Monday, June 18, 2018

It's Monday - Reading Recap

          Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.  
Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link

           I skipped last week because I had family visiting. It was a fast visit, but oh, such fun! Here are two adult books I read and links to my reviews on Goodreads.

7 of 34 #MustReadIn2018
            The friendships hold the story together as only John Green's stories do and the thoughts of sixteen-year-old Aza continue to challenge her abilities to keep those friendships. Aza never meant to reunite with Davis Pickett, a friend from elementary school. And he's a friend who's wealthy but whose father is on the run from the law. And there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward to any help that can be used to catch him. Daisy is up for the search and soon realizes that Aza and Davis like each other, a lot. It's complicated, mostly because of Aza's struggles with thoughts of certain things that will kill her, germs from others that will swim inside until it's too late. She cannot stop them. When we hear others share worries, we say things like "think of something else". Or try to use our words to show intellectually how the worry is not possible, even silly. From the book: "Thoughts are just a different kind of bacteria, colonizing you." It is hard to imagine how Aza felt and the story helped me understand, will help others, too, and I hope will help those who have similar life challenges. Some parts are heartbreaking; others made me smile at the empathy shown within the friendships. Great book, as so many have shared.

          All the books I'm sharing including the above are books that examine challenges that happen in children's lives. There is some hope in each, yet there is also sadness. I think each one will be valuable to share with students and teachers who know their classes well can make that decision. 
            Brown-toned illustrations denote sadness, and at first, I thought this was about some kind of abuse. In a way it is, but it shows the good and bad of the father in the son’s eyes, who tells this story. As it meanders through his thoughts, the mother’s sadness is evident, too. The boy says fog clouds her eyes. But there are some parts of happiness, the mother hugging when a scary thunderstorm happens, the father and son wiggling ears together. And then there is the end when the reader realizes that this is visiting day and the father is in prison. It's a book for everyone who may have a child with the same experiences and for others who need to know how it feels.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Finding The Words I Need

         Poetry Friday is hosted by Karen Edmisten this week, at her blog of the same name! Thanks, Karen! And thanks for sharing the wonderful poems of love!

       For more than a year much of the news has been bleak. For over a year, nearly every day there is still another event that for me and some people in the U.S., even the world, has produced outrage. It's been a tough time and continues to be.

       I discovered this book from someone's recommendation although I don't remember who so I can say thanks. It's been a delight to read the poems within, so many celebrate life while others decry situations. It is worth reading bit by bit, poem by poem, re-reading favorites you've bookmarked.

         I was delighted seeing the numerous poets, poems and some quotes included, like  "Praise The Mutilated World" by Adam Zagajewski, also known as the 9-11 poet, translated by Clare Cavanagh, "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold, "Good Bones" by Maggie Smith, "Refugees" by Brian Bilston and "Barter" by Sara Teasdale, a most favorite of mine. Life does have loveliness to sell!
        I know you'll recognize "Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye, "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry and "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou. If you cannot find the book, enjoy these words I've shared. We can stand on and with them, can we not? 

       Here is one more favorite that speaks loud to me at this time in our history:


Ella Wheeler Wilcox

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.
          And toward the end of the book: 
"There is a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in." 
Leonard Cohen

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Celebrating Goodness in The Week

      Celebrating today with Ruth Ayres and others who share. I want to celebrate what you can do with children, in this case, my grandchildren. Recently, a friend told me that she flew out of state to spend time with a grandchild so his parents could take a short trip. All he was willing to do was play with his Ipad or watch TV. She was quite upset, wondered why they didn't just hire a sitter since he was not interested in going anywhere, playing anything, reading books together, etc. My own granddaughters do play with different apps and they do watch TV, but mostly they "play" with toys, or imagine different scenarios in that kind of "play", or when something comes along that grabs their interest, they create, too. 
        I shared the following review earlier this week and had already read the book to my youngest granddaughter who will be in first grade. The girls spent part of yesterday and overnight till after lunch today with me. First, scooters around the neighborhood, then after dinner, this is what we did, after playing numerous games of Uno. 

      My review: I wanted to be sure to share this wonderful older book (1955) from Beatrice Schenk de Regniers and terrific Maurice Sendak. I can imagine kids taking off with their own ideas after reading this. These two ask the questions, then act out the silly answers, and in rhyme, too. What can you do with a shoe? "You can put it on your ear/on your beery-leery ear; You can put it on your ear, tra-la./Or wear it on your head/Or butter it like bread/Or use apple jam instead, ha ha." They move on to say this is nonsense and put the shoe in its proper place. There is more: what can you do with a chair, a hat, a broom and on. It is hilarious and my youngest granddaughter and I laughed and laughed. I hope you can find it and use it to find more items to brainstorm lists of "what can you do with a . . .! 


Scootering around the Block