Saturday, August 4, 2012 ~ Review & Giveaway

~ Book Review & Giveaway

Journal Buddies: Journals for Boys & Girls
by Jill Schoenberg
ISBN & purchasing links for Amazon:
(Boys)  978-0976862321 $16.95
(Girls)  978-0976862307 $16.95
Middle Grades, 9+
Children should be comfortable writing and able to use their thinking skills with some prompting.

What is journaling? Journaling is sharing our thoughts by writing, drawing, painting, pasting & using other creative ways of expressing ourselves. 

We all know that during the summer it's so important for kids to be reading and working on their math skills - but it's also important to add activities to encourage writing and that's where Journal Buddies: Journals for Boys & Girls come in!

made-in-aviary.png  on Aviary

I received a Boy's Journal to use with Jake this summer that not only works on his writing and comprehension skills but it also builds on his self esteem by having him choose a new friend each week that will encourage him through shared journaling. This is an activity that works when he and his buddy of the week  (mom, dad, best friend, teacher, grandparents, babysitter - he can have a new buddy each week or keep the same one throughout the whole book) share strong qualities & characteristics that each of them have. 

Each journal has 4 parts to it:
~ Words of advise and helpful reminders each day. 
~ A section where kids and their buddies share strong qualities, characteristics, traits and special talents each of them have - like patience, compassion, the ability to hit a ball into the outfield or stand up to a bully.
~ Each day there is a focus word of the day. These words encourage reflection, exploration and discussion. You can draw, write, talk about your thoughts - it's up to you!
~ There are many blank pages where kids can draw, paint, write, paste photo's, tickets, brochures, etc - this is a place for creative expression! Each book has several pages of creative journaling ideas to give you ideas and help you have FUN sharing your thoughts, dreams and desires.

Download a Sample:    Girls     Boys

My thoughts:
The neat thing about Journal Buddies is that your child will be participating in a journal process that encourages them to learn from others, to understand that they are a unique creation made by God and encourages them to express themselves in many different creative ways. You'll also notice that this is an Open Journal - you will see what your child writes and how they are feeling and they will see your thoughts and feelings also. It's open communication on paper.

Jake is 9 1/2 and he's really starting to become comfortable with reading and he also has a big heart and concern for others. He was in summer school all of June and I didn't give him the journal until July thinking it would be something we could do together. He really liked working with a partner and talking about the strengths of his friends and encouraging them. He also liked all of the different ideas for journaling and many of them he had never considered (and neither had I for that matter). I will say, Jake has ADHD and it's really hard for him to sit for any length of time and of course with it being summer he'd rather be outdoors playing. 

I would suggest with a child who is really active you might want to introduce it during the school year when they are already accustomed to a schedule of some kind. Don't make it homework - perhaps use it as part of your bedtime ritual - Encourage them to do it at some point throughout the day (perhaps after suppertime but before their favorite show is on TV or perhaps make it a family habit to turn off the TV at 8 pm and use that time of preparing for bed as a time to read, prepare for the next day &  journal a little and then at bedtime lie down together and talk about how their day went, about the friend and what they wrote about in their journal. Make it low key - not a "homework" type activity. 

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter - it is chock full of creative ideas for home and the classroom. (Click here)
I spent a little time on and there is an amazing variety of ways that parents & teachers can help their children grow. There are journaling prompts, Creative Writing Activities, Story Starters, and more!

Purchase it:
You can purchase a Journal Buddy for your Son or Daughter now on Amazon for $16.95 each. Teachers can purchase them from the author direct with a quantity discount - these would be ideal for classroom & homeschool use. 

Learn more:
Newsletter (scroll down and it's on the right hand side)

Journaling, Writing Ideas, Creative Writing,  Journal Prompts, Award-Winning Girl Dairy and Boy Diary and more…

A FUN Activity:
Here is a FUN activities to do while you're waiting for your Journal Buddy to arrive:
Create your own Journal Pencils! This is a cool activity you can do for summer journaling and also as you are preparing to return to school! No other kid will have one - because they're unique, fun and totally yours! Check it out by clicking on the pictures!

 Toadstool Pencils Tutorial how can I make pencils? easy!

Jill Schoenberg has very kindly offered one of my readers a signed copy of the journal of your choice - Boy or Girl. This giveaway will start 8/5 and go until 8/12 - this journal is a great addition to a birthday gift or as a stocking stuffer! Be sure to add some of those fancy pencils you made too!

To enter - please Retweet this Tweet & enter the URL of your tweet in the box on the Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a copy of the boys journal from and was not required to write a positive review and no money changed hands. Full disclosure is on the rafflecopter or you can find it here.

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