Sunday, May 27, 2012

After Etan - A New Look Lisa Cohen's Book

A few years ago, I wrote a review about Lisa R. Cohen's masterful book,  After Etan, the story of Etan Patz's disappearance and the heroic efforts to bring justice to this sad case.  I wrote that, "One of the most remarkable portrayals of After Etan is that of the heroically devoted federal prosecutor, Stuart GraBois. By the time Grabois was involved in the Patz case, Cohen points out that, "Etan had been missing almost as long as he'd been living safely at home." What is extraordinary about Stuart Grabois is that he never stopped seeking answers. Cohen shows Grabois searching for justice across states, across countries, and across decades."

With the confession and arrest of Pedro Hernandez, I re-read After Etan. Did Mr. Grabois relentlessly pursue Jose A. Ramos (who was found responsible for the murder in a civil court)? Yes.  And although his primary goal was to gain a confession for Etan's murder, he was able to bring justice and peace to other families because he was willing to prosecute child molestation cases that other DA's ignored.  

If there is any gift to this long wait, it could be that - the hunt for Etan's abductor was so intense that other horrifying criminals were caught in the pursuit, that other children were made safe, that other families were able to get counseling and help.

Here is a video of an interview with Stuart GraBois, and a clip of Jose Ramos angrily talking about "how it starts" when he thinks the interviewer is about to touch him.

Do I think Jose Ramos killed Etan?  Well, he does steadfastly deny it in the book, but he confessed to attempting to molest someone he was 90% sure was Etan that day.  Perhaps he harmed Etan and then Pedro Hernandez discovered the child and killed him, or perhaps Pedro Hernadez knew who killed Etan and didn't help him and is now acting out of guilt and hallucinations.  Perhaps Pedro Hernadez killed him and Jose molested another boy, who has yet to be vindicated.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ordering Android Phones

Amazon Wireless is the place to be - Verizon's Google Nexus is $49!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Barnes & Noble Launches 16th Annual Summer Reading Program: Imagination's Destination

Special Promotion with New Scholastic “Discover More™” Series Allows Children to Further Explore Their Imaginations
NEW YORK, NY - May 22, 2012 - Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced the launch of its 2012 Summer Reading program: Imagination's Destination.  Children in grades 1-6 can earn a free book just by reading eight books and turning in a completed reading journal sheet about the books they read. This year, Imagination’s Destination features the exciting new Scholastic Discover More series along with two special promotions to encourage young readers to explore their imaginations all summer long.

Scholastic Discover More is an innovative new book series that makes learning a fun and immersive journey of discovery at a variety of reading levels, through vivid color photos and in-depth diagrams. Each title in the series comes with a free digital companion book which offers even more illuminating insight. Young explorers can download a digital sample of the Scholastic Discover More experience to read on Barnes and Noble’s award-winning NOOK Color™ or NOOK Tablet™. 

From May 22 through July 9, participating families can take home a free 3-D Shark Poster, a $6.95 value, with the purchase of any Scholastic Discover More book. From July 9 through September 4, customers can take home a free Projector Flashlight of the Constellations, a $5.95 value, with the purchase of any Scholastic Discover More book.   The 3-D Shark Poster and the Projector Flashlight are available in stores while supplies last.

“We’re proud to offer young readers even more creative ways to explore their imaginations through the dynamic power of books with our 16th annual Summer Reading program,” said Mary Amicucci, Vice President of Children's Books for Barnes & Noble, Inc.  “As the premier destination for the best summer reading experience, we are excited to help children continue to discover the bright world of reading over their summer vacations.”

The free Summer Reading program kicks off in Barnes & Noble stores across the country May 22 and continues through September 4, 2012.  Barnes & ( will feature the reading journal, summer reading kit, and book recommendations for summer reading fun at

This year, the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program includes seven fun activities for kids in our summer reading kit that can be downloaded from

Find Your Favorites- Encourage children to identify their favorite authors and illustrators.  This is an important part of exploring the world of books.  Ask questions such as: What makes this author your favorite?  Can you always identify this person's art or writing style?  Is there a subject that you would like this person to explore?

Fiction & Non-Fiction- Encourage children to explore different genres of literature.  It's important that they know the difference between fiction and non-fiction.  Ask children if adventure, biography, fantasy, mystery, sports and science books can be fiction, non-fiction or both.

Playing Roles- Reading allows us to imagine ourselves in the roles played by other people.  These people can be historical figures or fictional characters.  Ask children to list five characters who have captured their imagination and describe ways in which they are similar and different from themselves.

Realms of Imagination- Our imaginations shape our sense of what is possible.  Encourage children to plan their ideal summer vacation, mixing elements of real life with places they'd like to visit - maybe even a fictional destination from their favorite book.

Face to Face with History- Learning about people, places, and events that changed the world we live in can be fun.  The Face to Face with History activity from Scholastic encourages kids to think about a famous person in history they would like to know more about and use research to answer questions about this person.

Steps in Order- Kids get the chance to be the expert in this fun activity from Scholastic.  Steps in Order encourages kids to learn how to write instructions about how to do something of their choosing and the materials needed to do it. 
Packed with Facts- Knowing how to use encyclopedias is an important part of learning for kids.  Scholastic’s Packed with Facts activity encourages kids to write an encyclopedia article about something that interests them. 
The Reading Journal- Choose eight books to read over the summer.  Fill out your reading journal with the books your child has read and discuss who they would recommend each book to and why.  Once they've read eight books, bring the completed reading journal to any Barnes & Noble location to receive a free book.
Everything you need to begin your journey to your imagination's destination with the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program can be found online at