Artania’s Prophecy: A Poem

Our world was born from the magic of two.

The smiling twins whose creations grew.

They painted walls with ideas anew.

Until the dark day we came to rue.

When one jealous hand used mud to undo.

And the life of many too soon was through.

 

But listen to this prophecy with open ears.

To know what happens ever thousand years.

The Shadow Swine will make you live in fear.

Bringing death to those whom you hold so dear.

For they will open the doorway so wide.

That none of you will find a place to hide.

 

And the Creators will stop

As their dreams are drained.

Before 12 moons wax and wane.

 

But hope will lie in the hands of twins

Born on the cusp of the second millennium.

On the eleventh year of their lives.

They will join together like single forged knives.

Their battle will be long with 7 evils to undo.

Scattered around will be 7 clues.

And many will perish before they are through.

But our world will be saved if their art is true.

             Buy Artania Here                                              artchronpic

 

The author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. Laurie Woodward  co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net

 

Battle of the Books: Summer Reads

Are your kids bored? Saying that they have nothing to do this summer. Are you ready to pull out your hair one strand at a time waiting for school to start? I remember those long summer vacations trying to find activities to fill my munchkins’ days.  I signed them up for everything from art classes and karate to swimming and tap dancing. But a favorite activity was a trip to the local library.

At Nipomo’s one room library in our small town, Nick and Jess would stroll past the shelves looking for that special book which piqued their interest. And usually they’d find one to curl up on the bean bags with.  However, on some days there were no books that called to them.

That’s when I wished I had a list of interesting books for them to read like the lists on America’s Battle of the Books.  But back then I wasn’t a coach for my school, like I am now.

What is Battle of the Books? It is a reading incentive program for students in 3rd thru 12th grades. Students read books from a pre-selected list of highly-regarded children’s authors and come together usually in groups to test their knowledge of the books they have read. School districts then host competitions in a Family Feud/Jeopardy type contest.

 

I’ve been coaching my school’s team for 6 years now and have loved watching the students grow as they’re exposed to great children’s literature. We meet weekly to discuss the books, play games to memorize authors, and read some of the books together. All the while, each child’s confidence grows both in reading and in his/her ability to work with others and contribute to a team.

Finally, at the end of the school year we get ready to participate in the district wide battle to compete against other schools.  Every year I get choked up watching my team.  Although they come from diverse backgrounds and have challenges that range from learning disabilities to homelessness and neighborhood violence, these kids put their heads together to answer every difficult question. With pride.

Reading rocks!

If you’d like more information about this wonderful non-profit organization, how you can organize a team at your school, or simply would like to peruse their website’s book selection lists for different ages see: http://www.battleofthebooks.org/

A teacher, Laurie Woodward is the author of  several novels including Forest Secrets, and the fantasy series The Artania ChroniclesShe also cowrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes her novels on the Central Coast of California.

 

Coaching A Reading Team Inspires

After months of coaching, my Battle of the Books team was ready…And what they did was amazing. Read this Santa Maria Times article and be inspired.

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/education/santa-maria-bonita-schools-battle-out-their-knowledge-of-books/article_12790d10-61a6-559b-95a1-2acdd564eab0.html?save_asset=12790d10-61a6-559b-95a1-2acdd564eab0#_=_