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Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back    by Laura Pedersen & Penny Weber order for
by Laura Pedersen
Order:  USA  Can
Tilbury House, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Laura Pedersen is the author of the contemporary Hallie Palmer series that started with Beginner's Luck. Now she turns her talents to a younger audience in this picture book, Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back, brightly illustrated by Penny Weber.

All set to play Hangman, Ella finds all her family members occupied with electronic devices - her dad reading the news on his computer; her brother playing a video game; her mother on her cell phone; and her older sister texting. She can't get anyone's attention. So she decides to do something about it.

After school, Ella collects charger cords and electronics, replacing them with a note to 'Talk to Ella.' Her parents wonder if it's because she wants a cell phone too, but Ella tells them she just wants her family back. They listen - and make some changes to their lifestyle.

This is a very timely story for all ages, pointing out the desirability of unplugged family time. Read it together and maybe you too will decide to ditch the electronics from time to time. Note that the picture book is a Mom's Choice Award winner.

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