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BookBites: True Crime, Historical Fact and Fiction, Learning Tips for Parents


"No Angels"
by Steve Jackson 

Fourteen-year-old Brandy DuVall waits for a ride home at a bus stop, wearing a bright-red Chicago Bulls jersey bearing the number of Michael Jordan. The shirt attracts five young gang members in a circling car. Why would Brandy get in the car? Was it voluntary? Was she abducted? The consequence was an unimaginable nightmare.

The crime, the betrayals and deals, and the subsequent murder trials and death penalty hearings, tore apart families. Now, 20 years after he first wrote about this true crime, Steve Jackson returns with a gripping narrative delving into the circumstances that would forever change the fate of Brandy, two previously inseparable brothers, and the mothers on opposite sides of the courtroom. Purchase at

"The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents" 
by Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie 

Parent involvement has always been a vital part of any child's education, but the pandemic and resulting remote instruction require that parents and educators partner at a deeper level. Education authorities Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie have teamed up with New York Times bestselling author and parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman to bring you the consummate guide to support your child?s academic, social, and emotional development in any learning environment.

The book outlines supportive strategies for navigating virtual environments to ensure effective and impactful learning that aligns the needs and expectations of teachers, parents, and students. Purchase at

"The Queen's Dog"
by N.L. Holmes 

"Highly recommended to fans of ancient historical fiction, both well penned and vividly portrayed."

In the Bronze Age Syrian kingdom of Ugarit, a eunuch slave mistakenly believes his mistress the queen loves him. So when asked to spy on her under threat of punishment, he finds a way to avoid it. When she shows she cares nothing for him, he justifies reporting her disloyal activities but can't escape agonies of conscience. As her sentence of divorce turns into execution, he decides he must avenge her and expurgate his own guilt. Purchase at

"Enter the Enemy"
by Roland Bain 

The rarely described daily life in German-occupied France during World War II, as well as the dramatic military experiences of a family member, are impressively chronicled from 45 recently translated letters of correspondence between members of a French family.

France's surrender to Germany in June 1940 dramatically alters the lives of French Army officer Henri Dunat, his wife, and his sister in the south of France.

The letters offer unique insights into the hardships of this deeply controlled life: shortages of food and other essentials; non-existent modes of transportation; the inability to move about freely; and censorship. Dunat's exemplary military achievements, including his dramatic escape from Dunkirk and his hazardous escape from occupied France, also are tracked. Purchase at

NOTE: BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. For more reading ideas, visit and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.