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Beth Cox Report: August 2015

Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,

I would like to share with you a valuable online resource that was suggested as a link for the MBR website. It's "Understanding and Preventing Plagiarism":

Colloquially, most people know that plagiarism is "theft of words", that is, passing off another person's (usually written) work is one's own. But "accidental plagiarism" and improper citation can also be a real problem, especially for students and authors.

The article discusses the precise definition of plagiarism; how to properly paraphrase, quote, or credit another work; frequently asked questions about plagiarism; and more. I've added it to the "Writer Resources" links page on our website at

I would have named it August's Link of the Month, if not for the fact that I prefer to give that award to entire websites, rather than individual articles. So, August's Link of the Month is a humble yet extremely useful resource called "Is It Down Right Now".

Its main purpose is to check whether any given website is currently functioning. I've used it myself multiple times, when trying to determine whether various small press websites were operational.

On to August's Book of the Month. Its importance is self-evident.

Bobby and Mandee's Too Safe for Strangers, Children's Safety Book
Deputy Sheriff Robert Kahn, author
Sue Lynn Cotton, illustrator
Future Horizons, Inc.
721 W. Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76013
9781885477750, $6.95,

"Bobby and Mandee's Too Safe for Strangers" is from a series of Children's Safety Books written especially for children to help them protect themselves from abduction attempts. Written by a Deputy Sheriff and credited with preventing or obstructing 22 child abductions, "Too Safe for Strangers" addresses children calmly but specifically, warning them not to trust, answer, or speak to strangers who approach them when no adult or parent is present. Beginning by defining a stranger as someone the child does not know or has only met a few times, the book continues instructing children to say "No!" loudly and run away, seeking a trusted grown-up if they are approached by a stranger, offering candy, toys, or free pets, or requesting help in finding a pet. The book also warns children never to get into a car with a stranger unless their mother or father has given permission for them to go with the person. If a stranger attempts to touch or grab, children are told to scream, bite, kick, fight, and get away. Children are encouraged to make a list of their parents' safe, trusted adult friends, and also to remember a special code word to help identify a parent's trusted friend. An additional list of other grown ups who can be trusted to help in an emergency is given, with the number one rule emphasized being: Always tell your parents where you are going. Additional safety tips are given in 911 Tips For Parents and Bobby & Mandee's Safety Test. A final blank list invites safe names to list and a black and white illustration of Bobby and Mandee for kids to color. Other illustrations are colored, perky, and easy for kids to identify with. "Too Safe for Strangers" is an excellent teaching tool to help children learn ways to protect themselves from abduction by strangers.

That's all for the August 2015 Beth Cox Report. Take care.

Bethany Cox
Managing Editor
The Midwest Book Review

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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