Mystery Dish
BOWIE, Md. – Mystery Dish, written by substitute teacher and theatre major at Bowie State University Laurie L. Michael, is a children’s book that focuses on family values mixed with open-minded perspectives of human beings. The book, released in May, is based on the idea that the learning process for children starts at home. “The book teaches children, and maybe adults, in society how to accept, as well as appreciate people for their uniqueness,” said Michael, a Prince George’s County native, in a statement. “Families are unique and the more members appreciate each other’s differences, the more they can appreciate people they encounter throughout the world.”

Mystery Dish is a modern story about a family with a mother that is extremely artistic and different. Not only does she make and display all types of art, but she incorporates art into her cooking. For this reason, her children created a game to make dinnertime fun, rather than strange. Through this game, the children learned through experiences that having a different mother can be positive. Once the children learned this valuable lesson, they were able to more openly accept the differences of others and view these differences in a positive way.

Final word: A reminder for children – and adults- that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Available now. For more information visit

Powder Necklace
Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond’s first novel, Powder Necklace, follows protagonist Lila Adjei, described as a “sexually curious and petulant” teenager, on an international sojourn from London to rural Ghana. After inviting a male classmate over to play video games without adult supervision, Lila’s mother ships her back to their native Ghana in a fit of rage. Once there, the strong-willed Lila finds the luxuries of London are few in her Aunt Irene’s home. She is robbed and jeered at by her Ghanian classmates, but eventually finds a circle of friends who bond over an all-too-common problem in the country, water shortages.

This economic and social unrest prompts the novel’s title, {Powder Necklace} and refers to the young girls’ use of talcum when they are unable to bathe. The story continues with the heady protagonist’s whirlwind of ups and downs, and an unexpected turn of events that lands her in America. Along the way, the author explores weighty themes like preservation of culture, assimilation and community.

Final word: A coming-of-age story with international flair.
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Dare to Take Charge: How to Live Your Life on Purpose
Judge Glenda Hatchett is an accomplished litigator and host of a two-time Emmy-nominated TV show with a steady following, accomplishments that may make her life seem simple and unaffected. But her book, Dare to Take Charge: How to Live Your Life on Purpose, explores the former juvenile court judge’s own life struggles while also relaying the stories of real people who’ve overcome devastating circumstances.

She tells the harrowing details of a 15-year-old prostitute, a drug addict, teenage pimp and an NFL superstar, all who are heading for self-destruction and failure. However, the book is uplifting, as Hatchett shares practical advice for readers who want to take control of their lives.

She tackles tough questions and themes, like what it means to be daring and intentional when seeking ultimate objectives; how to bridge the dream gap and more closely align your daily activities with goals and how to stop destructive patterns and make short-term sacrifices to meet long-term goals.

Final word: Powerful life lessons told with simplicity and commonsense.
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