Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘reading

I had set my goal for the Goodreads challenge for 2022 at 48 books. I read 46 so almost made it. But I did read two books not listed on Goodreads and since one of the books I completed was War and Peace (which should count as two or maybe three books) I feel I actually met the challenge. https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2022

MY 2022 BOOKS

Crimson Frost by J.P. McLean
Donkey Boy and Other Stories by Mary  Smith
Waiting For Frank-Bear by Frank Prem
Love, Me by Jacquie Biggar
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Golden Healer by M.J. Mallon
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney
Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog by Robbie Cheadle
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Father by Allan Hudson
Naomi's Tree by Joy Kogawa
Shadows in the Fog by B.J. Darling
Linda's Midlife Crisis by Toni Pike
The Barren Grounds by David Alexander Robertson
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Di... by Jonas Jonasson
My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood
Amanda in France by Darlene Foster
Poetry Treasures 2 by Kaye Lynne Booth
Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Cronin
MEMORIES OF MOM by Nonnie Jules
The Skylark's Secret by Fiona Valpy
Hues Of Hope by Balroop Singh
Not That Sort Of Girl by Mary Wesley
Pattern of Shadows by Judith   Barrow
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Knuckleheads by Dan Antion
The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet by M.J. Mallon
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Baby Steps by Anne Stormont
The Winding Road by Miriam Hurdle
Two Middle Aged Ladies In Andalusia by Penelope Chetwode
A Gold Satin Murder by Debra Purdy Kong
Between Two Shores by Ruth Larrea
The Alpine Path by L.M. Montgomery
What's So Special About Spain? by Nancy Blodgett Klein
Mud Girl by Alison Acheson
Brazos Wind by Jan Sikes
All Dogs Are Good by Courtney Peppernell
The Christmas Bird by Robbie Cheadle
Things on a Tree by D.L. Finn
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Kind by Kellyn Roth
Variety is the Spice of Life by Sally Cronin
Distant Flickers by multiple contributors

They were all great books and it would be difficult to say which were my favourites. I read a variety of books which I’m pleased about. All of my reviews are on Goodreads. I would suggest you check them out.

For 2023 I have set my challenge at 48 books once again as I am determined to meet the goal this year.

Happy reading in 2023!!

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

That is how I always feel on New Year’s Day. A new year with no mistakes yet! I am always so excited to make a list of goals, not all of them new, some are brought over from the year before as they didn’t get met. And that’s OK. Some have been on the list for a few years already. Things happen when they are supposed to.

Here is my list for 2023

  1. Read Mom’s five-year diary by reading one page a day. It will be great to learn more about Mom as a teenager.

2. Finish Amanda in Scotland: The Standing Stones, book number ten in the Amanda Travels series.

3. Publish my collection of short stories based on my childhood growing up on the Canadian prairies.

4. Learn how to self-publish

5. Return to Canada and attend a family reunion

6. Create a newsletter.

7. Clean up and sort out my office.

8. Clean up my computer and tablet

9. Read and write more poetry

10. Eat out more often. Since the pandemic, we have gotten out of the habit and I’m getting tired of cooking all the time.

11. Read 48 books. I’m going to try for this reading goal again.

12. Work on reducing my TBR pile on my bookshelves and on my Kindle

13. Maintain my health; reduce my sugar intake

14. Visit Ireland

15. Continue marketing my books and looking for new ways to market

That should keep me busy enough so I don’t get bored.

My words for 2023 are Savour the Moment

Wishing everyone a super 2023: May many of your dreams come true!

Today I am a guest on Karen Sanderson’s blog where I talk about reading children’s books, at any age.

Are Children’s Books Just for Children?

by Darlene Foster

I write children’s books. Actually, I should correct that. I write books suitable for children. But they are books any age can read and enjoy.

            Recently I listened to an interview with Lawrence Hill, author of the award-winning novel, The Book of Negroes.He discussed his latest release, Beatrice and Croc Harry, which he describes as a story for children and adults. He mentioned there should be no separation between children’s and adults’ books. He mentioned that as authors, we should not shy away from including serious and painful issues in children’s stories as they can handle them. He also mentioned, and I agree, many adults enjoy reading from a child’s point of view.  

Read more of the article here

Photo by Andy Kuzma on Pexels.com

One of my goals for 2021 was to read more and to read a variety of books. I set my goal with the Goodreads reading challenge at 40 books. I am pleased to see I have read 46. And what a variety. From classics to contemporary, humorous to serious, books for children, middle grade and young adult, cosy mysteries, romance, historical, fantasy, poetry and short story collections, I covered a lot of ground. It’s good to expand your reading interests.

Check out all 46 books I read in 2021. I wanted to list my favourites but it would be too difficult as they were all good. I have left a review for each of them on Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/25837732

It’s six weeks until the release of Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady and I’m getting excited.

Here is what early readers have had to say about Amanda’s latest adventure:

“A missing friend, a mysterious boy . . . Amanda’s holiday on the island of Malta takes you on a fast-paced adventure through ancient forts and fishing villages, sea caves and spooky castles. A real page-turner!”


“I love how the author mixes creativity, imagination and cultural appreciation in her writing – for minds of all ages!”


“Middle-grade readers will be drawn in by the action, pulled forward by the mystery, and absorbed by the colourful backdrop of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean.” 

Amanda in Malta, the eigth book in the series, is now available on NetGalley if you would like a free advanced reading copy and are willing to write a review.

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/?text=Amanda+in+Malta

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.


Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.

Check out the trailer I’ve created.

Please share and let your friends know. Thanks!

Amanda and I are guests on Wanda Luthman´s blog today where I interview the intrepid traveller.

Wanda Luthman's Book Blog

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s children’s book blog.

Today, I have a fun interview for you. One of my previous guests on this book blog, Darlene Foster, interviewed her main character, Amanda!

I think you’re going to love getting to know Amanda better.

NOTE: (DF stands for Darlene Foster, the author and AR stands for Amanda Ross, the main character)

Interview with Amanda Ross from the Amanda Travels Series by Darlene Foster

DF Hello Amanda. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed as your readers are eager to learn more about you.

AR Thank you, Mrs. Foster. It is so awesome to be interviewed. I’ve never been interviewed before.

DF Can we start with you telling us a little about yourself?

AR Yes, thanks. I can do that. (Clears her throat) My name is Amanda Jane Ross and I live in Calgary…

View original post 941 more words

I am honoured to be asked about inspiring children to read by Sue Slaght of Travel Tales of Life.

Why would a child want to read? How can a book compete with the tantalizing glow of a screen? As the months, or has it been years, of time at home drag on, parents’ nerves are fraying. How can we get kids excited about adventure? Is the love of reading in children a forgotten skill?

We reached out to an expert for advice. How can we turn reluctant readers into book loving kids? Darlene Foster is an award winning author, publishing seven books about a spunky young girl named Amanda. The popular series inspires adventure, travel and reading.

Darlene Foster on inspiring reading in children

Thanks, Sue for inviting me to your awesome blog which encourages travel and appreciating other countries and cultures.

I write my books to inspire children to explore the world and appreciate our unique differences as well as our similarities. Unlike when I was a child, children today are well travelled. Which is great. But right now, because of the COVID 19 pandemic, their parents aren’t able to take them on trips. By providing children with books that take place in other countries, they can go on a vacation without leaving the safety of their home. And by reading the books together, the whole family gets a holiday.

At what age should parents start reading to their children? What types of books are best?

Read the rest of the article here.

Do you need books to keep you busy during the lockdown? Sadly many bookstores are closing for the duration of the coronavirus. Reading is an activity we can do safely in the shelter of our homes and gardens. IPG, the distribution company for my books and many other great books, is offering a site-wide discount of 30% on www.ipgbook.com until April 5th to consumers who purchase directly from their website to be delivered to your home address or to the address of someone you wish to gift a book. You may want to check out their website. www.ipgbook.com

Click onto the IPG Bookstore tab and search for specific books or scroll through books in various categories. The promo code is keepcalmandreadon to get your discount at checkout.

This may only be for North American addresses, but I’m not sure.

We don’t want to run out of books during this time of isolation and we need to help keep the book industry afloat.

Happy reading and stay safe!

A great post on the importance of reading, that made me think of the books I read as a child and how they influenced my life.

I follow the blog of pre-school teacher Jennie Fitkzee at A Teacher’s Reflections. Jennie is an amazing teacher who truly loves her job and shares her 30-year teaching experiences with her readers. In some of her posts, she talks about the importance of reading out loud and of reading chapter books to children who cannot yet read. Here is some of what she has to say.

Jennie and her students with a favourite chapter book

The Importance of Reading Chapter Books by Jennie

In order to read, and more importantly to want to read, it all starts with parents and family reading aloud to children, every day. The statistics on reading aloud and its link to academic success in all areas is profound. If reading is a pleasurable experience, then school work is by far easier. Every child begins school wanting to learn to read. In other words, we’ve got 100 percent of enthusiastic kindergarteners when they start school. The National Report Card found that among fourth-graders, only 54 percent read for pleasure. Among eighth graders, only 30 percent read for pleasure. By twelfth grade, only 19 percent read anything for pleasure daily. Yikes! What happened? The better question might be, what did not happen?

The seeds of not only learning to read but loving to read were not planted early. Reading aloud to children for 30 minutes every day, starting at birth and continuing after they have learned to read, is the single best thing a parent can do to build a reader. I know this. When I read aloud in my classroom, it’s the time that children are totally absorbed. Totally. A good story, read aloud, is the best learning and pleasure experience I give to children. It opens the door to questions and discovery.

People often ask why I chapter read.  After all, many of the children in my classroom are three-years-old.  When we chapter read, the children don’t have an image from a picture book.  They have to make the pictures in their head.  That requires language development.  The more they hear, the more they learn.  Even the youngest children benefit enormously.  For example, they may not ‘get’ the humor of the goose repeating everything three times in Charlotte’s Web, but they are still getting a huge dose of language.  And, that language is sparking their imagination.  No pictures; just words pouring into eager, young minds and creating their own images.

Jennie discussing a chapter book with a student

Chapter reading is one of our treasured moments of the day at school.  Books bring to life the imagination, the world, and the past.  The anticipation of ‘what happens next’ stirs excitement every day.  Children listen and talk.  They ask questions.  When I ask children, “At chapter reading where do you make the pictures?” they answer “In your head.”

Reading aloud is the best thing I do with, and for, children.  They are preschoolers.  Yes, I chapter read to four-year-olds.  It is marvelous.  After three decades of teaching, I know this is “it”.  Learning can happen unexpectedly, and reading aloud is often the catalyst.  Children don’t need to sit and listen to a book in silence.  Asking questions is a good thing!

Reading aloud is the gift of language, and language is the most important element in a child’s development and success in school.  Wow!  The number of words a child knows can be directly attributed to his or her success in school; not just in English, but in Math and Science as well.  Perhaps these are the most important words a parent can hear.  Reading aloud is a strong part of my classroom curriculum, and children love it!  The more you read aloud at home increases your child’s development!  The biggest bonus is bonding together.  Nothing beats snuggling with Mom or Dad, one-on-one, reading a book.  Life is good!

Jennie

I have often been asked why I don’t have my Amanda Travels books illustrated. This is why. I want my readers to create their own images. I also hesitate to categorize my books for 8 to 12-year-olds as many pre-schoolers enjoy my books being read to them by adults or older siblings. One grandmother read my books to her three-year-old granddaughter, who loved them and drew pictures of Ali Baba the camel from Amanda in Arabia. This young woman is now 12 and still enjoys reading, including the Amanda Travels series.

Follow Jennie’s blog with more meaningful reflections of an experienced teacher https://jenniefitzkee.com/


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© Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.