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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

“A book for people who appreciated Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family through years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. “You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down…It is packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred, yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities” (The Atlantic).

Purchase Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

Editorial Reviews for Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

“Heavy is a gorgeous, gutting book that’s fueled by candor yet freighted with ambivalence. It’s full of devotion and betrayal, euphoria and anguish, tender embraces and rough abuse…the liberation on offer doesn’t feel light and unburdened; it feels heavy like the title, and heavy like the truth…Salvation would feel too weightless—as if [Laymon] could forget who he is and where he has been. This generous, searching book explores all the forces that can stop even the most buoyant hopes from ever leaving the ground.”
—New York Times

“With echoes of Roxane Gay and John Edgar Wideman, Laymon defiantly exposes the ‘aches and changes’ of growing up black in this raw, cathartic memoir reckoning with his turbulent Mississippi childhood, adolescent obesity, and the white gaze.”
—O Magazine

“[Heavy] take[s] on the important work of exposing the damage done to America, especially its black population, by the failure to confront the myths, half-truths, and lies at the foundation of the success stories that the nation worships. In the process, Laymon … dramatize[s] a very different route to victory: the quest to forge a self by speaking hard truths, resisting exploitation, and absorbing with grace the cost of being black in America while struggling to live a life of virtue…You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down, but not because [it is] breezy reading. [It is], in Laymon’s multilayered word, heavy—packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities.”
—The Atlantic

“Heavy is one of the most important and intense books of the year because of the unyielding, profoundly original and utterly heartbreaking way it addresses and undermines expectations for what exactly it’s like to possess and make use of a male black body in America … the book thunders as an indictment of hope, a condemnation of anyone ever looking forward.”
—LA Times

“Staggering … Laymon lays out his life with startling introspection. Heavy is comforting in its familiarity, yet exacting in its originality … Laymon subtitled his book, ‘An American Memoir,’ and that’s more than a grandiose proclamation. He is a son of this nation whose soil is stained with the blood and sweat of his ancestors. In a country both deserving of his love and hate, Laymon is distinctly American. Like the woman who raised him and the woman who raised her, he carries that weight, finding uplift from sorrow and shelter from the storms that batter black bodies.”
—Boston Globe

“Heavy is a compelling record of American violence and family violence, and the wide, rutted embrace of family love … Kiese Laymon is a star in the American literary firmament, with a voice that is courageous, honest, loving, and singularly beautiful. Heavy is at once a paean to the Deep South, a condemnation of our fat-averse culture, and a brilliantly rendered memoir of growing up black, and bookish, and entangled in a family that is as challenging as it is grounding.”
—NPR.org

“Weight is both unavoidably corporeal and a load-bearing metaphor in novelist-essayist Kiese Laymon’s sharp, (self-)lacerating memoir, addressed to the single teen mom turned professor who raised him to become exceptional…a deeply personal book, where race, class, and the scars of sexual violence are front and center.”
—New York Magazine

“Laymon’s memoir is a reckoning, pulling from his own experience growing up poor and black in Jackson, Mississippi, and tracking the most influential relationships, for better or worse, of his life: with his brilliant but struggling single mother, his loving grandma, his body and the ways he nurtures and punishes it, his education and creativity, and the white privilege that drives the world around him…with shrewd analysis, sharp wit, and great vulnerability — Laymon forces the reader to fully consider the effects of the nation’s inability to reconcile its pride and ambition with its shameful history.”
—Buzzfeed

“Laymon examines his relationship with his mother growing up as a black man in the South, exploring how racial violence suffered by both impacts his physical and emotional selves.”
—Time

“Spectacular … So artfully crafted, miraculously personal, and continuously disarming, this is, at its essence, powerful writing about the power of writing.”
—Booklist, starred

Read the rest of this entry »

 

A Life-Changing Experience Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds

A Life-Changing Experience: The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds

My family’s life changed when doctors diagnosed my sister, Theresa, with advanced stage pancreatic cancer in 2015. In January 2016, she left us and memories are all I have now; some are so painful to recall, while others bring me tremendous laughter. Even though I know she isn’t physically with me anymore, when I think of my sister, I feel her presence so deep within my heart. Whether it is a chill running through me, or a warm, loving feeling, I can only hope it is Theresa, and not my imagination getting the best of me.

The crystal vase she loved so much is now where her ashes rest. As I pass the open door of her room, there is no longer any sign of her; just an empty room she used to call home. I try to find comfort from my sorrow by lying on the floor in her room, staring up at the ceiling, hoping she will send me some sign that she is okay.

There are those days when I think I won’t be able to get through another day without her, avoiding those closest to me, angry with myself that I couldn’t save her. Each day, it is difficult to wake up without some thought of her, and with the burning question: Why was she taken from me? I long for a time when the sadness subsides, but with that comes the reality that she is no longer here…making our family incomplete.

We went through life protecting each other from harm, and, when she needed it the most, I was unable to protect her from this callous creature we call cancer. I will no longer have my sister, with whom I shared so many great times. The inside stories that only she and I understood have vanished, leaving me without my partner-in-crime.

Using my journal as a shield from the pain, I documented our time together, knowing when she was gone, I had captured her last months in black and white. She showed me the meaning of bravery and strength. Her days were not empty. She embraced life and lived it while dying. There were so many times I was truly amazed at how gracefully she accepted what lie ahead for her, as if someone let her in on that big secret we all wonder about: Where do we go when we leave here?

She always believed that if your dreams didn’t scare you, they weren’t big enough. I know she is watching and smiling, helping me through my heartache with her infectious laughter and unwavering courage.

 

The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds
Listen to a reading from the book: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP8kxyzX 

 

Author Annette Leeds
Annette Leeds is a literary journalist. Born Annette Marie Guardino to her mother who is Belgium and father who is Sicilian, she is a native Californian and the youngest of six children.  Being quite creative, Annette’s strong desire to write led her to her first book, a psychological drama, followed by two television comedy scripts. She has had other entrepreneurial ventures, including a logo sportswear clothing line.  Website: http:/www.annetteleeds.com | Book Website: https://find1cure.com

 

 

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common
On Sale May 07, 2019

 

Common—the Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe–winning musician, actor, and activist—follows up his New York Times bestselling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with this inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words.

Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life.

Touching on God, self-love, partners, children, family, and community, Common explores the core tenets of love to help others understand what it means to receive and, most important, to give love. He moves from the personal—writing about his daughter, to whom he wants to be a better father—to the universal, where he observes that our society has become fractured under issues of race and politics. He knows there’s no quick remedy for all of the hurt in the world, but love—for yourself and for others—is where the healing begins.

Courageous, insightful, brave, and characteristically authentic, Let Love Have the Last Word shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer. It is a powerful call to action for a new generation of open hearts and minds, one that is sure to resonate for years to come.

 

Praise for One Day It’ll All Make Sense

“A powerful memoir that speaks to all audiences.”
— Queen Latifah

“Common distinguishes himself here as a true artist and a writer of deep talent. This book is the story of an artist in constant evolution, one who embodies the strength of the brilliant woman that raised him, the love of the Southside Chicago land that spawned him, and the raw spirit of the pro basketball player who fathered him. I’ve always heard that the people of Southside Chicago were special. I’m glad their native son Common shows us why.”
— James McBride, The Color of Water

“Common has written a magnificent memoir. It states that it is a book about his fascinating life. That is true. More importantly, his story is the story of all young people trying to grow up. His saga reminds the reader that love liberates and poverty cripples. Common writes beautifully, like the poet he is.”
— Maya Angelou

“Common is a 360-degree human being, and I don’t say that about many people. He never needed to “pimp the hood” to achieve his deserved success. He is an eloquent and honorable role model and his memoir is a perfect example of his depth as a human being. In addition, reading about his childhood and upbringing in Chicago is really a trip – because we went through so many of the same experiences albeit decades apart. Chicago is still the roughest and primary “Institution of Hard Knocks,” and if you can make it there, you can truly make it anywhere!”
— Quincy Jones

“Raw in its honesty, profound in its insights, One Day It’ll All Make Sense establishes Common as a voice that is as compelling on the page as it is on a record. This is not simply the story of an individual artist but a crucial page the history of hip hop itself.”
— Jelani Cobb, The Substance of Hope

 

Purchase Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common
https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Let-Love-Have-the-Last-Word/Common/9781501133152

 

About the Author
Common is an Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy Award–winning music artist. He is an actor and producer and has appeared in numerous critically acclaimed films as well as hit TV series. Common is the author of One Day It’ll All Make Sense, which was a New York Times bestseller. He was raised in Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

 

They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen


They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen
On Sale April 23, 2019

2019 First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association

An “urgent and heartrending novel about an America on the brink” (Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood), They Come in All Colors follows a biracial teenage boy who finds his new life in the big city disrupted by childhood memories of the summer when racial tensions in his hometown reached a tipping point.

It’s 1968 when fourteen-year-old Huey Fairchild begins high school at Claremont Prep, one of New York City’s most prestigious boys’ schools. His mother had uprooted her family from their small hometown of Akersburg, Georgia, leaving behind Huey’s white father and the racial unrest that ran deeper than the Chattahoochee River.

But for our sharp-tongued protagonist, forgetting the past is easier said than done. At Claremont, where the only other nonwhite person is the janitor, Huey quickly realizes that racism can lurk beneath even the nicest school uniform. After a momentary slip of his temper, Huey finds himself on academic probation and facing legal charges. With his promising school career in limbo, he begins to reflect on his memories of growing up in Akersburg during the Civil Rights Movement—and the chilling moments leading up to his and his mother’s flight north.

With Huey’s head-shaking antics fueling this coming-of-age narrative, the novel triumphs as a tender and honest exploration of race, identity, family, and homeland, and a work that is “emotionally acute…eye-opening and rewarding for a wide range of readers” (Library Journal, starred review).

Raves & Reviews

“An urgent and heartrending novel about an America on the brink. With force, Malcolm Hansen writes about race, identity and the fleeting deceptions of youth.”—Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood

“This is a voice so honest and alive it feels like a stranger whispering a confession in a dark room. Malcolm Hansen’s novel is a prodigious debut of a rare literary talent.”—Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day and Pym

“In They Come in All Colors, Malcolm Hanson is not writing about saints or monsters, just vivid human beings. And does so with humor and insight.” —Victor LaValle, award-winning author of The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom

“Emotionally acute…eye-opening and rewarding for a wide range of readers.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“It’s possible to imagine literary recluses J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee coming out of hiding to forge this shaggy, rakish, yet haunting account of a smart aleck’s coming-of-age in harsh times.”—Kirkus

Purchase They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen
https://www.amazon.com/They-Come-All-Colors-Novel/dp/1501172328

About the Author
Malcolm Hansen was born at the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Adopted by two Civil Rights activists, he grew up in Morocco, Spain, Germany, and various parts of the United States. Malcolm left home as a teenager and, after two years of high school education, went to Stanford, earning a BA in philosophy. He worked for a few years in the software industry in California before setting off for what turned out to be a decade of living, working, and traveling throughout Central America, South America, and Europe. Malcolm returned to the US to complete an MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. He currently lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

 

Endgame (Endgame Trilogy Book 1) by Tiye Love


ENDGAME:  AMAZON
GAME TIME:  AMAZON
GAME CHANGER:  AMAZON

 

TIYE LOVE recalled reading romance ever since she was a young child and would sneak and read the Western love stories her grandmother kept on her bedside table. Although she didn’t understand half of the words she read at the time, something about those books captured her attention. As she grew older, her love of romance expanded to other genres, and she became a fan of anything remotely related to reading and books, such as libraries, bookstores, and the coffeeshop around the corner.

She loves to travel and has lived in several cities, including New Orleans, Washington D.C., and Houston, and finds inspiration for her stories from every place she has had the fortune to visit or inhabit.

When Tiye is not obsessed with her latest characters, she spends time with herself, family, and friends doing whatever she can to create her best life possible.

CONNECT WITH TIYE LOVE:  AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

 

 


 


 

Endgame (Endgame Trilogy Book 1) by Tiye Love

Psychologist Dr. Zoe Broussard has always been a no-nonsense, play by the rules woman until she meets her new client. From the moment the impossibly gorgeous Michael Carson walks into her office, she finds herself dangerously drawn to him and irrevocably hooked.

Michael is an NFL quarterback with a multi-million-dollar contract and a penchant for breaking hearts. He’s used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to tempt his hot new therapist into exploring the obvious passion between them. Even though there’s another man in her life.

Can Zoe resist Michael’s charms and her growing feelings for him? More importantly, is she willing to risk everything for a man who may not be there tomorrow?

 

 

Excerpt: Endgame (Endgame Trilogy Book 1) by Tiye Love

It had been four days since the party, and I had refused all calls and texts from him. He had sent a diamond and emerald bracelet, which was my birthstone, delivered to the office in a beautifully wrapped box yesterday. I didn’t know he even knew when my birthday was. Surprisingly, Michael did not show up at the office during his appointment time. I admit a part of me was disappointed, but a part of me felt relief that maybe now I could let go of him. I thought he had given up until I saw him sitting outside of my house.

He had the first official game of the season tomorrow, so I thought he wouldn’t contact me again until afterward. I missed him terribly, and the fact that tomorrow was important for his career, but he still wanted to see me, was breaking my resolve. I began pacing because I didn’t know what else to do.

“Babe, please stop. You’ve got to believe me, I did not plan or want her to be there. She surprised me.”

I unlocked and opened my door, but before I could close it in his face, he pushed himself inside. He walked to my open living area and watched me with a frown.

I remained at the door. “Please leave. I don’t want you here.”

“Come on. You don’t mean it,” he reasoned. “Why are you so upset? You have a man.”

“Are you serious? You know what, you’re playing games. I have been honest about my relationship with Xavier. If you’d told me about her, at least I wouldn’t have been blindsided by the two of you. She walked around as if you bought your house together and you didn’t seem to mind. If I knew you were back together, at least I would have been prepared and wouldn’t have made a fool out of myself in the pantry with you!”

“What was I supposed to do? I never told her that we were back together. I wanted to be with you, but you’re too worried about being seen with me.” He came closer, and I stiffened.

“Did you get the bracelet I sent you? Did you like it?”

“I received it and I would have returned it if I knew where to send it.”

He looked hurt, which almost made me relent, and then I thought about him kissing Taylor after being in the pantry with me, which angered me all over again. “I don’t want you here. I would ask how you found me, but you know what, I don’t care!” I screamed the last words. “Leave. Leave!” I stomped around like a two-year-old having a tantrum.

He stood in place, looking slightly amused instead of worried now. “I’m not leaving until we talk.”

“I don’t want to hear the shit you have to say. You’re wasting your time.”

“Am I? I didn’t know you cursed so much,” he said with humor before saying calmly, “Come here.”

“Are you kidding me? I want you out!” I headed back toward my front door.

He called to me again. “If I’m wasting my time, come here and prove it.”

I didn’t turn around and stopped at my door. “Prove what?”

“If you don’t want me anymore, look me in my face and tell me.”

“I don’t want you,” I said, barely looking him in the eye.

“I’m going to walk out that door and never bother you again if you come here and look me in the eye and tell me you don’t want me anymore.”

I looked at him then. “Okay.” I didn’t move.

“Come here,” he said with a smile, his dimples showing. Read the rest of this entry »

 

JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE by Sherry Jones Book Club Favorite

From the international bestselling author Sherry Jones comes an illuminating novel based on the life of one of the most legendary performers, Josephine Baker 

 

Sherry Jones on why she wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE: Josephine Baker was a woman who lived life on her own terms, fearlessly and with heart. She dreamed big, pursued her goals with passion, and succeeded beyond even her wildest imaginings—and then risked all, even her very life, to make the world a better place.

I wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE with the hope that it will inspire others to keep fighting the good fight, as she said in her 1963 speech, ‘light that fire in you, so that you can carry on, and so that you can do those things that I have done.’

Josephine Baker was a legendary performer, a trailblazing activist, and one of the most remarkable and powerful cultural icons in history. International bestselling author Sherry Jones lifts the curtain and pays homage to her fascinating life in the moving and insightful biographical novel, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE.

Josephine Baker was born an illegitimate child of poverty in St. Louis, Missouri but emerged as a black ingénue in Paris at the height of the flapper movement. Sherry Jones creates a fictionalized reimagining of Josephine Baker’s rise to international fame and success as a headlining performer on Paris’s grandest stage.

A celebrity in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and beyond, Josephine Baker also had a secret career as a pilot in the French Air Force and intelligence spy for the French Resistance. She took center stage as a dedicated Civil Rights activist, becoming the only woman invited to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, and her views on social justice and advocacy continue to influence American life today.

Symbolic of her life, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE is structured around the program of Josephine Baker’s final triumphant performance. As the final curtain falls, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

SHERRY JONES’ SEDUCING THE PEN VIRTUAL AUTHOR’S TOUR
https://www.smore.com/t5v9q

 

“The extraordinary story of a unique and unrivaled icon…Jones delivers a satisfying life of one endlessly fascinating person.”
— Kirkus

 

“[An] entertaining portrait of a groundbreaking woman. Hand this to fans of Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife (2011), Liza Klaussman’s Villa America (2015), and other tales of Jazz Age artists.”
— Booklist

 

“If you loved The Paris Wife, you’re going to love this… Sherry Jones’s new Fall release is an inspiring novel that women everywhere will find to be an important piece of literature in helping to bring about total equality in our current world.”
— PopSugar

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of Medina, Four Sisters, All Queens, The Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart. She lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne. Visit her online at AuthorSherryJones.com and at Facebook.com/SherryJonesFanpage.

Purchase copies of Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones
https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Josephine-Bakers-Last-Dance/Sherry-Jones/9781501102448

 


 

GALLERY BOOKS is an imprint dedicated to publishing a variety of must-read books on a wide array of topics.  Launched in February 2010, Gallery is designed to showcase established voices and to introduce emerging new ones—in both fiction and nonfiction genres.

SIMON & SCHUSTER, a part of the CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. For more information, visit http://www.simonandschuster.com.

 

Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak (Book II, Detective Maxine Hill Series)

 

Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak (Book II, Detective Maxine Hill Series)

Young Detective Maxine Hill is always busy performing community service, investigating issues, and exploring future careers. However, Maxine is facing a special challenge this year. This time it’s very personal. Follow our little problem solver as she finds a solution for a unique situation. Detective Maxine HIll is on the case again and she’s on the way back! If you enjoyed Maxine’s New Job, you will like Book II of the series; Maxine Listens.

 

Book Excerpt: Maxine Listens

 

One afternoon Maxine Hill began to notice some changes in her vision during her math class. Her teacher, Mr. Norman, was explaining a process on the whiteboard and his writing was completely blurred. She knew she would eventually grow tired of asking Mr. Norman to repeat the instructions, even the ones written on the board. Maxine finally asked to be moved closer to the front of the class. After a few weeks she realized the new seating arrangement did not seem to be helping. Mr. Norman had also noticed her squinting her eyes on several occasions and decided to call Maxine’s mother, Mrs. Hill, and discuss the situation.

“Mr. Norman, I am so glad you brought this to our attention. I am noticing how Max has to adjust her glasses several times when we are working on a puzzle, playing Scrabble, or watching a movie. I’ll call our ophthalmologist and make an appointment immediately,” said Mrs. Hill.

Maxine did not like the sound of that. She did not enjoy visits to the doctor’s office, especially when her eyes had to be dilated.

“Oh no, not another eye appointment,” Maxine uttered in a slow moan. “The eye drops don’t hurt Mom, but the ride home is rough because the sun seems extra bright after my eyes are dilated.”

“I know honey, but Dr. Chambers has to look inside those beautiful brown eyes to see what’s going on,” Mrs. Hill replied.

Maxine smiled.

That night, Maxine sat on the couch with her Dad watching TV. When she briefly took her eyes off the screen she caught a glimpse of her cat, Amos. He was sitting on her mother’s favorite chair.

“Shoo Amos! Get down from there!” Maxine waved. Amos scurried off the chair onto the floor. “Wow!” she shouted, “I am so glad tomorrow is Friday! It’s been a busy week at school and I’m looking forward to enjoying the weekend.”

“Well,” replied Mrs. Hill, tapping her foot against the carpet, “if you want to enjoy the weekend then you better head upstairs and get ready for bed. It’s a school night. Do you know what time it is young lady?”

“Please Mom!” Maxine begged, “It’s only 9:30 and tomorrow is Friday.”

“I know honey,” said Mrs. Hill as she sat down on her favorite chair, “but you need all the rest you can get because we have your early morning appointment with Dr. Chambers. I have your doctor’s note prepared for the attendance office tomorrow explaining your late arrival, so go upstairs and get ready for bed. Right now!”

“OK Mom. I can’t believe I forgot all about my eye appointment. Nighty-night, Dad,” Maxine said reluctantly, dragging her feet across the floor and adjusting her glasses.

“What did you say Max?” Mr. Hill asked.

“I said . . . NIGHTY-NIGHT, DAD!” Maxine raised her voice and laughed.

Mr. Hill nodded and smiled as Maxine gave him a big hug, scooped up Amos and ran up the stairs. The next morning, Maxine and Mrs. Hill left early to avoid the traffic which seemed to swell between 6:30 am and 8:00 am, especially during the weekdays. Maxine noticed the construction workers drilling and operating the huge cranes as they passed the detour signs. The highway was filled with red dust blowing from the machinery.

“Mom, when are they going to finish this interstate? They have been working on this since I was in second grade,” said Maxine with a frown on her face. Mrs. Hill smiled, “Baby, you might be a senior in high school before it’s completed. Road construction sometimes lasts for years.” Maxine sighed, put her head back on the seat, closed her eyes and listened to her favorite musical group on the radio for the remainder of the ride.

After arriving at the doctor’s office, Maxine sat on the red leather chair next to Dr. Chambers’ rack of magazines, and began looking over the latest issues. Hmm, where are the kid’s magazines? I don’t want to read the Ladies Home Journal, thought Maxine. As soon as she found a copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids with an interesting article named “Girls on The Mound,” the receptionist walked into the patient waiting area with a folder in her hand and announced, “Maxine Hill.”

“OK Max, that’s us,” said Mrs. Hill.

Moments later, Maxine sat quietly as Dr. Chambers began his eye exam. “Max, your mom says you have been having some vision problems in class lately.”

“Yes, mostly in math class when I’m looking back and forth from the whiteboard to my notebook,” answered Maxine.

“Well, your exam shows no serious vision concerns, but your prescription needs to be upgraded for another pair of glasses. This is not unusual for your nearsightedness. We will discuss contacts as you get older. Until then, you will be just fine. However, I would like to see you in six months,” explained Dr. Chambers.

Mrs. Hill smiled and thanked Dr. Chambers. Maxine shook Dr. Chambers’ hand and walked out to the receptionist’s counter while her mom waited on the instructions for the next appointment. A few minutes later they left the doctor’s office and headed for B. H. Obama Elementary School.

As they walked to the car, Maxine said, “Mom, I saw some cool, round purple frames in the 20-20 Optical Store window in the mall last week. Can we take my new prescription there this weekend and see if they can measure them for me?”

“We sure can Max. It’s a deal,” Mrs. Hill gleamed.

( Continued… )

© 2019 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dr. Lynda Mubarak. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

 

 

Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak will be released on March 23, 2019
Picture Book for ages 6-10. Genre: Children’s Literature
Purchase books:  https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Mubarak/e/B01ELLYYGO

 

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