Learning Disabilities by Etta K Brown


An interesting book where the first part looks at how the nutrition, sleep deprivation, parental care and physical, psychological and emotional trauma can have an affect on how a child can and is able to learn. With both my children having difficulties with reading and comprehesion I thought it would be an interesting read. I always thought that the suicide of their father would have affected their learning although much of the time no evidence was seen of this, but my daughter was having difficulty before this, but upon her father’s death concentration at school did certainly become much more of an issue and this type of trauma is certainly, suggested by the book, to take it’s toll on the child. It has twice been suggested by teachers at different schools that she may have dyslexia as she seems to have many of the traits, but even though she has been tested twice there has been no definite diagnosis.

The second part of this book is very much geared to the American school system and seems to thoroughly cover all the options open to parents with regards to the choices available to them for the child with learning difficulties. I would see this as a very good resource for them.

The third part covers the forms of processing disorders including visual and auditory problems that learning disabled children may have and it appears that a child can be weak in the visual or auditory field. It appears that my daughter has some weaknesses in both these areas along with parts of the others. Fortunately her school appears to be working wondefully with her and she is a much more confident student of late. I really like the way this third part of the book was laid out and I felt it really gives an understanding to the problems these children/students face. The author also gives strategies for dealing with these issues in and out of the classroom.

I can see that the author has issues with Ritalin being given to those diagnosed with ADHD and from my limited knowledge I do have to agree.

All in all an informative book and well worth reading.

Publisher: Langdon Street Press


Once Upon a Time in England by Helen Walsh

once upon a time in englandThis novel is set in the 70’s and 80’s in the Northern town of Warrington and folllows the lives of a mixed race family: The Fitzgeralds.

My initial thoughts were what a beautiful writing style and straight away I wondered where this story would lead for Robbie and Susheela. Reading further on I was surprised the direction the book took and about 100 pages in I wasn’t sure where the story was heading at all, but oh my goodness 200 pages in and I was totally hooked – I began to feel it was like car crash reading though. It feels like one of the most miserable but enchanting tales I’ve ever read.

Half way in I was finding this quite a depressing read and I was waiting for something positive to happen to lighten it up. I didn’t really like She or Robbie as characters and most stories that I really enjoy I find I connect with the characters and so I feel this book is unusual for me.

Moving, harrowing, disturbing, depressing and thrilling are the words I would use to describe this book. Utterly compelling reading through each time period. Well worth reading. Also the ending was not completely a negative experience. I would definitely read more by this author.


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Gutted (A Gus Drury Novel No. 2) by Tony Black

guttedGus is a hard headed, but soft hearted ex journalist and alcoholic and we meet him again in this second outing from Tony Black. The owner of a pit bull terrier, that savaged and killed a little 3 year old girl, is found murdered on an Edinburgh hill by Gus, as he just happens to stumble upon him whilst he was investigating a ruckus involving some thugs torturing a dog, which then decides, after being rescued, that he’s Gus’s best friend! Gus decides to investigate the murder and finds himself being targeted by the police for the crime and to make matters worse his ex Deb is about to marry one of them.

Another cracker of a read; I again couldn’t put the book down and I read it in a very short time. The pace and action is unrelenting and we get to see more of what made Gus’s relationship with Deb’s tick. I find myself feeling like fighting along side Gus all the way when coming up against his enemies and I’m a pacifist, but the injustices and cruel beatings are hard to take, although at times Gus does seem to take them in his stride.  Some of the reading was a little difficult to read because of the subject matter surrounding the fighting pit bulls, but don’t let that put you off. An excellent gripping read. Number 3 please Mr Black!!!

I highly recommend this book!



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