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Nancy's Notes - May 26, 2011

"Toys” by James Patterson, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua,

    Wow! I thought everyone would be busy with graduations and yard work, but we were sure busy this Saturday. Both basement rooms were full, but we had a lot of traffic upstairs as well.I’m glad people are out and about and stopping in as they’re out walking.

    James Patterson’s newest, "Toys”, is getting mixed reviews. Patterson now has other authors write for or with him so some of his stories have taken a new twist. This particular book was written by Patterson and Neil McMahon. In the novel Hays Baker and his wife, Lizbeth, possess superhuman strength, high intelligence, extraordinary good looks, and two perfect children. This is because they are Elites, endowed at birth with the best the world has to offer. The only problem in the life: humans and their toys. As a top operative for the Agency of Change, Hays has just won the fiercest battle of his career. Suddenly, however, Hays is on the other side of the gun, forced to leave his perfect family and fight for his life. As a hunted fugitive, Hays is thrown into a world he never imagined, fighting to save humans everywhere from extinction. He enlists all of his training to uncover the truth that will spare millions.

    For those of you who watch the Today Show, you may remember an interview with Amy Chua, author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”. Those who have read this book about the author's child-rearing tactics have really enjoyed it. It is the true story of a mother who uses extreme parenting. At odds with Western parental indulgence, Amy Chua made the decision to raise her daughters the Chinese way. The Chinese have completely different ideas of how to raise their children. Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits and inner confidence. The results are hard to argue with: both of her girls are exceptional students. But behind these achievements there’s a high price. The author was criticized by many as raising her children using child abuse. Many readers let her know they thought she was a poor mother, however Chua commented that she never meant this as a guide. She actually meant for it to be entertaining. I also saw the daughters interviewed and they really didn’t disagree with their mother’s methods, it was a normal part of their lives.

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