Diary of a Tokyo Teen Review

Tuttle Publishing‘s Diary of A Tokyo Teen is written by a Japanese-American girl who traveled solo to Tokyo from the USA before her 16th birthday. Written and drawn by Christine Mari Inzer, this is a graphic novel and travelogue of her experience in Japan as she visited her grandparents in this fascinating country.


The exciting adventure started in Kashiwa where her grandparents live. Then she visited her favorite fast food chain which can’t be found in America, Mos Burger.


She also introduced her cousins and the trendy teenagers you can see around the area.


Christine traveled to Harajuku and this was what she experienced!

Kyoto was her next stop where she shared her experience with the trains, food and the sights around her. Eventually, she found what she was looking for!


Her family eventually arrived and they traveled to Tokyo to see more of Japan. The famous Hachiko, Japanese Ramen, sushi and Japanese culture were all featured as well.

The book is filled with personal photos, thoughts and illustrations that made the book feel more like a personal diary yet it is educational as the readers experience what it is like to travel in Japan.

This book has 128 pages and is paperback with flaps and almost the size of a letter sized bond paper. The good quality white paper used gave the illustrations the attention and the focus it deserves. The fonts used were very much like hand printed letters giving it personalized effect. Colorful and inviting, this book is ideal for children, teenagers and  young adults who want to experience what Japan is really like.

I enjoyed reading this and wasn’t surprised that my 12 year old daughter loved it too! Here is what she thought about the book:

“I really, really enjoyed reading the book! It had tons of colorful illustrations and photos. I enjoyed the book a lot because it’s fun and easy to read. I love the way the author showed me what Japan is like. It’s really funny, but at the same time you can learn new facts about Japan. I’ve read a lot of books about different countries, but I think this is one of the best! :)”

We were just talking about visiting Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and this book came! Is that a coincidence or what?

Get a copy of this book from Tuttle Publishing. Since 1948, Tuttle Publishing has been the premier publisher of English language books on Asian culture. They have books on a wide range of topics; including Asian culture, literature, architecture, gardening, cooking, martial arts, origami and crafts, travel, health and wellness, spirituality, and fine art for a worldwide audience. For more information, please visit their website, www.tuttlepublishing.com.

The Kindred Chronicles : Between Two Worlds Review

A few months back, I was blessed to have received a copy of The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds by D. A. Chan. Haven’t been able to do much leisure reading for quite some time, I was excited to dive into the world of Chris and Elline. As I was being drawn to their world, I find the story as mysterious and fast-paced. The time jumps on the first parts of the book added excitement and the introduction  of the kindred people welcomed me a whole new world of fantasy and action.


This book is recommended for young adults who crave for a fast-paced and new breed of society. It has elements of a love that we all long for and an attitude of heroism that we all desperate need. Looking forward to reading the next books from The Kindred Chronicles from D.A. Chan.

This book is available through Amazon’s Kindle and also in paperback form.

Shy Shelly is Back!

A few months back, I wrote about The Secret Story of Shy Shelly. I thoroughly enjoyed it and let my 8 year old son read it too. He was able to identify with the main character as he is quite shy himself and was encouraged to know that there are other shy people like him out there.

I was informed by OMF Literature recently that the second book in the Shy Shelly series by Justine Hail, illustrated by Elbert Or, entitled Shy Shelly vs the Bully is already available!

Shy Shelly vs the Bully

friends forever


“In the second book of the Shy Shelly series, author Justine Hail takes her readers even deeper into Shelly’s world. Get to know more of her friends and classmates— from Shelly’s best friend Vanna, the Secret Squad’s decisive leader Patty to the ever-ready for action twins Ryder and Dash— and the class bully Jake. Here, we also find out the secret location of the the Secret Squad’s meeting place in the big Claustro Field Academy Campus. Illustrator Elbert Or has also included a must-try recipe for chocolate cake into the mix, a handy guide on how to fix a hole in your pants, and the best advice from Patty on keeping secrets.” Summary from OMF Lit webpage http://omflit.com/shyshellyvsthebully/” 

10 - Chocolate Cake


And as a treat to the readers of this blog… I was able to interview the author of this series,  Ms. Justine Hail. 

I asked Ms. Justine Hail to share a bit of information about herself…

My name is Justine Hail De Jesus. My pen name is Justine Hail. I’m a content creator and entrepreneur. While running Checkers, a condominium cleaning service I started with my sister, I write stories, poems and create videos. You can check out my work at www.justinehail.com.

How did she come up with the character of Shy Shelly? Is she based on a real life character?

Back in the summer of 2013, while entering the pantry of our office, the idea of a girl who couldn’t introduce herself popped in my head. For every word unspoken, a moment of greatness passes her by. I felt just like her because there are times when I think I should speak but I opt to be silent. I felt that many people would be able to relate to Shelly because we are all shy to a certain degree. I thought of how many kids miss out on wonderful opportunities because of shyness. I don’t want kids to live with regrets. This inspired me to create the character of Shelly (whom I initially called Shirley) — a shy girl who fights to be heard.
Is Shy Shelly Ms. Justine Hail’s first book? Did she always aspire to be a writer when she was young?

Yes! I didn’t think that I would become a writer growing up. Although as a child, I did love studying my language notes, reading stories and writing scripts. I first wanted to be a newscaster because I was part of a kiddie journalist show in the 90s called 5&Up.  But my interests changed after college and I became a campus missionary for 4 years. Soon, I felt called to do something creative. Because I only had paper and pen and no high tech camera or laptop that time, I pursued writing. I attended screenwriting classes and eventually landed a copywriting job in the marketing department of OMF Literature. After working there for a couple of years, I decided to brave full-time content creation. 
What was her  favorite part on Shy Shelly vs The Bully? Why?

My favourite part was when Shelly discovered that the Secret Squad’s enemy is being bullied himself. I think it’s an important scene because it opens our eyes to the reality that hurt people hurt others too. 
Here is Ms. Justine Hail’s short message to all shy or introverts out there who loves Shy Shelly 🙂
Just like Shelly, there are a lot of great things you can do as a child. Silent-type or talkative-type, you can make a difference in your family, among your friends, in your school, even in the world! Who knows? You may be called to invent a toy, play a sport, declare a speech, write a story! Don’t let timidity get in the way of your childhood mission! Pray for courage. You can do it! 
shy shelly2_1200

Shy Shelly vs the Bully is an ebook, available at AmazonBuqoFlipreads, Google Play Books, iBooks and Kobo


Kapamilya o Kapal Nila Book Review

The Filipino family is close knit. We all know that and we are a happy bunch, most of the time. But how do we face our family when there is trouble? When we can’t get along with our in-laws? When helping our family becomes a burden?

Pastor Ed Lapiz of Day by Day Christian Ministries have produced a series entitled Secrets of a Happy Family and the 2nd part is here, Kapamilya o Kapal Nila? This is a 248-pages book filled with practical advises on how to have a happy family, have peace in the family, communication in the family, secrets of happy families, family during difficult times and pathology of family feuds.


Here is a snapshot of the different topics:


Written in a witty and conversational Taglish tone, the book is easy to read and easily relatable. All Filipino families have one time or another experienced problems with your family, so this book is recommended to everyone. One doesn’t need to wait until there is a problem within the family to read this book. The practical tips are a great way to be proactive and build a happy family.

Personally, I am not a fan of books in Taglish format, but I do recommend this book which only costs 170 pesos if you’d like to know the secrets to build a happy family.

This book is available in your leading Christian bookstores and the CSM Publishing website. Get more information from http://csm-publishing.org/products-page/back-to-back-series/kapamilya-o-kapal-nila/.

Panalangin sa Hardin Book Review

CSM Publishing has released some books in 2015 that are written in Taglish format. Among them is this book on prayer written by Pastor Joey Umali,  Panalangin sa Hardin.

Panalagin sa Hardin tackles different issues on prayer surrounding a believer’s prayer life. It features topics like how Jesus Himself prayed on the garden of Gethsemane, why prayer is important, what prayer actually does, what should prayer include and other topics related to prayer. At the end of every chapter, there is a section where the reader is presented some questions or activities which allow the reader the meditate and apply what he has just read.  It is a compact book, with 200 pages full of content, written in conversational Filipino tone.

Personally, I am not a fan of books written in Taglish but if you don’t mind Taglish then you may get this if you want to know more about prayer and how it works in a believer’s life. It is available in Christian bookstores and from the CSM Publishing website for 250 pesos. For more information, check out http://csm-publishing.org/?s=panalangin+sa+hardin