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Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back Hardcover – October 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Being tethered to our screens 24/7 is of huge societal concern to children, families and teachers. It seems insolvable but it isn't! In an inspired and inspiring example of 'taking on challenges,' Laura Pedersen's UNPLUGGED shows how a child comes up with a solution that gives her and her family what our studies show they want most time to be together and have fun. --Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute, and author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills That Every Child Needs

Laura Pedersen's UNPLUGGED is a delightful book about the importance of face-to-face family time. Parents today need to model a balanced approach to technology use, but our children, like Ella in this timely story, know how essential it is to have a chance to talk, play games, and eat together. --Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D., co-author of 'The Digital Family,' Psychologytoday.com, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Busy families may forget the value of just spending time together--a chance to talk, connect, play games, and enjoy one other. Laura Pedersen's UNPLUGGED shows how easily a family can be derailed from that special time together and suggests a solution that is a good fit for everyone. --Eileen Doyle, Vice President of Program, Girl Scouts of the USA

Gold: Children's Picture Books, Family Life --Mom's Choice Award

Skipping Stones 2013 Honor Award --Skipping Stones Magazine

Skipping Stones 2013 Honor Award --Skipping Stones Magazine

About the Author

Laura Pedersen was the youngest columnist for the New York Times. Prior to that she was the youngest person to have a seat on the floor of the American Stock Exchange and wrote her first book, Play Money, about that experience. President Clinton honored Laura as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans, and she has gone on to write award-winning short stories, nonfiction, plays, and novels. She has appeared on shows such as CNN, Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Primetime, and David Letterman. Laura has performed stand-up comedy and writes for several well-known comedians. This is her first children s book. Laura lives in New York City and teaches at the Booker T. Washington Learning Center in East Harlem.


Penny Weber has worked as a mural painter, greeting-card illustrator, and portrait artist. Her children's books include One of Us, On My Way To School, Amazingly Wonderful Things, and Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness. Penny lives on Long Island in New York with her husband and three children and their cat Tiger.
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; First hardcover edition (October 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884483371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884483373
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Pedersen writes for The New York Times and is the author of Play Money, Going Away Party, Beginner's Luck (chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), Last Call, Heart's Desire, The Sweetest Hours, and The Big Shuffle. In 1994, President Clinton honored her as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans. She has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, Primetime Live, and The Late Show with David Letterman, and she writes for several wellknown comedians. Pedersen lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neil H. Osborne on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A marvellous and timely reminder to young people of the freedom of not being totally enslaved to the dancing pixels that increasingly dominate our lives. This wonderful book, while still recognising the wonder of today's gadgetry, nonetheless reminds us in a gentle, non-preachy way of the need to communicate from one warm, living human being to another, and of the bedrock of a loving, supportive family. Well done, Laura !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Byrd on January 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My third graders, both boys and girls, loved Ella and her electronic adventures. We had a wonderful discussion about the role of devices in our lives and how it makes us feel about our relationships when others are regularly distracted. I highly recommend the FREE TEACHER'S GUIDE that can be found online to discuss this story with individual children or children in groups. This is a book for which parents, teachers, counselors and librarians will find many uses. My kids are still talking about grownups who are glued to phones and computers. I was amazed at how aware they are of "divided attention." If you have an UNPLUGGED week at your school, like we do, you'll want to kick it off with Laura Pedersen's smart and funny story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lizzie407 on June 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Managing our love of phones and other electronic devices seems to become more challenging every day. This book offers a great way to start a discussion about about the importance of relationships and how technology fits into our life. It's here to stay but what we do about it is up to us, especially if we start to make children aware of pros, cons and social etiquette at a young age. Some parents may even want to re-think their own usage patterns after asking how the kids are impacted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GJI on September 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As technology becomes more portable it makes it increasingly difficult to manage the urge to be glued to our phones, etc. UNPLUGGED is an excellent way to start a discussion on how to stay plugged in while not being RUDE and antisocial. My kids really identified with Ella and her video game-playing brother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. April Holgate TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I received a copy free through Goodreads First Reads.

This was a really cute story about unplugging and connecting!! Kids will like it and grown ups can learn a valuable lesson from it!!

Beautiful illustrations!! My Nice is in love with it and I may never see my copy again!
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Format: Hardcover
Ella misses spending time with her family. Everyone seems to be ignoring each other because they are all plugged in to whatever electronic thing they have. Her brother has his video games, her dad has his computer and her mom and sister have their phones. Ella has had enough and decides to unplug her family!

Why I liked this book - I love the message of this book! It is well-told in the story. I like Ella's cleverness and creativity. She probably has it because she is not plugged in! All families should read this book and learn from the message given in it - spend more time with each other! I like the illustrations! The expressions on the faces of the characters are really life-like. I like all the small details in the illustrations. This is a great book with an awesome storyline! I recommend this book to kids 5+
*NOTE I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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By Crystal on January 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What a great book to read to the children I babysit! A fresh take on sibling rivalry and learning how to put down the electronic devices; Unplugged really held the 5, 6, and 8 year old girls captive as I read to them. Well written and a very cute story, Laura Pederson did a wonderful job! One of the girls wanted to even go buy the book for her own, and especially loved the cover design. You follow Ella as she starts to feel her family become distant while using their cells phones, computers, and Ipods. We all loved how the story was up to modern times! Holding true with many families, Ella urged everyone to spend more one on one time instead of being so 'plugged' in. I would suggest this book to any young girl or boy, and to moms and teachers as well!
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Format: Hardcover
Ella is creative, funny and a little mischievous when she wants attention. Kids will relate not only to Ella and her brother and sister, but also to her dilemma. It's time for The Talk, the one about the social etiquette when it comes to technology. As schools start having unplugged days and families face difficult choices about blackout times, UNPLUGGED frames the situation from the point of view of the child. An important subject since just like good table manners, good technology manners follow us into adulthood. A timely reminder that grownups are constantly setting an example with their own behavior, sometimes despite what they preach. This fun romp will be a favorite for kids, parents, teachers and librarians.
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Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back
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