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Renee Marcellious Heiss was born in 1949 in Princeton, New Jersey, where her ancestors have lived since the early 18th century. She married Doug Heiss in 1974; they have three children and three grandchildren. Ms. Heiss graduated from Douglass College in 1971 with a BS in Home Economics Education. She taught Child Development for twenty-five years and retired in 2009 to pursue a full-time career in writing. She is the author of Feng Shui for the Classroom (Zephyr Press, 2004), Helping Kids Help (Zephyr Press 2007), and Somebody Cares! (WestBow 2010). She has also been a contributing author to Crinkles Magazine and has authored hundreds of other articles and stories for children in such magazines as Highlights for Children, Fun for Kidz, and Story Friends. Ms. Heiss also enjoys sewing, machine embroidery, painting, puzzles, and playing the piano. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Visit her website at www.reneeheiss.com
Synopsis: When twelve-year-old Lexii plans her birthday party, she wants something unique. What she finds is a way to enjoy her special day while making many special days for needy children. What she doesn't expect is an emotional reaction from one of her friends at the party. See how she gets her friends and family energized to celebrate her unusual birthday.
Overall thoughts: This book does an excellent job of piquing children's interest in helping others. After I read this book to my daughters, my oldest wanted to check out the website about care bags right away. Care bags were created by a young lady who wanted to do something different for her birthday, and chose to have her friends bring items to donate to children who are less fortunate instead of bringing presents for her. Included in the book are instructions on how to sew care bags, suggested items to fill the care bags, and ideas on how to host your own care bags party. This is an engaging book that tells a sweet story while celebrating friendships and helping others
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