My Life With Teens: 2016 in Review

432c88fcca4ebe0e9ae3fa50f0bf41e72016 was an eventful year in our little, southern household. The kiddos were old enough to pay attention to and even comprehend the spectacle that was the U.S. race for the presidency. Of all the celebrity deaths of 2016, the passing of Alan Rickman and David Bowie seemed to affect them the most.

But political nonsense and celebrity deaths aside, 2016 was a pretty good year.

My oldest son’s marching band had the opportunity to work with a pretty amazing composer this past year, Robbie Sherman. Robbie is the youngest son of Disney Legend Robert Sherman of the Sherman Bros. (The Sherman Bros. were the Oscar Award-winning songwriting duo who composed the music for Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, it’s a small world, The Jungle Book, Charlotte’s Web and sooooooo much more.)

As luck would have it, I was able to sit in on a phone interview with Robbie early in 2016. That interview led to his song, “Disneyana!” – which was originally written for the Disneyana Fan Club – to be arranged for marching band by my son’s Director of Bands, and “Dineyana! for Marching Band” made its debut at Walt Disney World on December 19th.

I will write more about this amazing event in the coming weeks, but until then, I want to share with you this wonderful video of Robbie playing the rarely heard, unpublished 3rd verse to “it’s a small world” which was penned by his father just months before he passed away.

Not to be outdone, my youngest daughter declared that she was now a vegetarian. This was brought about by her father sending a photo of the Copenhagen fish markets. I thought it was a lovely (though, yes, slightly grotesque) photo of super fresh fish, but my daughter saw death and fish carnage.

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I am pretty sure my middle son suffers from parentally-induced middle child syndrome. I know he had a pretty great year, but most of the specifics escape me. He is no doubt thankful for that. His braces came off, as did about two minutes from is 5K time for cross country. But otherwise, I have no idea what he does. Thank goodness I can follow him on Instagram. That’s a big help.

Here’s hoping that 2017 is way better than how Mariah Carey ended 2016. Seriously, y’all!

 

 

Summer Reading List: Disney’s Kingdom Keepers Series Reboot

Y’all know I love young adult fiction. With a house full of “young adults” — ok, I can’t even type that with a straight face, they’re teens & tweens — I can always justify my love of YA Fiction by claiming that I like to have something in common that we can talk about at dinnertime. But y’all know the truth… I just like well-written fiction, YA or otherwise.

Enter Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers series of adventure novels. These are set in our family’s favorite Walt Disney World theme parks and on the Disney Cruise Line!! Now, the series has returned — get it?  The Return: Disney Lands

From the Disney InsiderSo why do Disney fans of all ages need to read this book? Well, without giving too much away, The Return series involves Disney history. (Hint: ever wondered what Disneyland was like on opening day? Well, Pearson has!) He told us a few fun facts about that momentous occasion: “There were upwards of 14,000 counterfeit tickets used on opening day in Disneyland, swelling numbers to three times what the Cast Members expected. There was a major water problem (you will read about that!). Women’s high-heeled shoes became stuck in fresh asphalt! And on and on…” 

That should justify my love of these books, they are historical and educational. Yep, that’s my story.

Visit KingdomKeepers.com for more information on all of the Kingdom Keepers adventures.

Book 1 of the Seriously, Y’all Summer Reading List has been chosen. What will our next selection be? Do you have any suggestions? And no, they need not be YA Fiction. I love all types of fiction.

Stan Lee Talks The Zodiac Legacy

From Stan Lee & Disney Publishing Worldwide ~ “The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence”
Literacy is something I am passionate about. As a mom of 13 and 16-year old boys, I know how tough it seems to find something – anything – in the older reader/ young adult genres they want to read. They aren’t into paranormal romance, which seems to thrill my daughter, but not my sons. That is where Disney Publishing Worldwide and Hyperion Books has really stepped up to the plate, creating engaging adventure stories both boys (and girls) can’t put down. Talk about magic.

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Our family favorites from Disney Publishing Worldwide:
From Rick Riordan’s world of Percy Jackson, The Staff of Seraphs
 
Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl
Ridley Pearson’s The Kingdom Keepers
DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with Disney Publishing Worldwide. I am not being paid or compensated for this post. I just love Disney, and I love reading. When those worlds collide, well, I think it is too awesome not to share. Happy reading!