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 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

#PoetryFriday - Wings & Things

photo-Linda Baie
Poetry Friday is at Whispers from the Ridge with Kiesha Shepard this week and she has a beautiful poem that invites us all to step inside to sing along her "Summer Song"! Be sure to visit to read everyone's poetry offerings!
        My youngest granddaughter Imogene's kindergarten class studied insects all year and I shared David Harrison's new poetry book, Crawly School for Bugs: Poems to Drive You Buggy a few months ago in this post

       Now I've discovered Carol Murray's Cricket In The Thicket: Poems About Bugs, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. I just had a bit of time to share it with Imi's teacher and copy a couple of poems for the class, wish it had been around all year. Imi came home talking often about insect parts, knew them all, and the differences among the sexes, the work they did, and on. I was impressed, as I am by the creative way Carol has integrated what's fact with clever wordplay in her poems. Melissa Sweet's mixed-media style adds to the invitation of the book to smile and learn and enjoy these animals some think are scary!
         Twenty-seven different insects float, sit, fly and crawl along the pages while basking in the poems written about them. The gorgeous dragonfly becomes a "mini-glider in the sky" while those wonders of playthings, Roly-Polys, "lodge in camouflage,/all rolled up in a ball,/but a gentle nudge will make them budge,/and then they start to crawl." Also called "pill bugs", the book tells "they are actually crustaceans, like shrimp and crayfish, and have seven pairs of legs." 
        A favorite double page shows a caterpillar, the larva of the monarch butterfly, munching on milkweed, poisonous to birds, those pretty green pods seen in the wild. The page includes a cocoon above, then butterflies flying away into the air on the right. Lucky they are! Carol writes, "Most usually, I'm hidden/when attackers choose to dine,/and birds don't like my milkweed taste. How very, very fine!" 
         Insects on the "to-be-avoided" list of many are included, too, like ticks and mosquitos, cockroaches and termites. Carol acknowledges the harm they do in the poems but also includes quite amazing information as in Par-tick-u-lar-ly Awesome: "No wonder that the tiny tick/seems so abundant, often thick./The female lays (now here's the scoop)/five thousand eggs--in one fell swoop." 
        I've only shared a few examples from the wide variety of insects in the book. Those beloved are there, too, the honeybee and the firefly, along with the title crickets plus grasshoppers and praying mantises. Melissa Sweet's art enhances every page, adding to parts of her collages snippets of print that have words concerning insects. It's a wonder of a book that will excite anyone who wonders about those flitting, crawling animals that are now showing themselves this spring. Here are two pages I loved and learned from. 
      Extraordinary adaptations show off throughout the book, like this spotted water beetle who have a way to breathe underwater by carrying air beneath their wings. Carol Murray has cleverly adapted her poem to a television show you may recognize in her title, "Water Beetles Got Talent" and in the words: "I creep and crawl and glide the sky,/I'm begging for your vote./I've got a lot of talent,/I can flip--and fly--and float!"

       There is additional information about each of the twenty-seven in the backmatter. I imagine that any classroom would love to use this as a mentor text for non-fiction research and writing poems. It's a terrific new poetry book.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Non-Fiction Picture Books - A Favorite Thing

art by Sarah S. Brannen

         Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  
       I have read Biblioburro by Jeannette Winter, Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile by Gloria Houston, My Librarian Is A Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World by Margriet Ruurs, and now, this marvelous one about the woman who created the first bookmobile in the U.S.

       Mary Lemist Titcomb was born in 1852, fortunate enough to have parents who allowed her to continue her education, and the story tells that as her brothers began leaving for careers like medicine, Mary wanted to do something, too. Few careers were open to women at that time other than nursing or teaching. Fortunately, the field of librarianship was just emerging and Mary was excited about the idea of working with books and sharing them with others. There was no formal way to become educated in this new career, so Mary moved to Concord, Massachusetts and began working there as an unpaid intern. She never stopped fulfilling her passion for the library. The book is detailed, including numerous photos and documents about Mary's career. She moved from place to place, never failing to succeed in improving what libraries meant, to her and to her patrons!
          Mary ended her career as the head of a brand new library in Washington County, Maryland, a mostly rural county. Some did not like that a "newcomer" was hired. Some thought it silly to even open a library. Rural people didn't have time to read! When it opened, crowds arrived and never stopped. Mary seemed to have found a real home.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

It's Monday - Terrific Books To Share

          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.  
          First, a link you might know, but wanted to share in case you missed it. Here's a great list of "15 picture books to help you raise kind, tolerant kids" from

        This just out May 22nd. I didn't read it fast, found it fascinating, sad, filled with the main character Noah's thoughts, that soon-graduated boy who has been breaking swim-competition records, is being scouted by colleges, suddenly has a back injury. Hm-m, is there more to know? And would teens reading this understand what's really going on? I bet many will and then pass this on as a terrific book! 
       Adam Silvera, in part of his review, writes: "A stunning surrealist portrait, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik is a story about all the ways we hurt our friends without knowing it, and all the ways they stick around to save us." And it is about friends, and what happens when we think they've abandoned us. And it's about a couple of betrayals, between friends and by one acquaintance. Noah has these "strange fascinations" that become all too fantastic and true, but maybe not. Finally, they change into a few real answers that have been sought by him, knowing he's moving into his own adult life, saying: "I'm beginning to suspect a plot wherein my Strange Fascinations have been conspiring together to remind me that this world is both very real and full of very real magic." 

         How can I know that many teens will like this? I only hope that those who will find a kinship with Noah will read it and re-read it again. There are good things here in this story. Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC.

        In his refugee camp, the biggest thing Joseph wants to do is ride the one bike in the camp. But it is too big. He learns to repair it, then waits to grow so he can ride! Each time he sees the bike, the owner tells him "Tomorrow. Hey!" Then he moves to America, and among all the new, interesting and sometimes scary things, there is a girl whose hair goes "whoosh" who rides a red bike, one that is just Joseph's size! The events after that will fill your heart. Illustrations are black-outlined and full of feelings and color.
       Back and forth mother and daughter go, the mother is willing to work hard picking coffee beans at ten cents a pound so that her daughter can go beyond the mountains and see the world, go to school. The daughter is torn by her decision to leave, seeing her mother's hands "coarsened and scratched." She says "I will stay with you." Later, "Your back, Mama. I can see, How it bends and stoops in pain. . . I will stay with you." Then, Mama tells how she is bound to the village, implying lack of education. Finally, "I will come home to you, by and by." With these brief words between two who love each other, the story shows beautifully the poignant parting, the sacrifice made. I read it to my young granddaughters and they understood and realized that others lead very different lives than they do. The full-page illustrations are wonderful, filled with the present heartbreak, poignant in that final double spread of the two hands pulling apart.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Celebrating Good Things Always

      Celebrating today with Ruth Ayres and others who share.  

"It is no bad thing celebrating a simple life."  Tolkien

           This week filled up fast, and I was busy with gardening, the bookstore, writing, servicing the car, LIFE! I am wishing for a "do nothing" day as Sam described, probably where I'll read all day! Some of my "do nothing" days also mean work in the garden, a pleasure in the time spent in all that beauty. This week, the swallowtails arrived and I happened to be out to see them.  

       This was the girls' final week of school so I had both of them on Tuesday. First, we visited our favorite Indie, The Tattered Cover, to choose books to give their teachers and to browse and discover new ones we'd also like to read. And then we just came back home to sign the books and to read some of the library books I already have, to play. Here's one book to love that I shared last Monday. Author Kyle Lukoff takes a step further in describing those collective animal names of which we are fond. I love ravens and crows, so this page is a favorite. Illustrations by Natalie Nelson are wonderful.

           I worked all day at the bookstore Thursday. We have a new and large donation from a young man who was told to clean out his room! He had so many fantasy books, Harry Potter to Redwall to Riordan's books and on. We are grateful! And we're starting a June sale of half price in Children's books, ready for Summer reading! Here's a small taste!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Summer Senses

              Welcome, June and Poetry Friday, hosted by Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog! Thanks, Buffy, for our welcome to a summer month!

          Memories from the senses appear without invitation. Watching the grand-girls climbing a tree perches me in my own tree in a grandparents' backyard where I spent summer days reading after dragging an old pillow up to a limb. A grandpa mows along with me as I push my little mower, listening to its whirr, whirr, whirr. There is no sound I know like it. 
          This poem arrived from a taste, a summer afternoon treat at a grandparents' home where I visited each summer through most of my growing-up years.  That taste of Pepsi let the words pour!

Pepsi Time

Let me be transformed, if only for a while.
I drink my Pepsi and become a little girl again.

On the farm, humidity hovers,
insects surround - showing off,
Swing, sit and sip
one icy glass under the elm.
The afternoon pauses,
waits for the evening cool.
I escape upstairs to the spare room of stories,
for The Saturday Evening Post,
a gift saved for me all year,
that magazine of good fiction
I read once in a while now,
but only online.

Newsprint smells welcome
and I turn the pages with a clip, flip.
I settle and sigh,
satisfied that nothing has changed.  
For this summer month,
I live my child's life—
nothing to harm me,
no worries around me.

They love me,
daughter of their 
lost son.
And feed me biscuits
and stars
                 and Pepsi.

Linda Baie (c) All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

#NFPB18 - Leaders Who Guide Us

art by Sarah S. Brannen

         Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  

        This amazing book about Gandhi offers the highlights of his life by illustrator friends of Brad Meltzer. Including Meltzer. Twenty-eight artists collaborated to tell the story, each in his or her own style. They are donating their work to the Seeds of Peace organization which they "feel embodies Gandhi's mission." The long and burdened, but slowly enlightening journey of Gandhi is shown in the variety of styles by the artists making it even more compelling to learn. It includes brief biographies of each illustrator and a timeline of Gandhi's life. The endpapers show his journey to the sea. 
        Telling Malala's story must be a challenge to tell in different ways, to consider the audience. It has already been told several times, this time in a debut picture book written and illustrated by Lina Maslo. In graphic exaggerated pictures, focusing on reds and blues, Lina shows the important parts of Malala's story, from birth to her worldwide fame. There is a focus on her father's unwavering support to help his daughter (deemed bad luck at birth because she was a girl) starting with her namesake. That naming seems prophetic, for the name comes from a Pashtun heroine who died supporting soldiers with inspirational words in a battle in 1880 that Afghanis fought and won against the British. Her name is Malalai of Malwand. For young readers, this telling of Malala's story, especially when she was shot, is done thoughtfully. She is shown to have gone into a dream-like state for seven days when she woke up to find herself in England. She continued to be determined not to keep silent about girls' rights. This focus on Malala's childhood and enjoying school until it's made illegal for girls is done well. Also, the laws that keep girls from learning are explained simply. It's a great introduction to Malala for younger children or for anyone who wants a brief and enjoyable biography. Added are an author's note, a timeline, and further resources.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

#IMWAYR - More Books To Know

          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.  

            Yes, it's still science-fiction and a bit of fantasy, yet there is a part of me that sees this story as the sweetest reunion of family. Like people torn apart in all the terrible times of our world history, seeing the sadness of parting between Roz the robot and Brightbill, her goose son and the joy of seeing each other after the separation brings tears as much as an adult novel will. After her repairs from the island capture, Roz is reassigned to Hilltop Farm where help is certainly needed by the family there. Roz uses her robotic abilities to do the work assigned, but her "extra" abilities endear her to the two children who live there. They've recently lost their mother, their father is injured and desperately needs help to maintain the farm. Not only does Roz befriend the children, but the dairy cows, too, and others who live there. She becomes fond of all, yet continues to miss her island and especially her dear Brightbill. Through migrating flocks, at last a plan for escape is made. Peter Brown manages just the right amount of tension and heartbreak met with actions of understanding and love in his second story of Roz. How he shows the least of the characters with heart is amazing. I smiled when I saw that Chitchat the squirrel remains, and was saddened that Greybeak, the pigeon was gone. It's a terrific story with just the right number of illustrations that punctuate the actions. 

             A few chapters, a lot of laughs, a fun book for early readers and any who love seeing friends have fun along with working out misunderstandings. “May I use your bathroom?” might be the most hilarious because Chick asks that question, and Fox thought what most of us might think, but Chick takes it to another level, “A PARTY”! There’s humor along with both sweet and tongue-in-cheek words. My granddaughter loved it and we both smiled all the way through. Thanks to Sergio Ruzzier, the text is brief but terrific, and the illustrations are straightforward and colorful. It’s created in a comic book format, easily navigated. 

Every day Celebrations

      Celebrating today with Ruth Ayres and others who share. I haven't written a celebration post since early April, first caught in the throes of a poem a day in April, then it didn't happen week after week. I have been much more busy at the bookstore where I volunteer. For those of you who don't know, this is a used bookstore that is run entirely by volunteers, and I am the volunteer coordinator. It's great to work with all these people, but takes time, and some finesse I think, too. I celebrate the more than forty volunteers who keep our bookstore going for book lovers!
     It's been a strange weather year for us. We've had winter when we expect spring, and summer when we expect, yes, spring. I hope things settle down soon! But whatever has happened, the flowers seem more beautiful than ever and I celebrate that something worked very well for those flowers this year.
     Ingrid (3rd grade) came home from a three-day overnight on Friday and was so excited about her time in the woods, she wanted to do something else on Saturday, our day this week together. So, we traveled to a favorite lake and loved our walk, seeing beautiful birds, sketching in our notebooks and hearing the concert they gave to us. I don't have a picture of Imogene (kindergarten) who went for one night last week. I celebrate the teachers willing to take their classes out into the wild, to show how wonderful it can be. 
     And finally, many of you know that my father was killed in action during World War II. I celebrate those in the military who keep us safe, today and long ago. The sacrifice of lives taken or years of service given is something we don't always think about, and this Memorial Day holiday is one that helps us remember. 
     It is the start of summer vacation for many of you. Wishing you one filled with rest and a slowing down of your lives so you can take time to celebrate the good things in each day.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Poetry Friday - Being Ready

              Poetry Friday this final one in May is hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on The Teche! Thanks, Margaret, for sending us off into summer!

Photo- Linda Baie

        I spent many years saying goodbye in Continuation Ceremonies and with speeches to my students. I taught gifted middle-school students in an independent school and our continuation ceremony felt as important as high school graduations, though not quite as big. Usually, in my speeches to the students and the guests in the audience, I shared a poem, hoping they could take the wise words of a poet on with them. I'm thinking of all of you who are saying your goodbyes to your own grown-up children or students today, sharing the beautiful and wise words of William Stafford. 

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

~ William Stafford ~

     Thank you to all those who have served our country. I appreciate each one who has stood in harm's way for us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

NFPB Wednesday - Women Who Made A Difference

art by Sarah S. Brannen

         Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  
          I know that many have already heard the story of Ada Lovelace, and here is another book about her, this time focusing on her childhood and the path that led her to the mathematical thinking that preceded (by over a hundred years) the invention of the computers we know today.
          Perhaps some have heard of Kathryn Johnston, the first girl to play little league baseball, yet although I grew up in her time, I had not heard her story until Heather Lang told it in this picture book of a passion fulfilled that made history.
         It's terrific to hear stories that show both passions and persistence resulting in good things we now appreciate.

        Kathryn Johnson loved baseball, loved her father's glove, even used it for a long time though it was for right-handers, and she was a lefty. Frustrations grew when Kathryn's brother tried out and made the local little league team. She knew she was better, but because she was a girl, she had to stay back, play only in local sandlot games. That itself was an honor because those local players recognized how good she was and invited her to play. There came a time for the tryouts of a new little league team. Frustrated again, Kathryn decided, with her mother's help and approval, to cut off her pigtails, borrow her brother's clothes and tryout as a boy! How it all turns out shows that risk-taking often means success! Cartoon-like illustrations by Cecelia Puglesi show this time in our history well. The pages show only white children, Mother in the kitchen wearing an apron, girls playing hopscotch, and Dad wearing a sweater vest. The backmatter includes an author's note and a timeline of women and girls in baseball. Heather Lang has written another wonderful biography of a story that will be inspiring for young people to read! Like "Fearless Flyer" and "Swimming With Sharks", she shows that taking that next, sometimes frightening, step can make a difference for self and for others! Thanks, Heather!

         This new book about Ada Lovelace not only tells more of her story as a young girl, illustrations by Marjorie Priceman fit the Victorian age in which Ada grew up and include real numerical equations researched by Tanya Lee Stone. Ada, perhaps like her poet/dreaming father, Lord Byron, was also a dreamer, thus Ada was punished at times by being put in a closet when she doesn't please her mother's expectations. Her mother, according to the text, "was hoping to protect her from what Lady Byron believed were the dangers of a vivid imagination such as her father had."  We are told that Ada spent many hours alone, her only companion, her cat, Madame Puff. She was tutored from an early age that focused on mathematics, and Ada was also studying French and music. She liked many other things but was denied learning about them as she grew up. As a young adult, her friendship with the scientist, Charles Babbage kept her mind occupied. How exciting it was to see his new inventions, to read his articles. They wrote each other often, and the crowning point was that Babbage told Ada she should write her own original paper. Ada's longer explanation of his own invention now shows it to be the precursor that explains how computers work. 
        There is "more to the story" in the back matter and an added little bit about how Ada Lovelace got her name. Thanks to Tanya Lee Stone, readers have another glimpse of this important woman who followed her passions. It's a wonderful book!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

#IMWAYR - Sharing "Don't Miss" Books

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

            Is there a "key to everything"? There is one KEY, one that serves as the underlying theme of this story of more than one person who is trying hard to overcome hard things, and especially Tasha, or Bug or Kid, eventually Tash. She's survived being left alone at a very young age by her father who ends up in prison. There is little blame but for too much drink and poor choices, but his brother, Tash's Uncle Kevin saves her, becomes her dad. And when that "aloneness" feeling pushes her into "ragers", he's there, and so is the next-door neighbor, the one who never leaves her home, Cap'n Jackie. She's an older woman that fights her own demons but she loves Tash, the 'Kid' and they have forged an unlikely relationship. 
          Tash's and Kevin's lives are tense throughout the story, beginning with Kevin planning a month's trip and signing up Tasha for a sleep-away camp. There's another rage to no avail. She does go, but not before hate-filled words are spoken to both Kevin and Cap'n Jackie. That magic key that's been so important to Tasha's and Cap'n Jackie's relationship is thrown in anger back to Jackie. 
          Camp turns out okay, but coming home is not the happy time Tash imagines. Her "Cap'n" has disappeared, so has the key, and finally, they discover she has fallen, broken her hip and is in a rehab center. The rest is a story of heartbreak, yet also hope, some resolution with Cap'n Jackie's nephew Nathan, another child she helped. Pat Schmatz has managed to write a complex story that shows how much people need love and support in their lives. It's not a long book, but caring words rule the lives of most of these people. I would have liked to have some of the references to people, and the history between Tasha and Cap'n Jackie developed further. I imagine some readers will like connecting to the feelings and experiences. 
           There are some tough scenes in the rehab/nursing home that I felt were stereotypical, like unfeeling and lazy workers. I realize that they may represent some places, but I know they are not like all homes. In all, I enjoyed the story, the characters' love and support for each other.
          Thanks to Candlewick Press for the Advanced Copy. This book came out early in May.

          Perhaps I shouldn’t have read this second one. Now I have to wait and wait for the next (or last?). Rowan and Citra move into different paths in this next phase of this scythe-building world. Some expected characters are there, and others are introduced. Just like our own lives, there are people one must trust or distrust, and Shusterman gives us plenty to judge. New people come into our lives and change us, as they change others here in this story and become changed themselves. It’s more complex than “Scythe”, the first in the series, with more surprises, some predictable, some I didn’t see coming. This time, Thunderhead writes thoughts between each chapter, also making changes in perspective. It’s another wild ride adventure. One quote from the Thunderhead feels like a good response to all the story: “There is a fine line between freedom and permission. The former is necessary. The latter is dangerous--perhaps the most dangerous thing the species that created me has ever faced.”