We All Fall Down by Eric Walters- Book Review

This is a suspenseful and emotional account of a father and son trapped inside the World Trade Centre on 9/11. Will, a grade nine student, thinks his father has a pretty boring job but when he is taken to work for the day the unexpected and terrifying happens. A plane is deliberately flown into the building, below where he and his father are stationed. Wills’s father meets resistance when he tries to evacuate the building. As the stairs are engulfed in fire, he also has to make a dangerous choice, whether to go up to the roof and hope they can be rescued there in spite of the high winds, or go down through the flames. To make matters worse, there are other people in the building who are either trapped, lost, or injured.

Just when you can finally take a deep breath and relax, a horrible event occurs plunging the reader into an even more tense mood. Walters achieves a perfect balance of fear, joy, loss, and recovery.

This is a story of tremendous courage, selflessness, strength, and bonding that will keep you flipping the pages. Eric Walters always achieves the perfect balance of emotion and plot. This is yet another Canadian treasure that will definitely be enjoyed by American readers as well.

It comes in a comfortable 6 by 7 size with 178 pages, easy to carry anywhere. It can be enjoyed by good readers from grade 5 and up. As an adult, I found it in an enjoyable afternoon of reading.

Highly recommended. Five stars.

Click on the link begin reading right here.

Using the Game Upwards with Young Children

Durability There are various levels of quality in this game. Mine is an older version but it has lasted quite well.

.Play quality This is a fun game for adults as well as children. It is a great way to teach children spelling and reading.

Safety The tiles should be kept away from children under three as they are a choking hazard

.Age interest The game is designated for eight years and older but the ideas below can show you ways to use it with much younger children.

Storage and portability Everything fits neatly into a small box.

Price Price varries from this featured $14.00 version to $80.

Recommendation highly recommended.


This post is suggesting a cooperative way to play with young children. Opponents can’t have large differences with spelling abilities so it isn’t suitable for a four year old and a ten year old. But there’s a way even young children can enjoy it. Play my cooperative version.

How do you win?

If you can use all the tiles in the box to form words, you are Word Champions! If you don’t get them all (pretty difficult) on the board, set a goal to have fewer orphaned letters the next time you play.

Only use one rack. Let the child pull out ten letters from the bag and say their names and sounds. Together, create a word to place on the boards. Pick enough letters out of the bag to get back to ten on your rack. Keep working together.


  1. Just make words.
  2. Make a list of simple rhyming words. You make one and the two of you make the rhyme Some interesting variations in spelling sounds will come up.
  3. Create short vowel words. What ones can be changed to long vowel words by adding an E?
  4. Show them how to join words.
  5. Show them how to lengthen the word with suffixes like “ed”, “s” and “ing” and prefixes like “re.
  6. Show them how to change a word by building up. This is the only way you can ever use all the tiles.
  7. Now they are ready to play real “Up”.

Books for Christmas Clearout

Still looking for a great Christmas gift? Nothing beats a good book. It’s Christmas Clearout time! I need space so some books must go. HALF THE PRICE AS POSTED ON AMAZON. Plus no shipping costs. Pick it up in Thunder Bay. Get it signed by the author. For more Information on a book, click here to see Amazon blurbs and ratings.

For Adults

Bouquet: Short stories with a Buddhist Twist (Collection previously of published in mainstream magazines.) Reg $8.50, Now $4.25

Inhale: Prize winning short stories. (On the darker side.) Reg $8.50, Now $4.25

Sing the Planets: An I’ll Remember That Book – for teachers Ages 7 and up. (Fun, movement, singing, learning.) $13.08, Now $6.50

That Dam Book (Humorous jokes or game about beavers.) Reg $9.65, Now $5.75

For Teens

Katherine of Aragon – ages 12 and up (Comic style story.) Reg $22.27, Now $5.50

Terror at White Otter Castle – ages 12 and up (Suspense, some violence.) Reg 27.90, Now $12.00

For Kids

The Amida Tree – ages 4 to 9 (Harmony with nature, healthy relationships, beautiful, touching.)

Dirty Pigs Non-fiction fascinating facts. – ages 3 to 7 Reg $11.96, Now $6.00 (Clears up misconceptions.)

Can You Imagine? – ages 3 to 6 Ref $13.10, Now $6.00 (Letting your imagination grow.)

Geta Toss – ages 4 to 7 Reg $14.40, Now $7.00 (Interracial friendship, new kid, jealousy, humor.)

If You See a Dragon – ages 4 to 7 Unavailable online, $5.00 (Kindness to animals.)

No More Red – ages 3 to 6 Re $13.08, Now $6.50 (Funny story about accepting life’s struggles.)

Pirate Smells – Great for the whole family of book lovers Reg $14.08 Now $7.00 (A search and find book like you’ve never seen. What book images can you decipher?)

Rumpelstiltskin’s Child – ages 5 to 8. Reg $15.70, Now $7.50 (Prejudice, kindness, forgiveness)

Sing the Planets: An I’ll Remember That Book – for teachers – Ages 7 and up Fun, movement, singing, learning. $13.08, Now $6.50

Too Quiet, Too Noisy – ages 4 to 7 Reg $13.08, Now$6.50 (Life balance,

For Toddlers

What’s Missing: Clothes -ages 2 to 5 Reg $13.08, Now $6.50

What’s Missing: Faces – ages 1 to 4 Reg $13.08, Now $6.50

Tell Me Where: Animals and Babies – ages 1 to 3 Reg $13.10, Now $6.50

Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen by Kate McGovern. Book Review.

The premise of this story is that a girl, Maple, is kept back in grade four while all her friends move to grade five, middle school, and shun her. She fails because she can’t read. This has just been discovered by her “excellent” teacher and she is diagnosed with dyslexia.

Before I address the story writing, I must address this issue of failing a child for the teacher’s inadequate assessments. This book is published in Canada so I don’t know what province this would still be happening in. For decades in Ontario, teachers must assess students independent reading at least three times a year using unfamiliar text with no pictures or oral clues. The students are assigned a reading level and this is followed from grade SK to six. Teachers plot the child’s progress from one term to the next and if a child is falling behind, further testing and support is put in place. Everyone involved would be alerted if a child couldn’t read long before they reached the end of grade five. Parents would be livid if a child was suddenly kept back with no indication for years that they were struggling. There would be long discussion of why this child slipped through their fingers and someone would be held accountable.

Setting that aside, the story is an accurate representation of the trauma a child in this situation would suffer. Quite often the friends in their former class forget about including them, especially if they seldom see each other at school. Parents are often unaware that a child is being socially excluded. Maple is hurt but resourceful and brave. She suffers a horrible humiliation and has the compassion to forgive. Unfortunately, today I think the public humiliation of her poor oral reading would not be put on the intercom but would be spread across social media where it would not be forgotten so easily.

The book also touches on how difficult it is for minority children, especially those of mixed race, to find representation in media and history representation.

This is a touching story but it feels a little out of date. This seems as though the social and academic situations pertain more to the time of the author’s childhood than present day.

Buy Link https://amzn.to/3Ffsgqb

3 stars

Switch – Five Star Review.

My recently released novel just received its first review. It is available free on Smashwords until Sept. 23, 2001. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1097582 Get your copy now.

Here is the blurb followed by the review.

Buy link https://amzn.to/33pr71H


In the time of Queen Elizabeth I of England, fourteen-year-old Rosemary Prowd has a secret that could kill her. When she flees, with her parents, to her godmother’s cottage, the danger follows her. She seems to be destined to become a homeless beggar, the victim of a stalker, accused of witchcraft, or hung as a thief. As her support system collapses, her survival depends on her wits, courage, and determination. Then a mysterious plant opens a world of possibilities. Will using it be her salvation or her doom?


D.J. Hawkins reviewed on Sep. 17, 2021 5 stars
This is the first book of Bonnie’s that I’ve read and let’s just say that I’m a fan. Bonnie’s writing style is so immersive and detailed. And who doesn’t love a classic you’re-a-witch, ghost story? As the protagonist, young Rosemary is misunderstood, snarky, and plagued with the ability to see ghosts. But she is endearing and oftentimes quite hilarious, even if she doesn’t mean to be that way. Another aspect of this book that I LOVE is the images throughout; the headers and the scene breaks. Visually, they pulled the story together and made me so much more intrigued. Although historical fiction (the book is set in England during Queen Elizabeth I’s time) is not my usual go-to genre, I can definitely say that Bonnie has prompted me to explore this genre more and I’ll definitely be reading more of her books.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)

The Gazebo by Emily Grayson. Book Review.

This is a romance story about lovers who cannot be together but cannot stop loving each other. No matter what, they meet once a year at the gazebo to reaffirm their devotion. By a series of circumstances, they live on two different continents and this cannot be reconciled.

The romance is sweet but I felt a little frustrated that they didn’t figure out a way to make it work. Many couples face these problems and overcome them.

The book is a quick read, not too syrupy, with just the right touch of romance. The characters are likeable and engaging. An enjoyable book.

4 stars

Buy link https://amzn.to/3fauo7R

Camino Winds buy John Grisham. Book Review.

Well, this was a real disappointment. It was a detailed, well-thought out plot but read like a second draft. Forget the overwhelming number of characters. Forget that lack of individual personality for the characters. But, for heaven sake, put some tension into it. It read like a police officer’s notebook, a dispassionate, flat recitation of events. There were numerous opportunities for suspense, where he could have heightened interest, but didn’t. A good screenwriter could turn this into a great movie and it would definitely be a case of the movie being better than the book. I don’t see how it could be nearly as boring. To call this a thriller is like calling Donald Duck a criminal genius.

two stars.

Vampire Academy by Rachel Mead. Book Review.


I’ve read a lot of vampire stories and it’s hard to find something that’s new but this one sparked my interest.  There are no coffins, crosses, or garlic in this story.

There are two kinds of vampires, strigoi, the dead who have come back and are fearful killers. and the vampires who were born. The strigoi are determined to kill the natural vampires but they are protected by half human teens, dhampir. Why these bodyguards sacrifice their lives to protect the vampires comes out in the story and makes perfect sense. They also have a good explanation for why people allow vampires to feed off them.

This story focusses on two young women one vampire, Lissa, and one bodyguard, Rose They have run away from the Academy and I’ve been brought back against their will. They have all the complications of normal teenagers, falling in love with the wrong person, not knowing who to trust, handling vicious gossip, bullying and ostracizing, in addition to the specific challenges of being magical creatures.

It was easy to read, fast-paced and engaging. I subsequently discovered that this is a series although this book didn’t have a number. The back story is complex enough to carry it through a series. This story focusses mainly on Rose’s struggle to fit in and her relationship with the young woman, Lissa, she is guarding. They are best of friends but have a unique twist. The Rose can feel, and eventually even see, what the vampire is experiencing.

Most of the vampires have a magical talent that develops as they mature. Some can control fire or other elements, some can change their environment in unique ways, but Lissa is developing the most dangerous and valuable talent of all. Bringing the ill back to wellness and the dead back to life is a gift that will destroy her. It must be kept secret and never used. It comes at a great cost to the vampire But Lissa’s resolve to suppress the use of her gift is sorely tempted in a frightening chain of events.

A fun read.

four stars