Book Spotlight: Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

Mira T. Lee’s debut novel, EVERYTHING HERE IS BEAUTIFUL, is a complex and engrossing cross-cultural family drama that tackles big issues: in addition to themes of immigration, identity, and parenthood, it takes a 360-degree look at mental illness.

Book Spotlight: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

Many new parents and grandparents suffer with postpartum OCD in silence, too ashamed to seek help. I wish we could obliterate that shame; I wish we could celebrate the strength it takes to live with mental illness and the scars it leaves. In Japan cracked objects are mended with gold—to enhance the notion that damage brings history and beauty. Or, as Leonard Cohen suggested, cracks let in the light. Amen—to finding light and gold.

Book Spotlight: THIS I KNOW by Eldonna Edwards

Eldonna Edwards is ​the author of best-selling memoir LOST IN TRANSPLANTATION, which follows her mission to give away a kidney to a stranger. She now brings us a story of a mother struggling with depression. Her book will release in April of 2018. It is set in a small Midwest town in the late 1960s. 

Holiday Gift Guide For Parents

I always encourage parents to create Christmas for their own current family and not to allow it to be influenced as much by their childhood Christmases. By all means—keep your family traditions. Those may be wonderful and special. But don’t let these hold you back from making new ones with your spouse and children. For example, if your parents opened one…

New Study on Teens’ Electronics Use

Studies show that U.S. teens spend an average of 8.5 hrs per day on their electronics. Unfortunately, developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, and risk-taking behavior. An area of the brain, called prefrontal cortex, which specializes in judgment, impulse control, and planning is still developing in adolescence. A new study just published in Child Development…

How Much Should Children Sleep?

Here are the guidelines used by Psychologists and Pediatricians: Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps) Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps) Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps) Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours (Source: The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016) I also recommend putting toddlers to sleep between 6 pm and 8 pm…

The Problem With 13 Reasons Why

Mental health professionals have become increasingly concerned about the new hit Netflix show and its portrayal of the main character, Hannah’s, suicide. While I am very glad that the show can start conversations about bullying, sexual assaults in high schools, and teen suicides, I am also very concerned about how the show incorrectly portrays some facts about teen mental health…

School Anxiety

Helping Your Child Cope With Anxiety In Middle School/High School Most children will have anxiety about starting Middle School or High School. They worry about being good enough for sports or other electives, being smart enough for their preAP or AP classes, and fitting in with peers who all seem taller, prettier, smarter, more socially savvy than they are. Each…

On Bullying and Cyberbullying

My Child Is Being Bullied. What Should I Do? There are more and more stories from children and media about bullying in the schools. Finding out that your child is being bullied is frightening and you may wonder how much to worry and what to do to help your child. Here are some basic tips on what we know about…

Book Tour

The House by the Cypress Trees start the blog and Instagram tour on 8/26/19. For the full schedule, please see Suzy Approved Book Tours

Book Spotlight: THE ESCAPE ROOM by Megan Goldin

MY REVIEW The story pulls you in, keeps you trapped and on the edge of your seat (on in my case–in my bed, up all night). The setting is an elevator inside an empty luxury tower, the characters are investment bankers who are forced to solve clues and look into their pasts. What could go wrong? Highly entertaining, well-written, and…

Book Spotlight: THE EAST END by Jason Allen

If only he could write as he saw things, maybe this place wouldn’t be so bad, though each time he’d put pen to paper and tried to describe these solo hours at the ocean, or anything else, the words remained trapped behind locked doors deep inside his head. Sitting on his heels, he reached up and pressed the faint bruise below his right eye, recalling the fight last weekend with that kid from North Sea and how each of them had been so quick to throw punches…

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

I have just finished this fantastic book and I strongly recommend it not only as a great work of fiction but also for people who are looking for books about mental illness. This book impressed me on many levels. The language is witty, intelligent, and emotionally-charged. The charming, and adorable main characters are brought to life on every page. The…

The Heavens by Sandra Newman

I recently reviewed this incredible novel for The Washington Independent Review of Books. You can read the review here.

On Bullying and Cyberbullying

My Child Is Being Bullied. What Should I Do? There are more and more stories from children and media about bullying in the schools. Finding out that your child is being bullied is frightening and you may wonder how much to worry and what to do to help your child. Here are some basic tips on what we know about…