Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday Morning - Love These Books

  Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 
       Kellee! I am happy that things are going well with you!   Welcome back!       

             I took a long time reading this debut YA thriller by Angeline Boulley. Part of it was time. It is a long, dense book. But the other part is that sometimes I paused to consider what was happening, and what the protagonist who tells her story seemed to be telling me, the reader. As an almost nineteen-year-old, Daunis Fontaine appears to have lived a lot of her life already. She is a biracial, unenrolled tribal member who feels apart from her community and the Ojibwe reservation. She is both and neither. Also, I just recently read and shared a book in English and Anishinaabemovin, This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby, thus familiar with some of the background. My Goodreads review is here.
            A thriller was not expected when I started the book. Another reason I slowed down was the preponderance of sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat moments. On the other hand, sometimes it was definitely a story of growing up, making a mixed-up life fit. Then suddenly it turned into a life shattered with sadness and grief. Family support felt crucial for Daunis but typical for a teen, she wasn't always truthful about what was happening to her. She is strong and continues to be, shoving secrets and sadness inside, even from her mother and her Auntie who might be the ones who will step in to help. There is romance, so I thought it might be a thriller that had a deliriously happy ending. You'll need to read to decide if it did. 
         Words in Anishinaabemovin along with tribal traditions and beliefs make the story one that envelops the tragedy of so many Native American women going missing. That is in our news today! Angeline Boulley isn't telling only Daunis' story but the story of many, a thread that sews it all together. Speaking from the 'outside', I realize there is much more to know and understand, but I am grateful for this marvelous book that adds to my knowledge.

From Goodreads: 
Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

There are all kinds of animals, including people, with various numbers of legs. This story tells about Three, wandering through the day happy as can be. He was glad when it rained because he felt clean. His "waggly tail kept him well fed". Sometimes, he wandered and looked for a home, "wherever his nose led". Stephen Michael King writes and illustrates a special story of a positive dog with three legs, happy not to have legs too long (like horses) or too many to count (like caterpillars), yes, all positive. In all his walking, he was happy. One day he walked out of the city and met a young girl named Fern, and they seemed meant to be together. Three found his home! First published in Australia, this is published in the U.S. just this year. It's a lovely (and happy) story, just like Three.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Poetry Friday - Zentangle Fun

           Thanks to Linda Mitchell who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, A Word Edgewise. She has some 'clunkers' to trade. No, I didn't get that wrong. It is "clunkers"! Thanks for the fun, Linda!

         The "Poetry Sisters" - Tricia Stohr-Hunt, Sara Lewis Holmes, Kelly Ramsdell, Laura Purdie-Salas, Liz Garton Scanlon, and Andi Sibley, have been writing to certain challenges for a long time. In recent months, they have asked the rest of the PF bloggers if they would like to join in, hashtag #PoetryPals. This past month, They wrote this: Next month we are writing zentangle poems. If you are unfamiliar with this form, check out this post by Kat Apel. Share your poem on June 25th in a post with the tag #PoetryPals.

         I've loved seeing zentangles whenever I do see them. But I've never done one. This time, the challenge intrigued me, probably because of the found poem idea, but also, I thought it was high time I sat down and took the time to try. Thanks, Poetry Sisters. This was lots of fun! I'm looking forward to doing another! 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday Reading - More Stories to Enjoy

   Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 
       Kellee! I am happy that things are going well with you!   Welcome back!       

             I read a lot,  yet simply could not finish The Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. With extra shifts at the bookstore, the granddaughters' visiting, and a Father's Day with their Papa and Mama, it was a busy week. Plus, my AC is on the blink and repair people are booked yet they won't be at my house until the 29th! It's okay, but a little different (ha!) on the hot days!  Happy Summer!

             Here are the picture books I enjoyed!

          Hugo, the pigeon, is a Park Warden and takes care of a small Parisian Park along with those who live around it. He feeds tidbits to the birds, visits Madame Grande on her balcony, and cleans up after children's play. There is "somebody" that never appears from behind a curtain, a mystery! Atinuke lets Hugo tell his story and it is a poignant one. That "somebody" finally peeks out and what happens after becomes a joyous time, but only after Hugo has to be saved, too! Illustrations are Birgitta Sif illustrates the story with beautiful creativity, some parts alive with color as the background fades into brown tones. It's a lovely and totally satisfying story.
            First published by Walker Books, UK. Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy, just published in the US this month!

           Noah waits and waits for his Nana to fix their boat so they can go sailing AND look for seals. He creates his own out of the sand, but they must take shelter from a fast-moving storm. Afterward, looking out, he sees his special seal has disappeared yet just as they turn away to leave, he looks back, to see his seal (or is it?) in the water. They rush to the boat, now fixed, and sail away to see, you guessed it, more seals! It's a sweet story by Layn Marlow for young readers with a bit of magic and beautiful pictures by the sea. 
            First published by Oxford University Press, UK. Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy, just published in the US this month!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

#PoetryFriday - Extra Trash

          Thanks to Buffy Silverman who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, HERE.   She has a poem that 'buzzes' with spring delights! Thanks, Buffy!

Down the street, someone else's "extra trash".

a haibun

           Many spent the Pandemic year at home and cleaned out their homes. What else was there to do but discover "extra trash"? Our own Denver Trash Company does an "extra" pickup every eight weeks. Tuesday was "my neighborhood's day". As I walked the blocks, the piles filled my imagination. Here was a wonder of a cat tree, or "cat heaven" some feline might term it. Was this a cat goodbye, too? Another put out a full-length mirror. Are they tired of seeing too much of themselves, related to "Quarantine weight gain"? Also, tied-up board scraps sparked reminders of quarantine home projects. There was a file cabinet, a cardboard shelf, and a washer. One on my own pile has been in the family since my son was born, a long while ago. I forgot to take a picture but it, this two feet tall plastic container, was the diaper pail. On the way to Colorado, it held towels. After the move, my children used it for toys, water balloons, all kinds of balls. Now, here in my new home, bags. Yes, all those bags we accumulate when all we really need are a few in the car. Well, the bags are in another pile to giveaway, not trash, but "extra". 

                                                  empty at the curb

                                                  white tub waits for a toss,

                                                  memories stay

                                                              Linda Baie ©


Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Reading - Sharing More Great Books

     Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 
         I hope most of you have finished your school year, one that will certainly be remembered, and are starting summer with much-needed rest! 

           It was hard to wait for this dystopian verse novel by Irene Latham but I did, and then I couldn't put it down. In the future United States, young girl Klynt lives in what is called the Worselands with her father. Years before a terrible virus was carried by dogs, then to humans. Many people die, too, thus dogs were gathered and destroyed. Within that time, Klynt's mother took up the cause and left, determined to be where dogs could be saved and live! Klynt is ever reminded of that loss and that her mother is a hero but she is stuck bored, helping her father farm and passing the time with restoring what she calls her Museum of Fond Memories. 
        Irene allows all the feelings of sadness and resentment show as she lets Klynt tell this tale. In poem by poem, I begin to feel sad for her life, wondering, as I believe many middle-grade readers will, how I would survive. She is inventive and resourceful but being so far away with only her father and seeing a few neighbors once a month on ration day is hard. Irene adds to this future way of life with her own inventive words, creating the poetry of this dystopian world: to Kyynt, these Worselands are a "hum-nothing that stretches for miles". A "chug-chug" is a tractor, her father shows a "droopbottom" face, and "leafgiants" are (did you guess?) trees. Irene's inventive style in the use of these words along with the poem connections as the last word of one leads to the next creates a bountiful tale of a future like no other.
        Boring lives can change, especially for Klynt, for one day a visitor like no other shows up, a D-39 robodog. From that moment of discovery, life is a bit less boring, a bit more exciting, and then, a lot more dangerous! You, readers, don't want to miss this beautiful and creative story full of kindnesses no matter the hardships where Klynt gets to show she has learned some vitally important things while being bored. Surprises await!

             Thanks to Candlewick Press, Walker Books US for the ARC of this wonderful new middle-grade mystery. A gloomy mansion, Braithwaite Manor, set far away across the moors finds young Clara Starling, orphaned at birth by her mother, her and unknown to her father. Now she's in the hands of an Uncle, gloomy and stern, required only to see her once a day to inquire as to her schooling and health. Cold-mannered with not one loving feeling, Clara depends only on Cook and the Butler to help her grow plus a string of strange governesses who seem to last only a minute. Judith Eagle sets that tone as readers rush headlong into a mystery when a young boy, Peter, shows up. He's been sent by his Granny who's unwell but just before, Clara's uncle has declared the house is sold and they must leave. Fortunately, Clara is a fighter and sneaks back, figures she will make it on her own. She practically has anyway! Yes, the plot thickens, with the addition of Cook's children, a few kind adults, the mystery races away in its unraveling. I think readers will love the twists and turns that the mystery makes, with Clara and Peter leading the way with resolve.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Poetry Friday - Finding Advice in Poetry

         Thanks to Carol Wilcox who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, Carol's Corner.  Carol is introducing us to a new poet! Don't miss the poems! 

              The poem I'm sharing today and came across recently is one I'd saved a while ago. It fits us now, doesn't it? Russell Hoban gives us good advice. I will take it!

My puzzle from long ago!

Monday, June 7, 2021

It's Monday! A Long Beautiful List

    Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 
         I hope most of you have finished your school year, one that will certainly be remembered, and are starting summer with much-needed rest! 

           Twelve-year-old Amari Peters has lately had more trouble, as if the disappearance of her beloved brother, Quinton, isn't enough. On the last day of the elite school where she has a scholarship, she's had it with the bullying of the wealthy and spoiled, shoves one of them and now her acceptance for the next year is at risk. Her mother works so hard. Amari lives in the "hood" and is very loved, the one thing that keeps her going. She's happy to receive a mysterious message and a briefcase from Quinton, taking her to an interview, a 'test' for the summer camp where Quinton went, a break from all the drama. But she didn't know what that camp really was until she stepped into the Vanderbilt Hotel. The Bureau of Supernatural Affairs seemed different from the "fancy leadership camp" her mother thought Quinton, and now Amari, was attending. No, it was not that at all. Just wait until you see what Amari's summer adventure turns out to be! B.B. Alston has written a wonderfully inventive and adventurous world with memorable characters. Will there be more?

       Micha Archer (Daniel Finds A Poem, Daniel's Good Day, Girl Running) gives us readers another marvelous book, filled really with awesome paintings from, I'm guessing, her own "wonder walk". This time a girl and a boy choose to do a "wonder walk" and find ways to celebrate our earth with glee! Throughout the journey, beauty reigns in metaphorical questions about what they see, where they are? "Is fog the river's blanket?" or "Is dirt the world's skin?" and "Are forests the mountains fur?" are some of their wonders! It is a beautiful book, inspiring all to "GET OUT INTO THE WORLD!"

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Poetry Friday - Filling A Basket

           Thanks to Margaret Simon who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog,  Reflections on the Teche. She's sharing two lovely poems in response to two fabulous prompts! Thanks for hosting, Margaret.
          I want to give a shout-out to Irene Latham for her new book, D-39: A Robodog's Journey. I just started reading it and it's going to be hard to pull away to read everyone's posts! Don't miss it!

        All this time, the things that kept me going are easy, walking out, the sky and other nature pictures, and talks with friends and family. Of course, tiny things helped, too, but these are the big ones.

        "I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Doctor Sun more, and be more under the treatment of those great hydropathic doctors, the clouds!" ~Henry Ward Beecher, Royal Truths
           Sky Dreams


I’m filling up my sky basket

with clouds a-drifting by.

I’ll catch the elephants and bears

and wispy veils like sighs,

then fly along the sky trails

meandering up high.


I’ll gather every blue there,

the lavenders and greys,

the azures and the sapphires

on sunny and cloudy days.

I’ll tuck in all the navies

from late-day sunset rays.


Today my basket’s full of blues.

Wishing you some sky dreams, too.


Linda Baie ©