Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Poetry, Reading

BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND – Lyrics by Bob Dylan

9781402780028_p0_v1_s192x300Yes, this is the song from the 1960s, sung by Bob Dylan…recalling to mind the Civil Rights Movement, anti-war protests/Vietnam War,  universal questions about freedom, justice, peace and war — far more than a protest song.

The original 1963 recording is on the CD that is included with this book.

The lyrics are embedded on each page with beautiful watercolors by Jon J. Muth depicting children playing together, children of all skin colors, of all nationalities.

The song asks questions of a changing world, yet injustice still occurs in ways that may or may not be different from 1963.  War, peace, hatred, natural disasters, destruction of some of the beauty in the natural world continue to this day.  The questions asked in 1963 are still able to be asked today.  The song has hope along with sorrow.  The song is filled with power for humanity to care…about the world in which they live, about the people all around.  We, yes, we, must be open to all that is around us or nothing changes.

A white paper airplane sails across each page in the book.  You can see it on the cover (pictured above) at the boy’s left hand.  I see that as the connection between all people and all God’s world…that little something that is blowin’ in the wind.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ‘n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Reading Level:  5 – 8 Years


Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, United States.  He attended the university of Minnesota in the late 1950s and began playing for an audience in 1959.  In 1962, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, being influenced by the poetry of Dylan Thomas.

Much of his best known work is from the 1960s when anti-war and civil rights made up most of the American unrest then. Songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin,” became anthems of this period with Joan Baez and Dylan singing together at the March on Washington in 1963.

His style changed over the years when songs such as “Like a Rolling Stone,” released in July of 1965, later being named “The Greatest Song of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004.

Bob Dylan continues to tour the world and sings with many other singers of accomplishment.  Bob Dylan is well known for his singing, but his finest accomplishment in the music world is his songwriting.

His website is  and this book is listed within that site @


Jon J. Muth grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Drawing was his way to make “things exist which didn’t exist.”  He painted.  And he wrote which “became a way to have my drawings interact.”   His mother was an art teacher so visiting museums all over the United States was an ordinary thing they did.  Jon studied painting, drawing and printmaking in several schools in the United States and in Europe.

Jon J Muth’s children’s books have received numerous awards and critical acclaim. He has illustrated for others as well as writing and illustrating the whole book himself.  One book that I have reviewed here is A Family of Poems, a collection of poetry which Muth illustrated for Caroline Kennedy.

He lives with his family in upstate New York with his wife, a son and a daughter.

He and much of his work can be found @

You can go to this gallery to see Jon’s work.  Click on this book to see some of the watercolors that are a part of “Blowin’ in the Wind” —

Book Information:

ISBN-13: 9781402780028
Publisher:  Sterling Children’s Books
Publication date: 11/01/2011
Pages: 28
Product dimensions: 11.80(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.20(d)


Lyrics:  MetroLyrics

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Posted in Adult Nonfiction, Book, Book Review, Reading

SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME by Douglas A. Blackmon

Slavery_by_Another_Name_(book_cover)Slavery By Another Name:

The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

This has been the most difficult book review I have yet to write.  I have amended and deleted and written and rewritten pieces and parts and all of this review.

After reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and then The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, I found myself reading Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon.

A web of tragic circumstances of my country’s history, both past and current, has held my interest in each and all three of these books.  I wanted to know more.  I am so saddened that this country could have been so inhumane to its own citizens.  How could I be so naive and not know that this kind of history had gone on long past the Civil War?  Yes, I am naive, but I have a heart that cares so was drawn into wanting to know what happened to the Black Americans who had won their freedom through the Civil War, through the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This book, of almost 500 pages, is a powerful read.  It is well written and referenced to the hilt.  Mr. Blackmon did his homework.  It is about “industrial slavery,” “Black Codes,” “convict laborers,” “peonage,” “debt peonage,” “forced labor,” and so much more.  Rather than go into all that this book is, as I first intended, I will leave you to decide whether you want to know more about a rather large and terrible chunk of history of the United States that has basically been hidden, not taught in history classes, nor exposed so thoroughly as Mr. Blackmon does.

It, indeed, was “slavery” under a different name.

Douglas Blackmon’s words say more than all that I have deleted that were my own words:

“As a Wall Street Journal reporter, Mr. Blackmon wrote a piece ‘asking a provocative question: What would be revealed if American corporations were examined through the same sharp lens of historical confrontation as the one then being trained on German corporations that relied on Jewish slave labor during World War II and the Swiss banks that robbed victims of the Holocaust of their fortunes?’  This story described the post-Civil War corporate use of forced black labor in the South.  It received more response than any other piece he had written which led to the writing of this book.”

“In the book’s epilogue, Blackmon argues for the importance of acknowledging this history of forced labor:

‘the evidence moldering in county courthouses and the National Archives compels us to confront this extinguished past, to recognize the terrible contours of the record, to teach our children the truth of a terror that pervaded much of American life, to celebrate its end, to lift any shame on those who could not evade it. This book is not a call for financial reparations. Instead, I hope it is a formidable plea for a resurrection and fundamental reinterpretation of a tortured chapter in the collective American past.'”

I thank you, Mr. Blackmon.  Your book was tough to read, but this chapter in history gave me even more compassion towards my fellow human beings who just happen to have darker skin than I have.

I am so sorry that people of my skin color did this and other horrific things to you, my Black sisters and brothers.

The Slavery by Another Name documentary was broadcast in February 2012.  The entire film can be watched online @


2009 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
a New York Times bestseller in both hardback and soft cover editions
a 2009 American Book Award
the 2009 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters non-fiction book prize
a 2008 Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Book Award
the NAACP Freedom Fund Outstanding Achievement Award
and many other citations
Mr. Blackmon has been honored by the state legislature of Georgia for distinguished scholarship and service to history.
In 2010, he received the Grassroots Justice Award from the Georgia Justice Project.


Douglas A. Blackmon is co-executive producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary of the same name. His is also the executive producer and host of American Forum, a public affairs program produced at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and aired weekly on more than 250 PBS affiliates across the U.S.

He was the longtime chief of The Wall Street Journal’s Atlanta bureau and the paper’s Senior National Correspondent until 2012, when he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia and became a contributing editor at the Washington Post.

Prior to his work at The Wall Street Journal, Blackmon was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he covered race and politics in Atlanta until 1995. Earlier, he was a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat in 1986-1987, and co-owner and managing editor of the Daily Record from 1987 to 1989, both in Little Rock, Ark.

Raised in Leland, Miss., Blackmon penned his first newspaper story for the weekly Leland Progress at the age of 12.  (He became drawn into the racial issues of the South through this article.)  He received his degree in English from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark.  He lives in downtown Atlanta and Charlottesville, Va.

Book Information

  • ISBN-13: 9780385722704
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 01/13/2009
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 5.12(h) x 1.03(d

linking up with:  Teach Mentor Texts, Unleashing Readers, Book Musing Mondays, What to Read WednesdayKid Lit Blog Hop, Booknificent Thursdays, The Book NookLiterary Friday, Semicolon Saturday, Reading List/Cozy Reading SpotBook Review Blog Hop

Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading



This is a story for all, no matter what age.  Ideas crop up.  We think about them, ignore them, run away from them, think about them some more.  Sharing one’s ideas with another may bring encouragement, allowing us to feel like we just might have something here or it might bring laughter, leaving us covered by our own embarrassment.

“What Do You Do With an Idea?” is about giving our ideas a chance.  Outcomes may be far more than one can imagine.

This is a confidence-building book because so many of us do not give our ideas any fuel.  We are afraid of failure, yet the words in this book just may give some of us enough courage to allow an idea to grow and develop into what it may.  Weird ideas, big or small ideas, hard ideas can grow when given some room.  “Ideas tend to stay with us.”  In that case, we ought to accept the fact that our ideas may hang around in our head, fermenting, growing, becoming.

I think this book is great!  We all need some encouragement.  Children really need to know that the ideas they have are important and need cultivation.  Children need to learn that their ideas can lead to success, maybe even failure, but they might not be so afraid of failures later on if they know their ideas can be given a chance.

“Compendium Kids,” the publisher, says it is about “inspiring possibilities.”

The art work is well done.  The drawings are in pencil, with watercolors too.  As you can tell by the cover, the pictures are done in sepia tones with a touch of color.  As the book (and idea) grows and goes, so does the color.

9781938298073_p2_v4_s700x483What Do You Do With an Idea? has won several awards, including the Independent Publisher’s Book Gold Award, the Washington State Book Award, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.

It has also hit multiple best-seller lists, such as Publisher’s Weekly, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

The Tanner Dance Program of the University of Utah adapted this book for its biggest event of the year.  They had more than 500 dancers using ballet and modern dance to show how ideas come to life. “Each dance had different choreography, and what made the performances especially incredible was that every dancer had the freedom to improvise parts of their routine and integrate their own ideas into the performance.”  See the article here:

Reading Level
: 4 – 8 Years

Kobi Yamada is President/CEO of Compendium, Inc., a Seattle-based company renowned for its inspiring books, cards and gifts. (Dan Zadra is the founder.)  Over the past 25 years, they have written many award-winning books and compiled or collaborated on more than 50 of the best-selling quotation books of all time.
Kobi Yamada currently resides in Lynnwood/Seattle, WA., with his wife and two children.  Family is extremely important to him.  He played soccer at San Diego State University (my Alma Mater) and in an NCAA championship, inducted into the Hall of Fame there.Kobi Yamada is the author of many books, including books in the “Good Life Series.”Compendium’s stated mission is “Live inspired: to inspire, educate, motivate, and celebrate the world we love and live in. We strive to set an example of hope, passion, and creativity in everything we do – from the products and programs we create, to the ways we make a difference for our clients, customers, and community.”

Mae Besom
Ms. Besom graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2003 and began working as a character designer in Sichuan, China.  In 2007, she decided “to embrace her love of illustration and has been working as a full-time children’s illustrator.”  Mae uses traditional media, pencil and watercolor to create texture and light within her enchanting illustrations.  Visit her @

Book Information: 

ISBN-13: 9781938298073
Publisher:  Compendium, Inc., Publishing & Communications
Publication date: 02/01/2014
Pages: 36
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.30(d)9685dd465749df80929098bd52d9df17