What is your next project?

 I have a short film in post-production titled Lonely Girl. I’m working on the second series to Hey Charlie and editing a potential short film to produce.

 

What is your writing schedule?

I don’t have a writing schedule. I like to draft notes daily and build characters and storylines when something is moving me.  So, I guess every day lol.

 

connect with the author: 
website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ youtube ~ goodreads ~ bookbub
 
 
 
 
 

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Nova’s Blade: A Young Adult Dystopian Cyberpunk by Will Scifi (Book Spotlight)

Content Rating: PG-13 + M: So there are no curse words or sex scenes in the book. There is violence such as people getting stabbed, limbs cut off, head cut off. There is a mention of an abortion in it, no depiction of it. No suicides’, but talks about it as well.

 
 
THIRTY-TWO WOMEN. ONE ARENA. A BATTLE TO THE DEATH.
After a long war, corporations have replaced countries. Sports are fought to the death. The most popular game is Last Valkyrie, a live tournament where women kill each other for marriage into a powerful family.
For Nova, living in poverty with her mother and sister is a harsh reality that she cannot escape. But when she is kidnapped and forced to fight on the show, her world changes. If she refuses to fight, the bomb in her head goes off. Now winning means her freedom.
With death lurking at every moment, Nova has no idea if her next fight will be her last. But one thing she knows for certain: only one is making it out alive.
Perfect for fans of Hunger GamesThe Selection, and The Princess Trials. You won’t want to put down this exciting page-turner!
 
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Meet the Author: 
 
Author Will Scifi

 
Will Scifi is a pen name for an author from California. He loves reading and writing mainly science fiction that touches on themes surrounding American culture. He draws inspiration from the over 500 movies he has watched in the last 5 years, books, tv shows, and real life. When he is not writing, he can be found in the gym or watching movies at home or in the theaters. He thanks all of his fans for their support and highly encourages anyone who has read his work to always leave a review.
 
 
connect with the author:  
website twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Cool Kids by Arlene Freeman (Book Review)

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Like most kids, Michael and his friends are so excited for their first day at a new school. They have a lot of questions about what to expect, but most of all, they wonder if they’ll get to join the football team. That would be the perfect way to start the year! However, Michael soon finds out that it’s not as easy as he thinks. The team is filled with bullies, and to join, he has to become one of them. In order to be cool enough to get a spot on the football team, Michael has to start changing his behavior—for the worse! Suddenly, terrible things start happening to him. Finally, he begins to wonder: Was it all worth it?
 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
According to a UNICEF article, “On any given school day, over 1 billion children around the world head to class.” UNESCO stated, “New data reveal that one out of three teens is bullied worldwide.” Together Against Bullying lists 20% of kindergarten students reported being bullied often. Those numbers are saddening. Parents and educators should make every attempt to stop the spread of bullying. The author of Cool Kids, Arlene Freeman, is doing their part to show the repercussions of becoming a bully. 


When kids start a new school, some follow the lead of others to fit in, which sometimes means being mean to others. They just want to feel accepted. Michael fell into this role. The meaner Michael became, the uglier he felt. This was reflected in thoughts and imagery. My daughter called mirror Michael a monster, and that’s how Amelina Jones (the illustrator) and Arlene Freeman (the author) wanted us to view him. 


Rest assured, Michael does see the error of his ways. 


When I read this with my daughter, she remarked Michael’s apology was nice, but it doesn’t repair the damage. She grabbed a sheet of paper and said the following: “Imagine if this paper was a person. If you tear a section off here (rip) and here (rip) and here (rip), it’s still damaged no matter how much tape you put on it. Apologies don’t fix everything, not completely. If you don’t want to cause harm to another person then don’t be mean in the first place.” 

I couldn’t agree more. 


Thank you, Arlene Freeman. I hope many parents and educators read your story to their children/students. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Arlene Freeman

Freeman’s first career was a third-grade schoolteacher in the Passaic School System. Teaching children is her true passion, and she incorporated this passion in her community involvement. Her second career as a real estate broker and appraiser enabled her to open her own real estate company, Prime Realty, with a partner. After thirty-five years, they sold to Coldwell Banker. She loves dogs, playing piano, telling stories, singing, dancing, and sharing wonderful examples of life’s lessons with her grandchildren. Arlene lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey. She has two sons, Dr. Ted Freeman of Long Branch, New Jersey, and Dr. Eric Freeman of Westfield, New Jersey, as well as three grandchildren: Michael, Max, and Quinn. This is her first book and maybe her third career.

Connect with the Author:  Twitter FacebookInstagram

 
 
 

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Lead Like a Pro: Effective Leadership Styles for Athletic Coaches by Dr. Matthew Raidbard (Book Spotlight)

Lead Like a Pro by Dr. Matthew Raidbard

 
Athletic coaches are asked to wear more and more hats with each passing season, and in many cases, they are not receiving the support or training necessary to help them succeed in their ever-expanding roles. Drawing on over a decade spent as a college basketball coach and original research conducted on what leadership styles and behaviors help athletic coaches be successful, Lead Like a Pro provides coaches with the resources to transform their leadership practice and reach their full potential.

​Whether you are a volunteer coaching your child’s team, a part-time high school coach who’s also a teacher, or a full-time college or professional coach, this book will teach you new ways to enhance your leadership style and become a better coach for your athletes and team. All coaches should be constantly working on improving their leadership abilities, but not all coaches have the time or opportunity to attend leadership conferences, training sessions, or classes. Lead Like a Pro provides insight into different leadership techniques, and teaches coaches how to evaluate their current practices so they can develop a strong leadership style that fits their personal values and beliefs.

 
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Meet the Author:
Dr. Matthew Raidbard
After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in history and classical studies from Indiana University, Dr. Matthew Raidbard decided to pursue his dream of being a college basketball coach. His first college basketball coaching job was at Western New Mexico University, where he also completed his Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership. In 2018, Dr. Raidbard conducted a study on how college basketball coaches perceived themselves as leaders, finding that many coaches were unsuccessful because they lacked the necessary tools and training to be effective leaders. His findings inspired him to write this book and dedicate himself to helping coaches at all levels improve their leadership abilities so that they can be the best and most effective leaders for the athletes they are entrusted to coach.
 
 

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