RECENT REVIEW FOR MY BIRTHDAY IS SEPTEMBER ELEVEN AND OTHER SHORT STORIES


 The tenth anniversary of 9/11 will be here soon. Are you one of the many women who gave birth on that horrible day?  If you answered yes, are you prepared to talk about that experience with your child? I have two friends who gave birth on 9/11.  Their story inspired me to write a short story titled: “My Birthday is September Eleven.”

I have dedicated the book to all children born on 9/11 .   The stories are designed to help teach children compassion.  Parents and teachers can use the book to discuss the benefits of having and showing compassion to others.

A child psychologist read the stories, and this is the review she wrote on Amazon about the book:
Stories for a Healing Heart, August 29, 2011

This review is from: My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories (Kindle Edition)

As a licensed psychologist with a specialty in children, parents often ask me to direct them to a book that they can read with their children. I have no problem sending parents to My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories. In this book you will find stories about children with real life struggles and how they find ways to cope with those problems. These stories present opportunities for parents and children to talk about what is happening in their own lives and possible solutions, while strengthening parent-child communication.

Hoping all will be safe on 9/11, 2011.

INTERVIEW: MY BIRTHDAY IS SEPTEMBER ELEVEN AND OTHER SHORT STORIES


A huge thank you goes to my author friend Cherese Vines for interviewing me.
Interview with the author of My Birthday Is September Eleven: Nicole Weaver.
1) Tell us who you are.
My name is Nicole Weaver.  I am Haitian American.  I am fluent in four languages-French, English, Spanish and Creole.  I am a veteran French and Spanish high school teacher. I am also a published author of a trilingual book titled: Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle/ María y su Amiga la Tortuga Del Mar/ Marie et son Amie la Tortue de mer. I have a second trilingual book titled My Sister is My Best Friend due to be published fall 2011 by Guardian Angel Publishing.  My third trilingual book titled: My Brother is My Best Friend is under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing.
2) What influenced you to become a writer?
 
I first became interested in writing after winning a poetry contest.  That experience fueled my interest in writing.  I later joined my church’s writing group.  Being a part of the group allowed me to venture out with my writing.  I have pieces published in my church’s journal.  Next, an author friend talked me into attending a writer’s workshop.  The workshop peaked my interest even more.  I later decided to write my first trilingual children’s picture book.
3) Why do you think you chose to write for children?
 
I see a huge need for more books that portray children of color in a positive light.  I also see a need for more books that encourage the learning of a foreign language. I write all of my children’s picture books as trilingual books because a child’s brain is wired to learn language when he or she is young.
 
4) You mentioned that many of the stories from My Birthday is September Eleven are true. Are all your stories/books based on true events? Where else do you get your inspiration?
 
Yes, most of my stories/books are based on true events.  Having been an educator for the past twenty five years affords me many opportunities to see and experience many things.  Many times I am emotionally moved by these experiences and I must find a way to channel the emotions into a positive way and writing provides me with that outlet. For instance, around ten years ago, I received a call from a woman who adopted a Haitian little girl.  The little girl only spoke Creole; she wanted me to help her communicate with her in Creole.  I was very honored and blessed to help her.  I later learned that the little girl was dropped off at the local adoption agency in Port-au-Prince Haiti, because her mom could not feed her.
 I carried that information in my heart and I always wanted to write a story about it.  This is where the idea for the story “No More Hunger” came from.  Imagine the pain that mother experienced when she dropped her daughter off.  I hope my story will bring attention to what goes on in my native land of Haiti.
I also get inspired by what I see in my classroom.  I taught middle school for fifteen years.  During my tenure as a middle school teacher I observed how cruel students can be towards one another.  It pained me greatly to witness the way many bi-racial children were constantly teased and picked on.  The short story “Zebra Boy” is based on what I saw happening to those children.  Honestly, it would take me two lifetimes to write about all the things I have seen and experienced as a classroom teacher.   
 
5) What would you have liked to have been told as a budding writer?
 
It would have been nice to know how difficult it is to market yourself.  Getting published is only the first step; the real work begins with marketing yourself and your book.
6) Can you tell us something that your readers may not have guessed about you?
 
I love being an American citizen.  My life changed for the better when I set foot in America. I believe the only way to beat bigotry is through education. Through hard work and dedication one can achieve great things.
 
 
7) Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?
 
Never give up on your dreams.  When I first came to America, after reading many books from the Curious George series, I instantly knew that I would one day write my own picture book.  I also invite all readers interested in learning more about me can visit my sites:
 
My Sister Is My Best Friend Blog:
Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle Blog:
 Websites:
 Educational Expert:
Blogcritics Contributor:

INTERVIEW WITH FORMER STUDENT: ALEJANDRA BLANCO GALINDO FROM BOLIVIA


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I asked Alejandra to send pictures of her beautiful Bolivia. Here they are.  Enjoy!

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I love my job as a French and Spanish high school teacher.  Over the years, I have kept in touch with many of my former students.  I have learned so much from them.  In the 2008-2009 school year I had two foreign students    take French and Spanish with me.  One student came from Munich Germany and the other from Bolivia.  I have been able to keep in touch with Alejandra via email.  I am so very proud of the progress she has made with her writing skills in English.  I remember her doing extremely well in my French class.  I decided to interview Alejandra, so today I present to you Ms. Alejandra Galindo Blanco.
1)  Can you please tell the readers about yourself?

Hello to you all, first of all, I would like to thank Mrs. Weaver so much for this opportunity!

Well, my name is Alejandra Blanco Galindo. I am a current med school student in my country.
Some of the things I love to do are dancing, reading, writing, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and above all: learning new languages and cultures!
Yes, I am studying medicine, think that I truly love and feel most passionate about! but languages are, as I say: “My first love.”

2) Where are you from?

I was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, for those who do not know. Bolivia is in the middle of South America, between Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Peru, and Cochabamba is in the middle of Bolivia, so we love to say that Bolivia is “The heart of South America!.”

For those who have heard about Bolivia, I am mostly sure that all you heard is about the problems we have here, but through and through, I love my country!
It is so beautiful!

3) How many languages do you speak?

I speak three fluent languages: Spanish, English and German, and I also know some French… and well, some words in Italian and Russian.

4) Can you tell the readers about your native country?  Is the educational system different?

Bolivia is a country in a very bad political, social and economic situation. Something that makes me feel sad, is that Bolivia has many Natural Wonders!, it is simply AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL!!!! However, we do not do anything about it!

However, above all, what worries and actually makes me feel very sad is precisely the educational part…
The system is different in many ways, for we start school in February. Our winter vacations are in July, and we end School year in November, so it is the opposite of the US System!.
And there also is the parts that we do not choose our classes, we all have to learn the same things. However, it all depends on the school; which are, mostly, Primary, middle and high school all in one both public and private.
I was in a private school so can’t really say much about the public system.

5) You took French with me for one semester; can you tell the readers why you came to Denver?

I went to the US for 5 and half months, in order to know the country, its culture and its people, and what better way to do so than by getting into a high-school?
I went to high school in Denver because I have some family up there, and they invited me to stay with them!

I really have no words to express my feeling towards Denver, and above all my amazing friends and teachers at George Washington High School. They became like a family to me, and all in less than a semester!
I loved the people in the US. They are all so welcoming and warm. That trip was definitely one of the things that made me who I am now… It became a huge part of me, and all because my friends and amazing teachers, who helped me, see all from a new different point of view!

6) Since returning to your native country have you continued with your study of French?

Yes, I have, but unfortunately, not for too long… I had many things to do, and was always busy.
I took German classes, and then I got into the “Alliance Française” for some time, but had to drop it… I do regret it so much! However, I know I wouldn’t have been able to go on with it… but I never gave up on the language! Even now, every time I have some free hours, even minutes. I study and practice French by myself! what can I say? I just love it!, it is such a sweet, interesting and amusing language! “The language of love”, and have you read about the French culture It is great!

7)  What are your career goals?

Well, for most of the readers, it might sound a bit odd, to hear that I was eager to get a degree in languages before!. Yes, indeed! It was my dream, since I was a little girl!. I wanted to be an interpreter, and my biggest fantasy was to work in the United Nations! I mean, can you imagine? Working in the UN as an interpreter, traveling, helping people understand each other? Can you? I most certainly did see myself in that job!

However, as time passes by, people change, and I discovered a bigger love… Medicine! I love it, because I can finally do the things, I love, which are: Helping people and doing biological research!
However, as I said before, languages are my first love, and will forever be half of me! so I will never stop learning them, nor will I stop trying to speak them!
Right now, my university is so full of Brazilians, that every day I learn some words in Portuguese! so what else could I ask for? The three things I love the most are all in my university!

And once I am done with my M.D. Degree, I would like to go to the US in order to do my Residency program. For now, what I like the most is Neurosurgery, but I am just starting! So I have 6 more years to see what I really want.

8) What are your thoughts on the importance of studying a foreign language?

Wow… tough question! I mean, there are so many things!
First of all, I consider it is one of the most important things one could learn, because humans are made to communicate with each other, to express themselves and to help others, so can you think of any way to communicate, properly communicate, if we don’t speak the same language? It is impossible!

Just try to picture yourself in a foreign country… let’s say France, and you do not speak French. No one speaks to you in English, because French people are quite proud of their language and with reasons!. So you are there, on your own, and you don’t understand the signs on the streets, so you are basically lost! And you can’t ask for any help, or when you try, no one understands you… It would be terrible! wouldn’t it?

Then there is the part of the culture, knowing as much as you can is the only way to live!
If you know English, then why wouldn’t you learn Spanish, French and German?

Even if you don’t have any plans to travel, or knowing new people, new cultures, becoming a greater person, even so, it doesn’t do anything but good to learn more.
Please do not stop learning, do not give up if something seems difficult, and do not stop caring about languages!
That’s how we communicate with other people from different parts of the world.  Communication separates us from the animal species, we are unique, and that’s what makes us humans, our abilities to communicate with words.

9) Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers?

Yes, I would like to share two amazing quotes:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great. Some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.”

 

W. Shakespeare.
Thanks so much Alejandra for doing this interview.

Thank you so much Mrs. Weaver for giving me this amazing chance, opportunity and experience!!!


Cover of my newly published Ebook. Can you imagine giving birth on September Eleven, 2001? I am sure there are a ton of kids born on that terrible day. I know two who were born on 9/11, this inspired me to write a story titled: My Birthday is September 11. It is a thought-provoking story for all readers. The Ebook titled My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories is available on Kindle. See description below:

Growing up is filled with new experiences and they partner emotions. Our trials in life teach us compassion and help us to empathize with others. Our difficulties make us who we are, helping each of us to find our place in the world.

In this collection of short stories, simple acts of kindness make a world of difference in the lives of individuals. The theme of compassion weaves through all five stories, inspiring readers to discover this important lesson in life; we were created to help others.

My Birthday is September Eleven- A story about a boy who was born on 9/11. When the reader steps into the world of Matthew he or she will recognize the undercurrent of mourning that will help all to never forget 9/11.

Zebra Boy – A biracial boy is spared further teasing when his best friend comes to his rescue.

The Good Samaritan – A group of fifth-graders raise funds to help a fellow classmate who needs money for a life-saving surgery.

No More Hunger – Ronald, a Haitian boy whose village was virtually wiped out by a devastating hurricane, becomes a victim of abject poverty. He is later rescued when the well-respected Madame Wilson takes it upon herself to nourish him back to health.

A New Life – A biracial boy experiences many hardships before being adopted by a caring couple.