first image


Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Spring Reading for Kids by Fran Joyce


Spring is a great time to read about Earth Day or teach kids how to plant a vegetable garden. We’re also recommending some books about baseball and other fun outdoor activities. April 30 is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, so we’ve included some books about pets and pet adoptions. Enjoy!


We Are the Gardeners (March 26, 2019) by Joanna Gaines (Author), Julianna Swaney (Illustrator). Follow along with Joanna Gaines and her children as they plant a garden and learn to take care of it. This is her first book for children and I suspect it will be one of many. Kids can learn lessons about the rewards of hard work and working together, plus how to deal with the unexpected like hungry bunnies, birds, and insects. For ages 4-8

Not for me, please!: I choose to act green (April 16, 2018) by Maria Godsey (Author), Christoph J Kellner (Illustrator). Perfect for Earth Day – A boy named Luke wants to help clean up his environment by practicing the 3 R’s; Recycle, Reduce and Reuse. Join Luke as he explains in simple language what kids a can do to help the Earth. For ages 5-9

I Am Earth: An Earth Day Book for Kids (October 20, 2016) by James McDonald and Rebecca McDonald. Kids will be introduced to Earth Science. By helping kids understand what the Earth is made of – water, soil, rocks and plants, etc. It’s easy to teach them the importance of caring for our environment. Simple explanations and colorful pictures will keep your little ones engaged. For ages 3-9

Looking at the Big Picture: Holistic Thinking Kids (February 5, 2019) by Kristy Hammill (Author) and Alex Bjelica (Illustrator). Empowering kids to make better choices by showing them their actions do matter. For ages 5 and up

 MLB All Stars 2019: The Ultimate Baseball Coloring, Activity and Stats Book for Adults and Kids - All Star Sports Coloring (November 22, 2018) by Anthony Curcio. Okay, this is just fun for the whole family. Learn about the MLB teams and their star players.

My First Book of Baseball: A Rookie Book - A Sports Illustrated Kids Book (April 5, 2016). Kids learn baseball rules and terminology from the first pitch to the last run scored. For ages 3-6

Ballpark Mysteries: The Dugout boxed set - Books 1-4 (September 27, 2016) by David A. Kelly. Join cousins and super baseball fans, Mike and Kate as they solve baseball related mysteries at some of the most celebrated baseball parks in America. For ages 6-9

Confidence-Building Sticker Book for Girls Ages 4-8 - Outdoor Sports Sticker Adventure (August 6, 2018)

by Hopscotch Girls. Encourages girls ages 4-8 to be confident outdoors while trying new things including sports.

 Before You Were Mine (September 20, 2007) by Maribeth Boelts (Author) and David M. Walker (Illustrator). A little boy wonders what life was like for his new dog before it ended up in the shelter. Was he happy? Did he have a wonderful owner or was he abandoned and neglected. Ultimately, the boy decides it doesn’t matter because he will make sure his new pet is loved and cared for and happy in his new life. A wonderful look at second chances and the importance of love.

Can I Be Your Dog?  (March 13, 2018) by Troy Cummings. Arfy, a homeless dog living in an alley writes letters to everyone living on Butternut Street trying to convince someone to adopt him. Arfy tells why he would be a great pet – he’s housebroken, friendly, loyal, willing to live with a cat and he’d be so grateful, but no one seems to want the little mutt. Kids will be excited when someone finally steps up and give Ally a forever home.

ASPCA kids: Pet Rescue Club* – this is a series written by different authors feature I gotta stories about animal rescue and animal care. A perfect way to teach kids about animals and how to care for pets. For ages 6-8.

ASPCA kids: Rescue Readers: Level 2* this is a series about animal care and pet adoption told through the eyes of the animals. Level 2 readers are suitable for ages 5-8.

*5-7% of the purchase price of every book goes directly to the ASPCA to help care for shelter animals and find them loving homes.





Thrillers You Won't Want to Put Down by Fran Joyce

Earth Day 2019 - Protecting Our Species by Fran Joyce