Empty Aisles & Empty Hearts: Prepper Fiction (A Preppers Perspective Book 3)

Ron Foster
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I have started buying 2 extra things of rice and or beans, some times I get an extra thing of flour and yeast. Things that dont cost a lot extra, put them in storage. They burn a good long time. Just bought seeds and am trying a garden this year. Potatoes, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, egg plant, and lettuce are all good in containers. I even have a 3yr old blue berry bush in a pot there are 2 as they must cross pollinate.

We also have a few hens and there pens were made from used pallets. You will save on feed that way, something I wish I would have known before. You can do it best way to learn is to just do it. Sure you will make mistakes alone the way but when it cost you money you dont have you learn from it VERY quickly!

I have no cable, I do have a cell phone phone itself was a gift which is how I access the Internet. I have 4 kids and I am married. Hubs and I did not want day are raising our kids so we made the choice for him to work and me to be a SAHM. I suck at gardening… If you need a plant killed I am your girl. However this year we finally live where we are allowed a garden we rent so I am doing all the research I can so that we can grow some of our own food.

I rarely buy name brand foods, I never buy junk food. I make desserts if someone wants a sweet treat. I shop sales, track sale rotations and buy as much as I can afford to of an item when it is at its lowest price. We eat cheap no ramen though I try to keep our per meal cost as low as possible.

Granted there are 6 of us but anywhere I can cut back I do. Educate yourself as much as possible, start bartering now. Stop wasting your time on TV and useless hobbies. Learn new skills or invest in yourself by getting another job or looking for a better one. Eat meatless meals half the week, will save you a ton and you can use that money to get some food stores. Cook double and save the 2nd half for another meal, it will save you time and money because you wont be wasting leftover. Ask around at different business if they have containers they throw away and I you can have them.

Liquor store usually have great boxes you can use to make emergency tin can stoves and fire starters. Save your dryer lint, get others to save theirs for you ignore the crazy looks ask others for empty soda bottles, glass jars etc.

Pay attention to the containers you buy your food in, Aldis has sauces, fruit and a few other things sold in glass jars that are canning jars, now I have a stash of canning jars and I just need the right size lids. Take a drive on trash night, seriously people waste so much by throwing it out! Be the person who will pick up your broken appliances for free… Costs you gas money and some labor yes but you get the payday for scrapping the metal. Save your change. Make yourself stop using change except parking meters ugh save it in a jar and when it is full, roll it yourself do not use a coin machine in a store and turn it in at a bank, take your new cash and either hide it at home for emergencies, use it to get out of debt or use it to buy preps.

Also sell you unneeded stuff on there. Can you clean well? No seriously learn how to clean like the pros and make some money on the side. Look up ways to save on your bills too. Put a small milk jug full of water in the back of your toilet tank and cut down on your water bill. Use those solar lights now an cut back on electricity. Find non electric ways to get your daily tasks done period and you will be better off when SHTF. Durn down your heat as low as you can stand to, put on more clothes if needed.

Pay cash, too many hidden fees in debit and credit cards and what you buy can be tracked. Use cash as much as possible and you will find it much harder to let go of your money when you can actually see it dwindling. If you have any indulgent expenses like energy drinks, coffees not home brewed , smoking, alcohol or other tobacco try to either quit them all to get her or find a considerably cheaper alternative. Even buying a case of energy drinks in a grocery store is cheaper then picking up one everyday at a gas station, same with coffee make it yourself at home, if its cappuccino that you like buy the powdered mix at the store and make your own.

If you smoke try rolling them instead of buying packs, if you drink buy a cheaper brand at a store and drink at home or save it for a splurge item once in a while. You could also learn to make your own. Now I cut his hair in my bathroom with the same clippers I use on hubs and our 2 boys and he cleans up the mess. Imagine what hair cuts at a salon would cost for a family of 6! Buy reusable and multi functional items as much as possible.

Look at what you already own and see if those items would serve a SHTF purpose or even another purpose now. Know someone who has something you want that they are not using? It was free because someone had it sitting in there basement with a flat of Jell-O shots forgotten for over a year.

We got some of our camping gear the same way. I always ask for used back packs. Especially ones older kids and teens use that are sturdier.

The Most Important Food for Surviving SHTF

Many people buy their kids a new one every year and end up just donating the old ones. I used those back packs to pack my kids BOBs and for my car kit, when they sleep over places, camping etc. Collect used candles too many people just throw them away.

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You can collect the wax and remedy them to make emergency candles, firestarters or to seal bottles and cans against oxidation and to create a better seal. Reuse the extra jars for storing small items or to clean out and repurpose for homemade gifts. I hunt thrift stores like a champ. Hubs I can usually find his sizes in good shape I also buy Tupperware there, candles, many non electric kitchen items, canning jars, camp supplies occasionally, once in a while a cast iron skillet, furniture if we need it or if I can redo it easily and sell for a large enough profit games, toys, gifts I find a lot of brand new still have tags items books are cheap there too.

I also buy towels and blankets there and any good fabric or yarn I can find. I sell books to a used books store, ones I have read and do not want any longer or ones my kids did not enjoy, I use the money to buy more books at the used book store usually in the clearance section. There are free taekwondo classes available through a lot of churches depending on your area, se Jong I believe it what its called. Google se Jong taekwondo free classes and see what you find. Figure out where the weaknesses in your home are.

Learn to cook more meals, figure out what fresh items can be swapped for food storage items or shelf stable items at least. Write the recipes down and make meal plans. Been poor and been so called rich, enough and then some. Both ways, I saved and bought to store or use when I have non. I was taught from very small to turn off the lights when not needed, turn off water, not letting it run when brushing teeth, showering or washing dishes, till needed, lower temp. Garden even if it is only in a window, something always helps, herbs are every expensive, grow them yourself and also dry, put into bottles or bags.

Keep heat down to 65 deg. When COLD cover windows, close off rooms not in use, find drafts and cover, take care of them as weather and money permits. Open curtains and let in light and heat when sun is out. If you have pets let them sleep on the bed keeping you and them warmer, I put an extra sheet over comforter to keep it clean, sheet easier and wash than the blanket cover. Hot water bottles work well here too, make sure lid is secure, heat a blanket near fireplace, add to bed over sheet and under another blanket and it will stay warm longer.

Keep temp as high as you can 70 or 80 deg. Clothing, look for wear and tear and fix as things happen, learn to knit, crochet, sew, can do work for others and barter for things needed. Make blankets and others things to sell at flea markets, they happen even in the smallest of towns.

Save everything, never know what and or when you will need it. If you can build a fireplace, you can run hot water piping through back to fill hot water heater with hot water, to cut power and heat the house at the same time, and cook. Thinking today will save you grief when you need something.

You know your area and home so you can come up with ideas best for you. I take advantage of the Freecycle organization to help me prep for free. My husband even got a laptop for his movies and books. There are hundreds of ways to get what you need for free or very little money. I shop at thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets. I made a very determined effort to learn new construction skills that people were always asking me to do.

I do light home construction mostly wood working and electrical work. I always got asked about plumbing, drywall work, ceramic tile work and other home repairs needed. I was turning down work on a weekly bases because I did not do that work. I decided to buy the tools mostly from pawn shops to save money on them. I also practiced on my own home.

I now have a bathroom that is tiled with ceramic on the floor and in the shower area. I also did my kitchen backsplash and it also looks great. Mobile homes give me a whole new area to get work from. And there are a LOT of mobile homes in my area, so I expect it to work out well. We all need to learn new skills that can be applied to making more money and use this money for preps or silver or whatever you need. I have lots of food and supplies that I see other people posting that they wish they had. I have 3 grain grinders, most people have none. I also know that with my skills and tools I will always be able to produce some income to live on.

And so far I have been able to make it work quite well. I make money from picking up furniture that has been set out on trash day. I only pick up stuff that is in good looking shape so it will sell. I also pick up furniture that is in bad shape and bust it up and use it to help heat my home. This is free BTUs. I heat mostly with wood, and I have never had to buy wood for home heat. I get it all for free other then a little labor on my part.

But most of us have some kind of skill we do or can learn to do to make extra money. I see junk bicycles and lawn mowers being thrown away every trash day, do you know how to fix them? There are lots of wireless points to get on the net. Do you know how to can food, you could teach others as canning is coming back and people need hands-on experience. You could teach gardening. Maybe you can make wood furniture that is not made from sawdust and contact paper as most things are made of today. There is a small but definite market for quality wood items. I make fold-up tables that are great for around a camp fire, every year I sell 30 of them that I talked two local campground owners to allow me to put them in the camp store.

We both come out on this deal. Do you reload ammo to shoot your guns? There is a growing interest in reloading with all the new gun owners out there. Offer a class on reloading. I have at least numerous different income streams that I live off of. If one of them dries up I still have the others there for me. I am also learning new skills all the time so I can improve my income. Truth be told, we all can do this, the biggest hurdle is ourselves. Manny, I like how you think! Just by trying and learning, I was able to fence in my backyard by myself—yep, just me.

I can so a lot of repairs, etc. Anyone can poke a hole in the ground and put a seed in it. Anyone can learn waterbath canning and pressure canning is not that difficult either if you can read directions. I guess it all comes down to being willing to try. I started prepping years ago because being in construction at the time it was lots of money in the summer and scraping to pay the bills sometimes in winter.

A good way to start saving food is do it small. A pound bag of beans or rice usually only cost 1. It builds up quick. Again 1 or 2 a week is very doable. Every year plant something which will re seed itself. So far I have been successful with the following… I thought about this as I have been lamenting, I am not much of a gardner, then I realised, this is a good start. With this in mind, I am going to plan along these lines for next spring, and do some research. It seems that it will all be good addition to a frugal diet. Wondering what else might easily re seed?

Any suggestions? I am likely more north than most here, but..

Tanya, I grew two bushels of yummy sweet potatoes by growing my own starts from two sweet potatoes I bought at my local grocery store…and this was my first ever try at such a thing! Slice the sweet potato in half long ways, place cut side down in dampened potting soil in a pan or plastic container, cover with more damp soil, put the whole shebang in a plastic garbage bag, tie it shut, and place that whole mess in a dark area for a couple of weeks.

When you check it, there will be a bunch of sprouts. When they really get out of control, plant them in a garden spot. When the leaves of the plants begin to brown, use a garden fork to dig them up. I have pureed them and put bags of sweet potatoes in my deep freeze for pies yum! I have been looking at your posts and was hoping you could advise on the buckets for food storage. Do you add anything else or is it simply the bucket filled with the food? I am also in the process of buying heirloom seeds and hoping to learn to garden or store the seeds for later.

I live in an apt so have no space to garden. Any advice will be so much appreciated. Thank you. Be well. Do research on sprouting seeds also. These can be purchased, but are FREE if you bug the folks at your local grocery store bakery or deli frosting and pickles come in these buckets. Start now to find a place that will give them to you as lots of places have stopped giving them away.

I get 5- and 2- gallon sizes at a local store when they have them. Wash thoroughly and then fill with hot water with a little bleach and let sit to help remove the frosting or pickle odor. Good luck! Great idea Beth, We have 60 or so ice cream buckets we go though at work each summer and I never considered using them for anything other than storing dog food or bird feed. I bet a place that solely does ice cream has many more and are often very happy to get rid of them.

They are not the strongest but hold up to cold temps without cracking easily. I think that long term prepping is a waste.. Short term prepping makes sense to me as there can easily be some kind is disaster…earthquake or whatever and you may need to get by for at least a few days or weeks.

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Anyone who feeds their kids ramen every day should be shot. Check the clearance isles or the one where they have bent cans etc you can get good real food there really cheap. We have dollar stores here…. I try to have a canned meat, veg, and fruit for two meals a day…some of the cans are two fors. The liquid in the cans also counts for drinking. Some dollar stores also sell produce but be careful avoid food from china and make sure the prices are actually lower than the discount grocery…99c only stores are wonderful.

They also sell seeds packs in the spring.

Cat litter buckets are easily found and wasteful…if you have a friend who has a cat they will be happy to give you the old ones just check the kind of plastic label on the bottom or wrap your food. Save a few dollars here and there and buy in bulk it is MUCH cheaper and unwrapped bulk can be even cheaper than packaged.

All good suggestions, I thought of a couple more. Get the best quality you can afford but again anything is better than nothing. Good ideas to raise money especially checking dumpsters and curbside. Recycle metals, watch where you walk, as much to avoid stepping in dog doo as looking for change, jewelry, etc. I work at a complex and get a lot of my things abandoned or forgotten. Thanks for reminding me that knowledge can be as good or better than the stuff you can buy. Great idea! Be careful with dumpster meat. A lot of times, the meat is sitting out inside the store without refrigeration, then put back in the fridge until they dump it.

Dumpster foods can be fine.. I get mostly produce, but I do avoid the meat.. They just test it well.. I used to work for a few produce companies. I cried at the food they threw away. I grew up not having a lot of food. We never wasted nothing. My Mom would save a spoonful of food and at the end of the week put everything from our dinners in a pot and call it soup! But yet let someone get caught trying to steal a pack of hotdogs because they are hungry! It is a crying shame that there are hungry people here in America and yet we send millions to feed others.

Beverly Hills California over looks one of the most pathetic slums imaginable. How can people live like that? We pay millions for an actor to make a movie and a Doctor goes bankrupt because he cannot afford the insurance! What a country we live in. There is one particular outlet of a big store, a couple of times now, got there just as last day sales ended. They were loading it up to toss in Dumpster. I offered even to pay for items I wanted. Flatly was refused. Honestly, I circled around dumpster later in day, figured if shrubs which were in good shape were sticking out of dumpster I would pull them out, but not.

Either they were at bottom of a very high dumpster, or staff took them home in which case at least they would go to waste. Even those shrubs I wanted to purchase would have fed folks, planted in a public area. They were berry producing. Wildbill, I understand your concern, however, there are laws in place that make it difficult for companies to be able to donate food to shelters.

It is these laws that allow food to go to waste. In addition, people are so afraid of getting sued over everything they would rather throw food away than face a lawsuit. He sues you for millions and wins, would you still donate food? Good point….. We are talking about an 18 wheeler type trailer. The food was still good, just not mixed to specs …. My friend had connections at a local food pantry and discussed it with them.

They pointed her to the state laws which stated that any food donated in good faith that the food company was immune to ANY repercussions. She wrote all that up along with a plan on how it could benefit the food company— tax write off of the FULL retail price of the food instead of having to PAY the dump to get rid of it. Increased good will in the community and some of the suffering abated. The company also saved as the food bank would send a tractor to pick up the loaded trailer instead of the food company paying for it.

Not just on this topic but many others too…. Rayake I would agree with most things you said except I will not trade for booze. I would be extremely cautious letting anyone outside of our group know I had enough extra of anything to trade. Now is the time to find like minded individuals that you can trade with. We are a litigious society, and because of that and government laws, those corporations cannot donate that food. A whole movement called the Freegans is built around the outrage of that fact. Would that things would change, for especially right now with such unemployment and homelessness, alterations in these policies would assist many.

The insistance of all of us for fresh strawberries, an unheard of idea in history for all but the extremely wealthy, results in the discarding of lots of produce. If we mostly bought locally, it would radically affect the economy and unemployment. But greed took over. When poor, learn skills. All of those ancestral skills will be what saves us. Cuba is a rotten communist country, and the way the people survive is because they all grow their own food because they are completely impoverished.

One can buy seeds with that EBT card. I sure would do so. Learn how to prepare your soil for Spring. Now the garden is finishing save the cold frames. The days are shorter and frost a concern. One could though read about how to test your soil, and then send it in for analysis.

One should carefully pick the best sunny location for your garden, else that will be an eternal issue later. There are great books on how to do that, and easily found in the library.

Empty Aisles and Hardened Hearts

If one covers the sod in their soil with black plastic overwinter, then you can kill much of the grass, and then this makes it easier come Spring to till it up. You could likely afford to buy a shovel at a rummage sale, and learn how to double dig up the ground. One could partner with a neighbor who has land and commit to sweat equity to work that land for them, and thus have vegetable, fruits, and herb coming in. There are lots of articles in the prepper community on how to start. Nothing beats finding a mentor to guide you. Honestly there are lots of older Americans who do this.

There are volunteers who feel passionately about passing down ancestral agricultural skills. I honestly believe that if you have minimal supplies like some hand tools and dehydrated inexpensive food, then those who have more wealth might die in a collapse, and at that point, their wealth will have no meaning anyway. We will then reform communities based upon practical skills and working together with our hearts, minds, hands, and souls. Take heart and find the courage to start prepping. All people throughout history had these skills.

They were not educated for the most part. They were not rich for the most part. They were all very different in their beliefs and skin color. I love what you said. It will be people with practical skills who come out ahead in disasters. People who cantboil water on a campfire or bait a hook. Those are the ones who need to worry. My family fished and camped in tents. Dad was an army ranger so we sometimes used sterno to heat k rations left over from a drill. I am using my snap funds to buy canning supplies.

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The Boise River is a great source for berries, rosehips, as well as fish. Get the skills you need. People who cant boil water on a campfire or bait a hook. There is another thing you can do if you are short of funds. There are people that have the space and the seeds but not the time to devote to gardening. This would be shared or community gardening. You come up with a list of stuff both families want to have, one family agrees to get the seeds and space and the other family agrees to caring for the plants.

Of course, the person who owns the land in their backyard would have to pay the water bill, but there could some type of agreement for that. In Cincinnati, these shared gardens are huge! Both sides of the families enjoy the fruits of labor, and friendships are formed. Dandelions and purslane grow readily in my back yard, and both are excellent food.

Dandelions were actually brought to the new world on purpose by Europeans because they had helped people survive famine. And Mullein! OMG I have maybe 25 of these plants growing in the yard that I dehydrate leaves every month or so. I will dehydrate the flowers one they bloom again. Good for chest congestion. Happy Prepping! Quite often saved seed can be traded.

For people who live pay check to pay check spend in your budget twenty dollars a week extra on food. Put this aside as your preps you will need a large Area to store it by the end of one year. Also when buying fruits and veg can goods buy the generic or store brand most are just in water and natural juices no preservatives or coloring plus cheaper and healthier for you.

My fellow preppers. Your information is a wealth of knowledge and makes my head spin just reading every reply. What I failed to see is, we need to practice cooking what we have stored. Toilets, cooking, lighting, leisure, etc. Practice now to learn lots. There are SO many comments, mine might be a repeat, but here goes anyway.

As a low-income person who has, at one time not now been a food stamp recipient, I want to share that seeds and seedlings can be purchased with food stamps!!! Many folks do not know this. Finally, think about winter gardening. Yes, really! I rarely buy fresh vegies at the store—I get my salads from my garden year-round.

Try it! Wash them out and let dry. I put dry goods in them with moisture absorbers. Screw on top tightly. Then I melt wax and dip tech of bottle in wax making sure the whole top is covered. Usually dip them about 3 times each. Then I cut directions off of there container and tape to the bottle. I grew up in a country where many church members were dirt poor. I remember how challenging it was to obey the commandment to be prepared for emergency and to have food storage.

But with sacrifice and right attitude, few of us started food storage literally by spoonfuls. I told the sisters in my branch that if we save a spoonful of rice every time we cook rice, we would have cups of rice by the end of the month, and we would have started our food storage. We used the same approach to everything- from oil, salt, flour, and other grains. Poverty is no hindrance to obedience. The Lord will help us if we have the desire to obey. Start small, even by spoonfuls.

We store.. Was able to put together 8 of those out of 2 or 3 bags of beans and noodles and some flavorings. I buy fresh fruit and vegetables when I shop, but when it starts looking like they are getting ready to turn, I slice them up, chop them up, etc and put them in the dehydrator and put them away. I scavenged coupons everywhere, family members would save them for me, neighbors saved them, I would find them in the laundromat.

I would save cans and plastic containers, and in the spring and summer, I would grow greens, lettuce, herbs, green onions, etc. I have become really aware of serving size per person, and I plan meals that way, usually I can make on jar of soup for prep, dried ingredients and 2 to 4 meals for regular consumption out of the same bag of noodles, etc. Use the library, one of my favorite books, that really started me on my road to prep, was a book called Eat the Weeds, had pictures of plants for ident, recipes, etc..

I was able to finally to purchase a copy for myself…. Heck, you are online, make notes, etc, if you are using from the library, it will help you out. Wow, what a lot of good ideas. I saw only a small mention about the use of medicinal herbs; the mullein for chest congestion. Mullein with or without chopped garlic, both soaked in olive oil, makes a great earache remedy. The Internet has opened up all sorts of medicaments that you can make for yourself and to barter.

You might want to give some of them a try. Hi, Anon. I heat the oil and cayenne until it is warm, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 20 minutes, then turn the heat on again. Do this at least for one hour to a couple hours, you could do it for 24 hours if desired. Once the cayenne and olive oil have been infused, strain off the powder through cheesecloth make sure to squeeze as much oil out of the residue as possible.

Reserve the infused oil. Heat the beeswax until it is melted. Stir in the infused oil and continue to heat until the beeswax and oil have been thoroughly melted together and combined. Immediately pour this mixture into jars or tins. Makes roughly 4 ounces. Let cool and then label. This salve is great for sore muscles, joints, bruises, nerve pain like neuropathy , and shingles. Also, wear old clothes as this can stain. Put on a lid. Place in dark place like a kitchen cabinet for 6 weeks, shaking once a day.

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The good stuff in these herbs can be destroyed by heat so they have to infuse more slowly. After 6 weeks strain the herbs out through a cheesecloth squeeze it tight to get all the goody out and throw away the herbs. Place infused oil in double boiler. Add about 1 ounce this is something you will have to play around with. I like my salves to be very firm. My husband likes them to be soft. To check for salve consistency you can once the oil and beeswax are melted, dip a spoon in the mixture and then place in a bowl of cold water.

When you are satisfied with the salve, pour into containers. You can check the Internet for different versions of these salves. They have a site on the Internet and they have a bunch of recipes on their site as well as on Utub where they show you how to make different things.

It might even be their recipe. Good luck. I have several likely places where I live, which I could look for them, but would like to know just what to look for. Might help someone else. If you can buy smaller, go for it. Each herb has different benefits and some herbs overlap. So you could make your salve out of only one of the herbs. Or if you research other herbs, you might decide to go with one of them over what I have listed below.

Chickweed: Soothing, helps with skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema minor burns, rashes, and other skin irritations. Beneficial for wounds, cuts, bruises, swelling, varicose veins, insect bites and stings, nerve damage, scrapes, rashes, burns, and pain. Yarrow: For bruises, sprains, wounds, cuts, rashes, eczema, scrapes and areas with swelling and bleeding. Warning: if you are allergic to rag weed you might want to give this one a pass. There are people out there who are much more knowledgeable than I am.

Found this site thruugh Pinterest. Liked it and will come back. I have browsed through the comments here. I like and agree with most. I am not poor but very debt ridden single mom. I learned to solar cook in summer. Solar cookers are easy and cheap to build. Seeds can be purchased for. I try to upcycle everything I can. Once made a window box solar heater-got degree heat from it. All opinions are my own. The trio bonds over their shared love of female superhero celebrities, from Hauntima to Zenobia to Hopscotch. But during one extraordinary afternoon, they find themselves transformed into the newest and youngest!

Readers will want to don their own capes for an adventure, and realize they have the power to be a superhero, too! A blend of historical fiction and fantasy, CAPE is a fast paced, intriguing adventure that middle grade and adult readers will devour! In addition to their shared love of superheroes such as Hauntima and Zenobia, the girls are all missing a loved one fighting overseas. Meeting at puzzler tryouts in the Carson Building, they are each rejected because of their gender but soon discover they have a higher calling.

Constance Boudica known as Mrs. B of Room 12 has been observing all three girls independently and believes collectively, they possess the intelligence, heart, spirit, determination, and courage to join a league of secret heroes to fight injustice. This is a great lesson for middle grade readers. Recommended resources for further research are also included. Stay tuned for release dates. I look forward to sharing CAPE with my students when school begins!

She lives in Chicago with her husband and three children. Please visit her at KateHannigan. Roll with It by Jamie Sumners. Born with cerebral palsy, Ellie just wants to be a regular kid and is tired of having an aide at school. She craves space to show her independence so that others will see beyond her wheelchair. Challenges still exist; however, Ellie is confident that she can handle wherever life takes her. The supporting characters are also amazingly well developed.

Coralee and Bert each have their own struggles which are gradually revealed throughout the story. Roll With It publishes in October Where is Sarah going? Impatient, Truman decides to find Sarah and while on his journey, he discovers something else-courage. Truman is a quiet story with a big message. Although I have over a month until summer begins, I am certain Truman will be one of my first read alouds of the year; it is perfect for the first week of school with themes of new beginnings, courage, and friendship. Truman recently published in July. The My Furry Foster Family series is about the Takano family and their adventures fostering animals for the Happy Paws Rescue, the same shelter where they adopted their dachusund Ollie.

All 4 stories in the series are narrated by eight year old Kaita. In April, I had the pleasure to read and review Truman the Dog before it was released. In Betty the Bearded Dragon , the Takano family gets their first non-furry foster pet. While Kaita has learned a lot about animals through fostering, she knows nothing about bearded dragons. After the story ends, author Debbi Michiko Florence shares information on how to become a foster family which includes advice from real life Kaita, who inspired the series. But knowing you have saved the life of a pet is a proud feeling. After a note circulates that pets will be allowed at Maple View School for just one special day, students arrives with their pets which include dogs, cats, birds, and fish but also a horse, llama and a colony of ants.

Pets do NOT belong in school! Who could it be? First, his twin sister Faith when they were both three and now his mother has abruptly disappeared. Why would his mom have left her wallet and cell phone? Finn wants the truth from Gran, but it is not at all what he expected. Through Gran, Finn discovers that his mom is lost somewhere on the timeline but built a portal in a tree in case of an emergency.

With the support of his best friend Gabi, Finn journeys to find and help his mom. On his travels, he learns about the ISTA The International Society for Temporal Adherence and how in his small town of Dorset, Vermont, there is a difference of opinion of how to use this incredible gift of time travel. For fans of Wonder , your wait is almost over. Releasing on October 1, , White Bird , a full color graphic novel written and illustrated by R. Sara describes her early life as a bit spoiled living in a large flat with two loving parents and blessed with pretty clothes.

When a roundup occurs at her school, Sara hides in the bell tower and is rescued by Julien, a classmate stricken by polio and bullied by other classmates. While Sara never directly bullied Julien, she also did not ever stand up for him. And more importantly, 7 years after Wonder , author R. Palacio is still teaching us about the immense power of kindness. I Wrote a Book! And You Can Too! Attending my first ALA conference was amazing but also overwhelming. There are so many books to stop and look at in each booth. When I walked by this book, the eye catching and playful cover immediately made me stop and want to open the first page.

A young girl takes through the writing process in this humorous and informative picture book. Writers need to start with a good idea and have knowledge about their topic. They must think about their audience, their title, and the elements of a good story such as a great beginning to reel in readers. Getting feedback is also important because writers revise to make their stories better. Final advice includes getting blurbs from famous people, adding an author bio, and always thinking about a sequel.

As a teacher who recently participated in the Teachers College Writing Institute in June, I am excited to share this engaging picture book with students to launch writing workshop. It will be a great mentor text to use and refer to throughout the year. As a reading specialist, I love books about reading.

As a dog mom, I love books about dogs so what do you think happens when I find a book about reading and dogs and the main character is…. Hugo, a beagle, boards the bus on his first day of school. Once in school, the class is excited about their author visit later that day. Their teacher, Ms. Wulff asks Barkley to read aloud a book written by the author, but Barkley freezes up forgetting all his reading strategies. Luckily, Hugo knows how to solve this reading emergency. With encouragement from Hugo, Barkley regains his confidence remembering familiar words and using the pictures to tell what is happening.

Beginning readers need support building their confidence in applying their reading strategies. When I work with young, developing readers, I always remind them that they do not have to know every single word; pictures are a great tool to help us read a story. Mighty Reader and the Big Freeze also teaches kids that they can help each other through prompting which is what Hugo did for Barkley. Mighty Reader when school begins! Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj. Count Me In is a moving story told in alternating perspectives by seventh graders Karina and Chris who are next door neighbors.

On a walk, all three of their lives are forever changed when Papa is assaulted and badly injured by a stranger who targets him because of his race. Count Me In releases soon on August 27, Unicorns by Cale Atkinson. Would you like to earn a certificate in unicorn science? The book is comprised of 10 sections informing readers about topics such as unicorn biology, diet, history, habitat, and social behaviors. While Unicorns is clearly fictional, it reads like an informational picture book.

In fact, I strongly believe it would be a great mentor nonfiction text, for text features diagrams, timelines, labels and captions are prominent throughout the book. And by the way, I think I found a new rare unicorn breed if there is ever addendum to Unicorns It publishes on September 3, Hangry by Drew Brockington. What happens when a lizard monster is hungry and angry because the best hot dog restaurant in the city is closed for vacation?

When he finally gets a hot dog with the works from. But just as he begins to put the hot dog in his mouth, a pigeon swipes his food. Boldly illustrated in comic panels with all dialogue in speech bubbles, Hangry is a fun read with a simple message at the end. Before you get hangry, ask the street vendor if he has any more hot dogs left in his cart.

Hangry recently published in June In this early reader, Rocket and Bella feel lucky because it is a beautiful sunny day perfect for romping and playing outside. But when the sky turns dark and is full of clouds, there is worry that their fine day will be ruined. Fortunately, the pair realize that while they do not like rain, they love puddles!

I also love the theme of making the most out of the day rather than dwelling on the negatives. Dogs and Their People by Anne Lambelet. Charmingly illustrated in a vintage, art deco style, Dogs and Their People is a story about young girl walking home from school. What is clearly similar in all relationships is the genuine love and affection dogs and their owners have for each other. When the girl arrives home to greet her own pet. It just goes to show you that even cat people can appreciate dog and their people too!

Dogs and Their People recently published in June A reader, definitely, but a writer? One of the best professional learning experiences in my career! And the fact that I was able to explore and enjoy New York City made it even more memorable. In the second book in the series, The Problims have 2 big missions ahead of them. The 7 siblings need to find the remaining 3 twigs which when snapped together, create a water witch. After being called cruel more than once and feeling misunderstood by others, Mona seeks the support of her father.

His advice is simple. Find one good truth about someone and mention that. See how they react. Amid all the mystery and mayhem, the youngest Problem keeps us chuckling with his myriad of over toots. So pile up readers.