Tag Archives: friends

Mayne Island Skeletons – Review by Leanne Dyck

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Mayne Island Skeletons is not only a fun read for children 9 to 12 years of age but it also teaches many valuable lessons—such as how to be a good friend.

 

Mary Magdalene Sommers’ mother is attentive and reliable; whereas, Brent Green is the son of a neglectful parent. Despite these differences Magda values Brent’s friendship. She continues to believe in his good character even in the face of negative public opinion. In fact, she works tirelessly to prove his innocence and to secure his safety.

 

Through Magda’s example children are empowered to solve their own mysteries and resolve their own problems.

 

Thank you Amber Harvey for this uplifting read.

Mayne Island Skeletons is not only a fun read for children 9 to 12 years of age but it also teaches many valuable lessons—such as how to be a good friend.

 

Mary Magdalene Sommers’ mother is attentive and reliable; whereas, Brent Green is the son of a neglectful parent. Despite these differences Magda values Brent’s friendship. She continues to believe in his good character even in the face of negative public opinion. In fact, she works tirelessly to prove his innocence and to secure his safety.

 

Through Magda’s example children are empowered to solve their own mysteries and resolve their own problems.

 

Thank you Amber Harvey for this uplifting read.
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What I Mean by Happy New Year

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This year has seen good friends passing away and others just hanging onto life. It has also seen our family increasing and decreasing. Things we can’t control beset us, and all we can do is learn how to “keep on Keeping on.” Thank you to my dear husband Joel and other dear people, young and old, without whom it would have been much harder. I hope I will do a better job of accepting life’s inevitable sorrows in the year ahead. I hope all of us will embrace the joys and bear with the pain and become deeper and stronger in spirit. That’s what I mean when I wish you all a “Happy New Year.”

 


 

Kathryn Poulin reviews Mayne Island Skeletons on MysteriesEtc

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I don’t normally review children’s books however Mayne Island is very close to where I live so I knew I would find the book very interesting.  The story brings me back to my childhood when I loved reading the Enid Blyton mysteries and the wonderful adventures the children in her stories had.

Harvey’s adventure starring Magda her preteen sleuth is a great book for children to read.  I love the location, Mayne Island, and I love the writing style of the author.  The children in the book are active, they are not glued to electronics.  They are inquisitive and mostly they show great character traits as they show the value of friendship.

Highly recommend this great read for preteens!

I Got a Letter in the Mail

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It was a real letter, in an envelope, with a stamp in the corner, and my name and address written by hand.  It wasn’t a bill or a reminder or an ad.  It was a real letter, from a friend.  How happy was I?   I opened it on the spot.  I felt like dancing along the road from my mailbox to the house.

E-mail letters are great; don’t get me wrong.   But this letter set me dancing.  My friend had taken pen in hand to write to me.  She had taken an envelope and addressed it.  She had bought a stamp.  She had gone to a mailbox and mailed it.  And now I was holding this creation in my hand.  I felt the texture of the paper, admired the colour of the ink, smelled the scent of it.

If you have a good friend, surprise him or her with a real letter today.  Send it with love and seal it with a kiss.

 

Steve Jobs said it

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“There comes a time in life where you have to let go of all the pointless drama and the people who create it and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus soley on the good. After all, life is too short to be anything but happy.”

What do you think of this quote?  I read it and loved it right away, but I’ve been thinking it over.  On the surface it sounds very liberating.  But I wonder about the people you leave behind.  I agree that “pointless drama” should be avoided.  If there isn’t a point to the drama, then by definition it won’t lead to a new understanding or point.    And I agree that the people creating the pointless drama are to be avoided, at least at times, if you can’t remain positive in their presence. But this should not mean we write them out of our lives.

Although this quote sounds liberating, it’s a liberty gained by retreating.  Sure, you can surround yourselves with happy-go-lucky friends who make you laugh.  I bet it would be a lot of fun.  But what about those other people in your life that are not so happy?  Do they deserve to be abandoned because they don’t make you feel good?

I don’t think life is too short to be anything but happy, if it’s at the expense of other people.  Call me a do-good-er, but I love my friends even when they’re sad or angry, depressed or confused, and I like to hang out with them even if they don’t make me feel like laughing.

I think Steve Jobs is expressing a selfish attitude.  You’re number one and only things that make you happy are worth doing?  Right?  I don’t believe that.  I think relationships are sometimes very difficult, and when we’re in those relationships it sometimes becomes dramatic.  Sometimes it feel pointless.  So what?  Do you think it’s better to tear families and friendships apart because you just want to feel happy all the time?  Are you entitled to a life of pure happiness?

To me this is a selfish attitude, and frankly, one that is juvenile.  I hope we all have deeper relationships with people than what’s implied in that quote, that we care enough about others to stay with them through rough times, when they might be stuck and trying to work something out.  Don’t give up on them because they don’t bring a smile to your lips whenever you’re together.

You’d want a friend to do the same for you.

 

Belly dancing is amazing

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I’m not into “fitness.”  I’ve attended fitness classes, yoga, tai chi, aqua-fit, tennis and golf lessons, and the list goes on.  I never enjoyed any of them.  They either frustrated me or put me to sleep.  Other than walking, there is no exercise I enjoy except for dancing, and belly dancing is my favourite dance of them all.

While in my thirties, I danced regularly and was in good health.

My first belly dancing teacher was a young woman with long blonde hair who had learned to belly dance in northern Africa from the local women who gathered in the town square to bake bread together and exchange the daily news.

My friend Denise Dunn was her star pupil.  Denise took over the class and started a Middle Eastern Dance performance troupe.  I took dance classes from Denise and so did my daughter who was around five years old then.  She looked so cute in her harem pants and little top, and kept up with all the other women.

Now, about thirty years later, I attended a belly dance workshop taught by Martha Reid.  Martha dances in the same ethnic tradition as my first teacher and Denise.  She had all twenty of us doing a complete dance by the end of two hours.  Her up-beat teaching style, her loving acceptance of every body, and her choice of music gave us confidence and kept us joyful throughout.

Belly dancing is an amazing way to get fit and stay that way.  I never recommend an activity for its fitness benefits, but I am breaking my rule and recommending belly dancing.  What’s not to love?

Book Review of Mayne Island Skeletons

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Review by Lorraine Langford

The adventures of Magda Sommers continue in the third mystery in Amber Harvey’s exciting series. This time Magda and her friends discover a derelict house they believe to be haunted by the ghosts of the Parker family, rumoured to have been murdered many years ago. No bodies – or skeletons! – have been discovered, and the only suspect has disappeared. Magda, a curious, courageous – and stubborn – preteen is determined to solve the mystery despite her mother Jessie’s warning to stay away from the crumbling house.

There is another conflict facing Magda as she tries her best to do the right thing. Her strong-willed friend Brent, a seriously neglected child in danger of being sent to a foster home or worse, to juvenile detention, is suspected of stealing valuable First Nation artefacts. The police want to interrogate him, but he has vanished.

During a conversation with her – and Brent’s – friends, Magda realizes that they do not share her intense loyalty to Brent and have their doubts about his innocence; she is alone in her determination to prove he isn’t a criminal. Brent contacts Magda and she hides food and supplies to help him survive until she can clear him. Later, she fights a dangerous storm to get back home after failing to find him in the “Whispering Forest.”

Other people in Magda’s life include her employer, farmer Polly Prudholme. She is a stern, taciturn woman who never encourages or praises Magda, a diligent farmhand who loves working with Polly’s animals, and Hortense Warwick, an ill-tempered busybody who knows about other skeletons – the ones in people’s closets – but doesn’t give Magda anything useful about the missing Parker family or who might have killed them. More helpful in Magda’s investigation is Sport, a neighbour’s dog left in her care.

Magda suspects that the great-aunt of her best friend Shauna holds information that would help in her investigation and she travels with Jessie to Victoria to question her. During her investigation to find the real burglars, Magda overhears a conversation that provides information that leads to the conclusion of her case and keeps Brent from leaving Mayne Island and the people who care for him.

The author blends an imaginative and entertaining story with real-life issues and authentic dialogue. Children and their parents will be anxious to see what happens next with chapter headings such as “Fall into Danger” and “Bone Digger”. Magda is well on her way to becoming an accomplished investigator of Mayne Island mysteries. Readers will be intrigued by her boldness and intelligence and look forward to her next adventure. Magda’s curiosity and fierce sense of justice are bound to make more trouble for her.

LL