StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson: Young Readers Edition


Since the early sci-fi shows like Star Trek and Lost in Space, readers have CRAVED all things outer-space. That is why National Geographic’s latest picture book, StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson, is sure to be a hit this summer.

The gravitational pull begins with the amazing cover — planets, spaceships, stars and color all swirling around famed African American astro-physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and promising an out-of-this-world experience. Mr. Tyson explains that StarTalk is a podcast where stars, astronauts, laypersons and the like come together and talk about…well, everything. The book is a type of composite of all the conversations (thus far) that have occurred on the show.

Readers learn that they need an easy-going, polite and long suffering personality to live in cramped quarters with other astronauts over long periods of time. They get to compare the evolution of the space stations, and they learn that astronauts typically grow a few inches when they live in zero gravity for long periods of time. They even learn how the beautiful African American actress, Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura of Star Trek fame) changed the face of NASA and inspired a generation of African Americans to reach for the stars, too.

Readers discover what it’s like to use the bathroom in space and why some foods make it onto the astronauts’ menu and some don’t. They study wormholes and get to read a horrifying account (straight from Neil deGrasse Tyson) about what it’s like to be “spaghetti-fied” if you get trapped in a wormhole. They also learn whether it will ever be possible to catch a ride on a comet or asteroid and travel to the stars.

This amazing reference book answers some pretty awesome questions, like where the Earth’s heavy metals come from, how Earth gets its water, and whether World War III will be all about water. There are discussions on what causes severe weather, how the Greenhouse Effect works, whether prehistoric sunsets were red (GREAT QUESTION!), and much, much more.

This is a fast-paced and ambitious book about the world around us, our place in it and our impact on it. There is no specific target age, but based on the vocabulary, it should do well with readers from middle grade to high school. Of course, the early elementary ages will enjoy the images even if they cannot follow the vocabulary.

Use this book for…well, everything! Jump-start conversations about space, colonizing new planets, stars, black holes, conservation, lifelong learning and more.

Maya Penn is Amazing!



Some people just inspire you, and young Maya Penn is one of those people. At age 16, she is already an entrepreneur, philanthropist, animator, computer programmer, artist, and CEO of her eco-friendly fashion company, called Maya’s Ideas.

Maya has given several Ted Talks (like the one below) on entrepreneurism and encouraging young girls to follow their passion. In case you don’t know, TED is a nonprofit that is “devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less.” Maya has also been featured on The View, The Steve Harvey Show, Redbook, Ebony, Huffington Post, IBM, CNN, Essense, and many more venues than we can name in this one post.

One journalist who interviewed Maya said that “at 13, Maya had joined the ranks of some of the world’s most prominent thinkers and doers.” We couldn’t agree with him more. If ever there was an inspiration and a role model for teens and women everywhere, it’s Maya Penn.

You can purchase Maya’s new book, You Got This, hot off the press. Just click the link at the right. In the meantime, to read more about Maya, click on the following links:

Maya’s Blog – http://mayasideasshop.blogspot.com/search/label/Home

Maya’s Ideas for the Planet – http://mayasideas4theplanet.org/

Entrepreneur.com article – https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225796

American Pink – http://america.pink/maya-penn_2931540.html

There are lots and lots more articles out there, but these should get you started.

Thanks for the inspiration, Maya! Stay brilliant,
Rita Lorraine

Mo’ne Davis is All That and More!



Mo’ne Ikea Davis will be 14 years old this year. What’s so special about that? Well, she is the first girl ever to earn a win and to pitch a shutout (with a 70 mph fast ball!) in Little League World Series history (2014), that’s what.

Born in 2001 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this young right-handed pitcher for the Taney Dragons threw “perfect spirals in the outfield” that took the world by storm last year. In the proces, she made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2014, and became the sixth girl to collect a hit in Little League World Series history.

All this, and guess what? She actually wants to play basketball, not baseball! At least that was the word in 2014.

There is a world of information about Mo’ne Davis on the Internet. Here are just a few links to some great articles. Enjoy!

Perfect Spirals in the Outfieldhttp://www.si.com/more-sports/2014/08/20/mone-davis-taney-little-league-world-series

Sports Illustrated http://www.si.com/more-sports/2014/08/19/mone-davis-little-league-world-series-sports-illustrated-cover

Upcoming Disney Moviehttp://thegrio.com/2015/03/19/disney-channel-mone-davis-movie/

Huffington Post articlehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/damon-young/its-great-mone-davis-had-it-in-her-to-forgive-that-guy-but-still-fk-that-guy-_b_6946230.html

Mo’s Bows is Doing Fine!



Remember this clever young man from Season 5 of Shark Tank? That’s right, this is young Moziah Bridges, the brain behind a new fashion line called Mo’s Bows.

18-Year Old Passes the Bar in the UK!


Gabrielle Turnquest

When we think of young attorneys, we usually think of someone in their mid- or late twenties who is just preparing to take on the world. Not so this time! In fact according to The University of Law’s records, “the average age of a typical lawyer graduating from The University of Law’s Bar Professional Training Course is 27.” Until now.

Meet 18-year old Gabrielle Turnquest of Windermere, Florida, a brilliant teen who just made history by becoming the youngest person to ever pass the bar in the UK. But this wasn’t her first huge achievement. According to a Huffington Post article dated August 2, 2013 she “was also the youngest to graduate with a degree from Liberty University in Virginia at the age of 16.”

Our young genius plans to practice law in the Bahamas, where her parents are from, and pursue a career in fashion law.

Read the Huffington Post article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/gabrielle-turnquest-florida-teen-youngest-bar-exam-uk_n_3696998.html

Stay brilliant,
Rita Lorraine