Women’s Equality: Is the U.S. Failing Women? — Women’s National Book Association | NYC Chapter

Is the United States failing women when it comes to equality? The answer is a resounding YES. According to a report by a United Nations Working Group, “In the US, women fall behind international standards in regards to their public and political representation, their economic and social rights and their health and safety protections.“ And…

via Women’s Equality: Is the U.S. Failing Women? — Women’s National Book Association | NYC Chapter

KIDVIEW: Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

KidView is a new series where kids share their views and/or book reports on books they read for school or fun.

To start off this new series is Clayton. He just started middle school in the Shreveport/Bossier City area of Louisiana. He loves swimming, soccer, robotics,  playing video games, and, of course, reading.

And the best thing is today is his birthday! Happy Birthday, Clayton!

Clayton cropped


Peter and the starcatchers

Published May 1, 2006 by Disney-Hyperion


Don’t even think of starting this book unless you’re sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.
Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.


Clayton’s Rating: ★★★★

PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS is a great book. It has adventure, fighting, treasure hunting, pirates, savages, and an uncharted island. What more could you ask for? The author describes the uncharted island very well, using adjectives and allowing my mind to make me feel as if I am walking through the thick jungle. I felt as if I could relate to Peter, being a boy around his age and loving adventure. I love how the authors describe the Neverland. I could see myself walking on the deck and wondering where we were headed, just as Peter did himself. I would recommend PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS to anyone who likes adventure and fighting. This was a good read.

This KidView contains spoilers!

Plot Structure
PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS was written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It was the prequel to the Peter Pan book. The story is about Peter and four orphans, who are sent from England on an old ship called the Neverland to an island named Rundoon. The King of Rundoon, Zarboff the Third, tortures and abuses people. For example, his snake ate his father.

As the boys traveled across the ocean they were served horrible food. So, they looked to Peter for help. Meanwhile, Black Stache hears of a great treasure on a ship called the Wasp. As he attacks the Wasp he realizes that he was tricked. He finds that the trunk he was searching for was on the Neverland the entire time. As Peter searches for better food, he finds a trunk with a rat literally flying. He was determined to find out about the trunk and the contents of the treasure. Then, he runs into Molly Aster who knows about the trunk and the treasure it holds. At first, she doesn’t want to tell, but later on she is forced to explain the contents due to Black Stache trying to get the treasure.

Black Stache attacked the Neverland by tricking the crew members into thinking they were the British navy, (They wore the British uniforms). Stache and his crew searched the Neverland but could not find the treasure. Meanwhile, Peter and Molly dumped the trunk into the sea and during the attack Slank threw Peter overboard for biting his arm. Molly used the starstuff from her locket to save him and fly him to an island. In the meantime, Alf and the other orphans climbed into a dory and traveled to the same island Peter and Molly were on. The Neverland crew was captured by Black Stache. They saw a coral reef and they followed it to the same island the others were located on.

Once on the island, Peter awoke and found himself on a beach. The first thing he needed to do was find water, so he searched for a water barrel. During his search he found Molly and the water barrel. They rolled the barrel to the jungle and hid it under a big batch of leaves. Searching for food, they came to a high, rocky pass. Looking down on the other side of the beach there stood Alf and the boys.

Alf started looking for water and food on the beach. After a while, Alf didn’t find anything so they were forced to go into the jungle. Soon, they lost Alf, and after walking some more they lost Tubby Ted. James, Prentiss, and Thomas set up camp and James went to look for Ted and when he didn’t find him he went back to the camp. Prentiss and Thomas were gone.

James then saw brown feet. It was the Mollusk people. They asked for James to come with them. Peter and Molly heard voices and snuck up to the top of the jungle. There, Alf and the boys were huddled up surrounded by Mollusks. Molly left to go find the trunk and Peter stepped out of hiding to help Alf and the boys. But, he got caught and the Mollusks were going to feed them to Mister Grin.

The Mollusks brought them to Mister Grin’s cage and shoved them inside. Mr. Grin was a thirty foot crocodile. They believed they were going to die, but suddenly Molly flew in using the starstuff in her locket and gave some to the others. They flew out of the cage, but Mr. Grin did too. They landed on the beach and found Amm who showed them the way to the trunk. Peter went a different way than the others and he ended up in the back of the lagoon. He saw a hurt mermaid and used starstuff from Molly’s locket to heal her. That is when he saw the trunk. When Peter got to it, he took a golden box out of it, and hid it and was knocked out by Little Richard.

Slank had the trunk and he lifted it and took it to Black Stache’s longboat. Molly, Alf, and the boys attacked Slank and Little Richard. Slank got badly injured, but he defeated them with the help of Little Richard. Slank captured Molly and made Peter give him the trunk or he threatened to kill Molly. He headed out on the longboat with Molly and the trunk. Peter flew over when Slank wasn’t looking and touched Molly’s hand with starstuff.

Then, the Starcatchers appeared along with Molly’s father, Leonard Aster. Peter showed them where the box was and they retrieved it and put the box on their longboat. After that, the Mollusks appeared. They wanted the starstuff to protect the island so they captured everyone and started to take them to their camp. Meanwhile, Black Stache saw the whole thing. He attacked Peter, but Peter dodged the blow and he hit the Mollusk leader. No one would attack because Black Stache threatened to kill the Mollusk leader.

They climbed into the longboat and sat sail for their ship. Peter attacked Black Stache and cut off his arm and then Mister Grin appeared and chased after Black Stache. Molly’s dad was taking everyone back to England, but Peter wouldn’t leave. So, the orphan boys stayed too. After Molly and the Starcatchers left, Peter saw a sign that said, “Neverland”. So, he decided to name the island Neverland.

Character’s Physical Traits
PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS has many main characters. The first character mentioned in the story is a boy named Peter. He is an orphan at St. Norbert’s Lost Home for Boys. He doesn’t know is age. Peter is the leader of the lost boys because he can spit the farthest.

James, Prentiss, Thomas, and Tubby Ted are also orphans from St. Norberts. Peter is the leader of these boys. Molly Aster is the rich daughter to the new ambassador to Rundoon. She is the most important person on the Neverland due to her money and her father. Black Stache is another character who is described as having a “footlong mustache”, and has a horrible reputation as being the meanest captain of the ship the Sea Devil.

Slank, who does not like children, is the second in command of the Neverland. He is also the first officer and is described as being very mysterious. Amm is a good porpoise who talks with Molly Aster. Alf, who is a sailor on the Neverland, is the first character to experience the magic of the trunk. Then, there is Teacher. She is a beautiful mermaid with blonde hair. She is the leader of the other mermaids.

Character’s Actions
Peter is a young boy who has strong leadership qualities. He is also very brave. His curiosity leads him on adventures. James takes charge when Peter is gone, he is the second oldest orphan in the group. Like Peter, he is very courageous. Prentiss is scared of anything and everything. He is the youngest of the five orphans on the Neverland. Thomas is scared of most things too and he is also one of the five orphans. Tubby Ted is one of the five orphans and he is very lazy and values food very much.

Molly is a rich Starcatcher. She is a young girl who falls in love with Peter and she is also the daughter of Leonard Aster. Slank values the starstuff and he works for King Zarboff the third. Amm is a Starcatcher and he helps Molly and Peter get to the trunk.

Alf is a sailor on the Neverland. He was the first person to feel the power of the trunk. He helps James, Prentiss, Thomas, and Tubby Ted get to an island after the Neverland crashes. Teacher is a mermaid that helps Peter get the starstuff from Slank and she can communicate with Peter through her mind. Black Stache is the captain of the feared Sea Devil. He is disgusting and mean and he tries to get the starstuff himself.

Point of View
The point of view for this story is the third person. The author follows several different characters in the story. In the beginning of the book, the author tells us that Peter is scared to leave the orphanage by stating that, “As much as Peter didn’t like where he’d been living for the past seven years, the longer this carriage ride lasted, the scarier ‘away’ sounded in his mind.” The author continues to portray this fear by describing the ship stating, “It looked to Peter like a monster, with tall spines coming out of its back. Peter did not like the idea of walking into the belly of that monster.”

The authors let us know how Molly feels when she is leaving Peter at the end of the story. “Molly buried her face in her hands, muffling a sob.” She was sad to leave Peter. This shows Molly’s personal thoughts.

The story first takes place in a carriage where the boys were leaving the St. Norbert’s Orphanage in England. The orphans were then taken to a ship called the Neverland.   After the children leave the orphanage, the three ships that evolved in the story are the Neverland, the Wasp, and the Sea Devil. The story goes back and forth on these ships until a storm came and the characters ended up on an uncharted island.

The theme of the story is bravery and friendship. In the beginning of the story it describes Peter as feeling scared and unsure of his surroundings. Peter shows that he is brave by always looking out for the orphan boys. As a boy, he fought Black Stache, Slank, and Mr. Grin which took an extreme amount of courage. Peter proved himself to be a great friend. He helped the orphan boys find better food and helped them escape from Mr. Grin and Peter refused to leave his friends behind with the Mollusk savages when Molly wanted to go find the trunk. Peter showed great friendship and bravery throughout the story.

Dream cast for an all-female Avengers!

Avengers Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is now in movie theatres across the U.S.  According to Forbes and IGN.com it was “the second-biggest opening weekend of all time.” I have not seen the movie, yet. (I’ll probably see it in the next few weeks when the crowds die down.) I have seen the first two installments and really enjoyed them. But what I really want to see are more female superheroes.

I’m not alone. More women are speaking out and Marvel Comics heard our pleas. Thor is now being portrayed as a woman in a new series of comics, which is outselling the male version by 30%!

Then I started thinking ALL the Avengers could use a little more estrogen power and strength.

Now who would play the live action all female Avengers? Below is a list of actors I think would be awesome as the Avengers based on prior shows, movies and popularity. I also tried to add a little more diversity to the cast and didn’t worry about age.

Thor – Charlize Theron

Iron Man – Viola Davis

Captain America – Milla Jovovich

Black Widow – Nishi Munshi

Hawkeye – Maggie Q

Ultron – Kathleen Turner’s voice

Nick Fury – Uzo Aduba

War Machine – Kerry Washington

Quicksilver – Liza Lapira

Scarlet Witch – Constance Wu

Maria Hill – America Ferrera

Heimdall – Taraji P. Henson

The Falcon – Gina Rodriguez

Vision – Rosario Dawson

Peggy Carter – Stana Katic

Last, but certainly not least, I think Meryl Streep should play the HULK. Yep, I said it. I think she could bring multiple layers to the roll and it would be awesome to see Meryl Streep Hulk-out!

Hulk – Meryl Streep

Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments.

Speed Dating at Strand Book Store…Not my jam


I recently realized I did not post the conclusion to my speed dating adventure at the Strand Book Store.  I guess I forgot because the event was…well…uneventful and didn’t really live up to my expectations.  Which is always the case but there is usually something that makes it all worthwhile but this event didn’t actually live up to anything.  I found it boring and a waste of money.  Money I could have used to see a show, have a nice dinner, hell, getting my legs waxed would have been more worthwhile and fun.

Friends Waxing

Everyone met on the third floor, where the heat seemed to be on high. I, for one, do not feel sexy, confident or chatty when I have sweat dripping from my armpits and forehead.

Champagne was available but I went for the water. Cookies and other small pastries were also available but they were of the crumbly kind and the last thing a girl needs is to have cookie particles hanging out on her blouse.  Not attractive.

The event was suppose to take an hour but it started late because the people in charge were downstairs trying to convince men to join the fun due to low male turnout. The Strand was forced to drastically discount the price for men before the event but several men got in free.  I think that was a little unfair and would have appreciated a note saying they were having trouble getting men to participate and then offer to refund my money.

not fair

The other slap in the face was when we were sitting across from the men and were told the women would be getting up and moving not the men. It was a cold night so women had their scarves, coats and purses to drag around with them to each seat.  It wasn’t a big move because we were sitting shoulder to shoulder, but still, the men should have been the ones to move.


We were only given two minutes to speak with each guy but the people keeping time didn’t wait until everyone had moved to start the clock.  There were some guys I didn’t get to speak to at all because the two minutes were up before I could sit down.

While we were talking to the men we had to put a no or yes next to their name. If I put a yes next to a guy’s name and that same guy put a yes next to my name then we were considered a match.  I did not have a lot of yays on my scoresheet.


About a week later I received an email with my two matches.  The pictures were so tiny I couldn’t make out who they were. But it wouldn’t have mattered that much anyway, the room was so dark during the speed dating I didn’t really get a good look at the men I was talking to.

The email contained their phone numbers and email addresses with a note saying that my phone number and email address were sent to these them. I decided that since I paid full price, moved seat to seat to speak with these men, they could exert some energy to call or email me. They didn’t, their loss.

However, just because I had a bad experience my first speed dating event doesn’t mean I won’t do it again.  I just need to be more selective and call and ask questions about how it is conducted.