Book: Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman

Growing up social by Gary Chapman & Arlene Pellicane - Children

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World.

How is social media influencing the dynamics within your family?
Do digital devices foster closeness or create distance?

While we may all know the right answer, we acknowledge the immense challenge of resisting the pervasive digital era we live in. In a world that is constantly rushing, it becomes incredibly convenient to momentarily occupy a child with a screen, enabling us to attend to household chores, cooking, and the demands of daily life.

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Limiting screen time or parenting screen time?

The New Childhood by Jordan ShapiroThe overuse of technology has overtaken drugs, sex and bullying as the biggest parental worry, according to the annual Brigham Young and Deseret News American Family Survey.

So what should we do about it? Should we limit screen time? Take away their phones?

Jordan Shapiro, a Temple University professor’s suggest something different. In his new book, The New Childhood, his argument is that we’re not spending enough screen time with our kids. “One of the things I suggest in the book is that kids should be starting on social media much younger,” he says. And, play more video games with your kids, too.

After Shapiro’s divorce, he found himself solo parenting two little boys (now 11 and 13) who were obsessed with video games. He started playing the games simply as a way to connect with them… He came to realize that part of his job as a parent was to help his children make sense of their online experiences and teach them how to uphold enduring values in the new world they are living in.

Check out the book here:

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Does Anyone Read Books Anymore? Be Surprised!

Book Stack - Old AncientHalf of Americans are Reading a Book! [Statistics]

Did you know in 1957, less than 25% of Americans were reading a book or a novel according to Gallup Poll? By 2005, that figure had risen to 47%. This means one if every two Americans are actively reading a book. Half of Americans also said they have read more than five books this past year. 

  • How many have you read this past year?

With the media onslaught of movies and video games, you may have thought reading was a lost art. I would have had thought the same, but these figures show that more people are reading than before. Perhaps it is because there was just a lot less books back then? But as recently as 1990 the poll show the reading rate was much lower at 37%.

Internet Reading Novels & Books

What do you think is causing more people to read?

  • MORE BOOKS: Is just more books in print?
  • MORE ACCESS: Affect of easy purchase through sites like Amazon and eBooks through iTunes?
  • MORE SHARING: Is it the proliferation of communication mediums like the internet where we can share our thoughts on books on forums and Facebook?
  • MORE GADGETS: Perhaps more gadgets like Kindles and iPads to make reading easier (and cooler) than ever?
  • MORE BLOCKBUSTERS: Is it the popularity of  big series like Harry Potter and Hunger Games?

Ipad Book Reading MagazineClean Cut Media’s Take: More people are reading books because of one word – “EASY”. It’s easy to find out about new great books through the internet. It is easier to read up on numerous book reviews and peer reviews through websites, forums and social networking. It is easier to purchase a book. No longer do we go through a local Barnes n’ Noble to find a book and pay $25 for a book when it’s $10 on Amazon Books with a click of a finger.

Who is Doing all the Reading?

in 2005:

Gender: Female (53%) vs. Male (42%) – 11pt differential!
Age: 18-29 (40%), 30-49 (47%), 50-64 (51%), 65+ (47%)

Battle: Movies vs. Reading Books

One interesting reading statistic is that those who frequently watch movies tend to also read more books.

Watch a Lot of Movies makes you read Less, or More?

  • High Frequency: 62%
  • Moderate Frequency: 49%
  • Not at All: 33%

At first, this may seem counter intuitive since people often bemoan how nobody reads books anymore but rather just watch tv and movies. Yet perhaps the stronger correlation lies in a person’s desire to get lost in a story. Both mediums does provide that avenue in which someone can get pulled into a whole different world.

  • Why do you think there is a correlation of movie watching and book reading?

How do People Find New Books to Read?

Not much has changed from 1999 to 2005. Below are the % statistics for 2005.

  • Choosing an Author whose book you like: 30%
  • Based on Recommendation from someone you know: 27%
  • Browsing a bookstore or library: 22%
  • Based on Book Reviews: 7%
  • By Subject: 6%
  • By Browsing an Internet Site: 3%
  • Advertisement You’ve Seen: 2%
I personally rely heavily on User Reviews found on Amazon or in my case on Audible since I tend to go to Audiobook route. Got to be productive on commutes!

iPad Book ReadingThe Rise of e-Books. Do People Read it?

In a survey by Pew Reserach Center, 21% of U.S. adults said they have read an e-book within the past year. As Kindles & iPads become more and more popular, more people have been getting into e-books. The average # of books read by a reader of e-book is 24 books compared to 15 books for those who only read print.

  • Got e-Book on Your Computer?: 42%
  • Use an e-Book Reader like Kindle or the Nook?: 41%
  • Read e-Books on Mobile Phone?: 29%

Tell us what you think!

  • What do you think about these stastistics?
  • Why do you think more people read now then before?

[poll id=”33″]


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The Hunger Games Trailer: Book to Movie

The Hunger Games Movie Trailer

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collin Short Review: It’s Awesome

Super Short Review: Wanting to find a fun book to read? Have extra credits on Audible and want wondering what book to download next? The Hunger Games Trilogy. I read it. Ok. So I listened to the Audiobooks. Almost the same thing. It’s an excellent read (listen?). Very gripping. Dives deep into the psychology of it’s characters and touches upon themes of independence, big brother, the sinfulness (evil) of people, trust and relationships. It’s not for children however, tons of violence as expected from a book centered around… 24 youths forced to… battle to the death… more info below.

The Hunger Games Story

16 year old Katniss Everdeen lives in a post-apocalyptic world in a country called Panem which lies where United States once existed. Panem consist of a wealthy Capitol and 12 surrounding run down districts. The government holds power through an annual event called the Hunger Games where each of the 12 districts chooses a boy and a girl representative or “tributes” to a highly televised battle royale to the death. The Hunger Games is as much as a “show” as is a fight to survive as your popularity can gain you more favors and donations from the outside world. Unfortunately only one of the 24 tributes are allowed to walk out alive. It is a government that controls through fear and resource control. The winning district is rewarded with food and benefits in a world where resources are scarce. Katniss’ younger sister is chosen as a tribute, so Katniss chooses to volunteer to replace her and thus enters the Hunger Games a place of shaky alliances, friendships, suspicion and a lot of posturing.

Hunger Games Movie - Katniss Selection
The Hunger Games Tributes are Chosen - Peeta & Katniss

Hunger Games Movie - Katniss Sign
Katniss Displays a "Special" Sign to the District

The Hunger Games the Movie is Coming – Watch the Trailer

This past week, the first theatrical trailer for The Hunger Games was released to the delight of many fans of the book. The Hunger Games the Movie is set to release on March 23, 2012 featuring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. It is expected to be a huge blockbuster considering the Hunger Games Trilogy is one of the best selling books in the modern era. It is regularly in the top reads on Amazon, one of the first to hit 1 million sales on the kindle and easily one of the highest downloaded book on Audible. The rights were picked up by Lionsgate. Word is that it will be PG-13. Watch the trailer below!


The Hunger Games Themes

Government vs Independence: The majors themes in The Hunger Games involve topics of government control vs. personal independence. The “capital” in this book controls the populace through fear and forces the hunger games upon them as a means to assert their power.

Survival vs Value of Human Life: Through the struggle through the hunger games, the themes of survival vs humanity becomes very apparent centered around the value of human life. Lot of the characters struggle through being put in a position of placing their own life against the life of others. What is acceptable for survival? Is it ever ok to hurt (or kill) another person in order to survive? Should one feel guilty over lying and deceiving others as needed?

Hunger Games Movie - Katniss Fight
Will Katniss be able to Kill other Youths if it Came Down to it?

Selfishness of Man: Personally, one thing I appreciate about these stories is that it is very blunt about the innate selfishness of man. People often want to think that deep down inside all people are “good,” but let’s be honest here. When we look at little children who have no concept of image or wearing masks, we know we are born innately selfish. You need to teach them to share. You need to teach them to be thankful. You need to teach them that they just can’t cry because they don’t get what they want and not to bite the kid next to them. When we are honest with ourselves and our thoughts, our motives, we know that we think mainly of ourselves and how we feel above everything else. We know if all boundaries and rules were removed as it is in the scenario in this book, all hell would break loose and eventually everyone would simply do as they please. Thank God for laws, and punishing sticks.

This book is very real about this truth. When it comes down to it, everyone innately wants to serve themselves. It is a beautiful thing to see characters fight their way away from this innate desire to survive to thinking for the good of someone else even while everyone else is becoming dead to their sensitivity. It is often the thoughts of someone Katniss loves that helps her fight from spiraling into just forgetting humanity altogether. But the struggle is very real and very difficult especially for the main protagonist Katniss. You can tell her natural inclination is to mistrust and watch out for herself. Having compassion and love is a considered a “weakness” within the book especially when everyone in the hunger games are just simply trying to outlive one another. This is true of the real world, where the message often tells us that ultimately we need to watch out for ourselves and do what we need to do to get ahead in life. But just like in real life, it is compassion and love that we all know is how it is meant to be. When we see people suppress the urge to serve oneself out of love for another, it is something we know to be right. When people sacrifice their own good for someone they love, we know that is right. Yet again, this is something that does not come naturally. It is hard and something we need to fight for. I think this is portrayed well within the story.

Other Themes: There is this “love conquers all” type of feeling which is not necessarily a great theme to take in blindly without some context.

Warnings: This is NOT a children’s book. When it comes down to it, it is a battle royale so many people die. Also there is a lot of discussion on deception and posturing which without proper understanding can be really confusing. However it is a relatively clean series in all other aspects.

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collin Series

The Hunger Games Trilogy – The Books

The Hunger Games originally released in 2008, followed by Catching Fire in 2009 and Mockingjay in 2010 completing the Hunger Games Trilogy. It has since become one of the most popular, bestselling series. It remained on the New York Times list for over 100 consecutive weeks.

HEY! Book 1 of The Hunger Games is only $5 on Amazon. Great filler to get that $25 free shipping 🙂
Link to the The Hunger Games Book 1 Here


The Audiobook version of the Hunger Games is fantastic. The reader Carolyn McCormick does an excellent job portraying all the various characters guys and girls! Two links for you below.

Audible Subscribers: Book 1 of Hunger Games on Audible is link is HERE

Non-Audible Subscribers: Click on the image below and get the Audiobook Free!

1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible

Have you read the Hunger Games?

Let us know your thoughts on the book!

  • Did you read it or listen to it? Like it?
  •  Any other themes you found to be interesting?
  •  Are you looking forward to the movie? Why?
  •  Other similar books you’d like to recommend to others?
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