Tips to Help Teens Find Jobs

The book is “A Teen’s Guide to Career Success: How to Get and Keep a Job”

Book cover
Book cover
My oldest kid is a 16 year old boy, who has recently decided he needs to get a job. When I was offered a chance to review “A Teen’s Guide to Career Success: How to Get and Keep a Job,” by Jim Comiskey, I thought the timing was perfect!

What’s inside?

The book follows two teenage reporters on assignment for their school paper to find out how to get and keep a job. As they interview three past graduates who have successful careers and businesses, they learn about each step of the job search process.

Along the way, the book has several worksheets for the reader to complete, which are designed to provide a self-evaluation of job-hunting and work readiness. The sections of the book address several stages of work/career, from preparing a resume and interviewing, to starting and keeping a job. It also addresses good employee attributes, such as having a positive attitude, working hard, cooperation, and time management.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

The verdict

My son thought the information in the book was definitely valuable, but found the story of the interviews to be kind of cheesey and lame. He said, “I don’t want to offend anyone, but the dialogue seems kind of childish.”

Example of graphic from book
Example of graphic from book

I thought the information was useful — not only for first-time job seekers — but for anybody trying to improve a job situation, or for people changing fields or re-entering the job market. Although seasoned employees will probably not learn anything new from this book, it will be a valuable resource for teens! As a parent, I’m happy to provide my teenager another resource that reinforces the things I’ve been trying to tell him about having a positive attitude and being willing to work hard.

The bottom line

I recommend “A Teen’s Guide to Career Success: How to Get and Keep a Job” for any teens who are starting to look for work. It contains practical information that will help kids get started on the right foot, whether they are looking for summer jobs or considering long-term career possibilities.


Thanks to Blue Point Books for providing me with a review copy of this book!

Bedtime Math 3 – Add some math fun to your bedtime stories!

Bedtime Math 3
Bedtime Math 3

My family has enjoyed the first two volumes of Bedtime Math, by Laura Overdeck. When I was offered a chance to review Bedtime Math 3: The Truth Comes Out, we were very excited!

If you aren’t familiar with the Bedtime Math series, here’s a quick introduction.

Author Laura Overdeck says, “We want kids to feel about math the way they feel about dessert after dinner.”

Our mission: to make math a fun part of kids’ everyday lives. When is the last time you gave your child a math problem just for fun? Yesterday? Last year? Maybe never? We all know it’s wonderful to read bedtime stories to kids, but the question remains–what about doing math? Math has a negative association in our culture and many Americans are uncomfortable and even fearful of math and numbers. But Bedtime Math is here to change all that.

Bedtime Math stories feature different difficulty levels, so kids of varying ages — and parents — can participate in the math fun.

Getting kids to enjoy math as much as dessert may seem impossible, but wait until you try Bedtime Math with your kids. Give it a try and give math a chance! You might be pleasantly surprised at their reactions!

Why learn math? (Fox Trot comic)
Why learn math? (Fox Trot comic)

Today is World Book Day!

Happy “World Book Day,” my fellow geeks, nerds, and bookworms! To observe the 18th annual World Book Day (March 5, 2015), you might choose to read a book, tell a story, make a donation to a library, or even try writing a book of your own. If you want more ideas, visit the official World Book Day site.

In the meantime, check out this cool project! Called “Arma De Instruccion Masiva,” (ADIM) or “Weapon of Mass Instruction,” built by artist Raul Lemesoff, it’s a former military vehicle, which has been remade into a mobile library.

Raul Lemesoff / ADIM mobile library
Raul Lemesoff / ADIM mobile library

The official ADIM site describes the project like this.

“The weapon of mass instruction is a mobile sculpture that carries books and gift books. The ability to transport allows to receive donations from anywhere and bring them to the far corners of Argentina and the continent…”

“The ADIM is the sculpture, also a street intervention, a unique piece of art, protest, encouragement, an image from another dimension…”

ADIM mobile library
ADIM mobile library

The ADIM travels Argentina and South America, bringing books to unexpected places, to promote reading and encourage creativity. The driver gifts books and accepts donations along the way.

Happy World Book Day!

More information?

Bedtime Math Stories

Bedtime Math and popcorn
Bedtime Math and popcorn

As a nerdy mom, I’m always looking for fun ways to help my kids develop their math skills. When I received an offer to review “Bedtime Math” and “Bedtime Math 2,” I was excited to see what the books were all about.

The “Bedtime Math” books are written by Laura Overdeck and illustrated by Jim Paillot. The pages are colorful and the drawings are fun and cartoony! And then there’s the math. You might be skeptical, thinking there’s no way kids will enjoy math “stories” at bedtime — or any other time!

But you might be surprised…

As soon as my 9 year old daughter got home from school and  saw “Bedtime Math 2,” she opened it up and started reading. It seemed to engage her attention immediately. She munched her popcorn and read the math riddles and stories happily. Excellent! I asked her what she thought of the book, and she chirped, “Great!”

Each math story starts with a few lines of introduction, which combine some math with some silliness. For example, “We don’t want to wear underwear that’s goofy shaped, full of holes, or decorated with a cartoon character we haven’t liked in 3 years.” Other pages talk about daytime pajama-wearing, sticky messes, sneezing speed, and getting glitter everywhere.

Once the situation is set, there are some math problems, presented as stories, questions or riddles. To involve the whole family, there are questions for wee ones, little kids, big kids, and bonus challenges. The solutions are printed upside-down at the bottom of the page, so you can check your answer right away, without having to flip to the back of the book.

The “Bedtime Math” series provides a fun way to incorporate some giggles and some math into reading time, whether it’s at bedtime or anytime. Most kids won’t necessarily want to replace every storytime with math, but these books definitely deserve a place on your bookshelf! For more information, visit

What if You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

As much as I wish I could say I’m strong and brave, the truth is I’m very cautious, and even fearful. I am an excellent worrier. I worry about the future, the present and the past. I worry about things that I cannot control. I worry about things that happened years ago. Even though I know this is counterproductive, I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am.

So I was intrigued by this question that hit my inbox recently: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

My first thought was, “Everything I’m afraid to try!” Then I decided to narrow it down a bit. FLY! I’d totally jump off of something really high, and fly. Without a plane. Just fly like a bird. That’s what I’d do if I knew I couldn’t fail.

What about you? (Leave your ideas in the comments. I’m curious.)

In the meantime, I received this book to review, and I’m excited to read it. It’s called, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail? (How to transform fear into courage).” Written by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons, it is filled with inspiring stories of how real people have overcome fear, trials, and even failures, with courage and resilience.

Courage Is…
Courage Is… (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

The personal stories are augmented with quotes, expert advice, and suggested actions you can take to overcome fear and be more courageous in your own circumstances. For example:

  • Ten things to do when you are so scared that you question your ability to keep going.
  • Using a journal to deal with fears.
  • Leaving old wounds behind so you can move forward.

And I love the quotes in the book! They are inspiring and worth reading, remembering and sharing. Like this one:

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow. (Mary Anne Radmacher)

If you’d like to have a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post and I’ll choose a lucky winner. Thanks for reading. Have a courageous day!

“Courage” photo source (used under a Creative Commons license)

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