Open Letter to the Composers of Frozen

an open letter to the composers of frozen

No. I do not want to build a snowman or let it go. Okay, before I get to the actual letter, I want to say that I know the Frozen ship has sailed. It's had a long moment in the spotlight, and everyone is probably getting sick of the references (especially if you're a parent), but in my house? We're only just embarking on the Frozen journey. Because guess who got the DVD for … [Read more...]

What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail? Book Review

what would you do

What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?  It's quite a question, isn't it? More like being 'called out', forcing us to walk our talk, show what we're really all about. I love the images that come to mind, and when I read the book by the same title by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons, I fell into an instant pool of understanding. It just clicked with … [Read more...]

Insurgent – Why Tris is Better than Katniss


Tris is better than Katniss…there, I’ve said it. “Insurgent,” the second movie based on the best-selling young adult dystopian trilogy, Divergent, opens this weekend. So last week, when my daughter Hannah was home for Spring Break from college, she and I decided to have a little mother/daughter bonding time by going to this “Meet the Writer” event with the author of the … [Read more...]

5 YA Books You Need to Get for Your Reader Right Now

our 5 favorite YA books right now

It's a known fact... parents who read have kids who read. And if you're like us, you probably grab a few of the books your teens and tweens are reading (hello, Hunger Games?!) so we've got a list of 5 of our current favorite YA books you need to add to your reader AND your kid's reader!   The Book Thief - It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. … [Read more...]

Family Fun at the Charlotte Speedway Christmas

Charlotte Speedway Christmas

Charlotte Speedway Christmas   Just a quick note tonight to let my local friends know about another of our favorite Holiday outings, the Charlotte Speedway Christmas! For the locals, think of it as Tanglewood, only zigzagged around a giant famous race track!  Tons and tons of lights of course, with some bonus stuff like a petting zoo, pictures with Santa, … [Read more...]

A Sweet 16 Birthday Without Blowing the Budget? Yes You Can!


Sweet 16 Birthday Parties Remember when your baby turned 1 and you had the biggest bash ever? Complete with smash cake (yes, we originated that idea ;) ) and all the Winnie the Pooh decorations you could find. You probably spent a fair amount of money because it was the FIRST! birthday and your baby deserved that! Then came the 2nd.. the 3rd and so on until, if you're like me, … [Read more...]

Private Parts, Public Display and Parenting Boys: A Mom’s Perspective

when boys express themselves

He Drew a WHAT?! A mom of girls recently posted a question to me as a mom of boys, “What is the allure in drawing penises? I just don't understand!” She was shocked at the large “thing” drawn on her driveway by a high schooler at her daughter’s party. I smiled. As a school counselor for 10-13 year olds, I routinely have to talk to boys about inappropriate things … [Read more...]

Ask Ten to Twenty: My Son has a Crush on My Girlfriend’s Daughter

parenting questions answered

We've started a new section here at Ten to Twenty where we're letting you ask for advice! We won't reveal your identity when we answer you, so feel free to ask us your most pressing questions! Q: "I've started dating someone and we both have kids in the 10-12 age range. Even before we started dating our kids were friends and I could see some attractions between my 12YO son … [Read more...]

Winter Break, Spring Break: No Break for Online Reputation

teens and online reputation during spring break

It is that time of the year again, when teens are planning their trips or what they will be doing with their time off during school break. One thing we know about teenagers: their social media won't be taking any vacations, quite the contrary, keystrokes and uploads usually work overtime. Parents continue to have the discussions about underage drinking, distracted … [Read more...]

A World Without Heroes Video Discussion

I had a wonderful conversation with Stacey Seguin, owner of paloozaonline dot com. She is a regular reader of tentotwenty and agreed to participate in a video chat about our respective perspectives on Brandon Mull's A World Without Heroes. Be sure and read my review of the book here, and let us know your opinion of the book in the comments section below! If you like our … [Read more...]

Marvel’s The Avengers Super-Hero Dream Date Quiz

the avengers movie

Sometimes you just have to lighten it up a bit! I'll admit that I'm just a "wee" excited for The Avengers to come out. I doubt that I'll run out on opening night but I guarantee I'll see it at some point very soon. With the opening right around the corner, I was sent this fun little quiz from the PR team and thought it would fun to throw it out there! You can take it... your … [Read more...]

A World Without Heroes – A Book Review

Published:2011 Author: Brandon Mull It's About: Jason loves baseball and wants to be a zoologist when he grows up. Not a hero. He's hoping that the cute girl in his class notices him. Not some evil wizard. But since life never quite turns out the way we expect, Jason finds himself in an alternate reality on a mission to overthrow Maldor, the dark emperor ruling with fear … [Read more...]

Fablehaven, the Series – A Book Reveiw

We’re readers. Thankfully, my daughter, L,  inherited the I Love to Read gene, and can’t keep her nose out of books any better than me. While I have many opinions on the merits of reading as a family, I won’t extol them today. Suffice it to say – I am of the staunch opinion parents should read to, and with, their children all the time. My daughter introduced me to the … [Read more...]

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Spring is in the air and happy young couples everywhere succumb to the rituals of prom and ready themselves in high fashion. High school juniors and seniors across the land make restaurant reservations, order corsages and boutonnieres, get measured for tuxedos, purchase pretty dresses, receive manicures and pedicures, practice numerous hairstyles to find the perfect one, and … [Read more...]

The Help – A Book Review

Published: 2009 It’s about: Skeeter: a young white woman, recently graduated from college, who aspires to be a writer. Aibileen: an older black maid, who has spent her entire life in the service of white families. Minny: a thirty-something black woman, also a maid, but with a mind of her own that she’s oftentimes too willing to share. Set in 1962 Mississippi, the … [Read more...]

“Tangled” is Right

I’m as devoted a Disney fan as they come. I grew up taking the Mickey Mouse Club in high dosages, I wrote my senior paper on the man, himself (and received a perfect grade for it), and rarely does a day pass that I don’t quote The Emporer’s New Groove. Having said all that – it’s taken me over a year to write this review of Tangled, Disney’s animated feature released in … [Read more...]

The Thief Lord – A Book Review

Published:2002 Author: Cornelia Funke It’s About: A group of young orphans living together in an abandoned movie theatre in Venice, Italy, enjoy the independence of an adult-free life until the stakes are suddenly raised when they accept a back-alley job to steal an artifact in hopes of securing financial freedom for themselves. Awaiting them, however, are big risks, … [Read more...]

Revolution is Not a Dinner Party – A Book Review

Published:2007 Author: Ying Chang Compestine Awards: California Book Award for Young Adult Literature
 * 2008 ALA Best Books For Young Adults
 * 2008 ALA Notable Children’s Books
 * 2007 Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Fiction Book List It’s About: Nine-year-old Ling tells her personal story of growing up during the Cultural Revolution in China. Set in the city of … [Read more...]

Shooting the Moon – A Book Review

Published: 2009 It’s About: Jamie is a confident, exuberant and normal 12-year-old army brat, who idolizes her father and refers to him simply as "the colonel." When her brother TJ enlists as an army medic and gets sent to Vietnam, Jamie can't contain her pride and is "combat ready" for the exciting military details she's sure he'll share with her in letters, but all she … [Read more...]

Princess Academy – A Review

Published: 2005 It's About: Fourteen-year-old Miri lives in a mountain village, where the community works together quarrying stone. Word arrives on Mount Eskel that the prince will choose his future bride from among the eligible daughters of Miri's village, but the girls have only one year to prepare themselves for proper princess etiquette and so must attend a princess … [Read more...]