Just some lovely flowers from my garden (aka the only things I haven’t killed yet).
Hello again. I hope you are having a lovely fall full of crunchy leaves, crisp air, and pumpkin filled treats. As you may remember from last year, I am a huge fan of NaNoWriMo (I usually fail but I love the challenge and camaraderie) so I am busy preparing which has left very little time for reading fiction. I have been researching which may *gasp* even lead to an outline… maybe. So most of the books I’ve read the past couple of weeks are about Ancient Egypt and the people unearthing Her secrets and I wish I had a stand out awesome book to share with you, but I don’t. At least not yet. Hopefully, I will have one by November. Or if you have a favorite book about Egypt, I would love some recommendations. But since I’m in a non-fiction phase at the moment, I will share my favorite non-fiction book with you: The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson. He seamlessly blends the tales of the lobsters, the biologists who study them, and the lobster fisherman into a truly engaging read. I loved it. Ok, my NaNo stuff is calling me. Ta!
“Noah!” I scream and catch the back of his collar, choking him to a halt. “Those pennies’ll be hot.”
“Ow,” he whines.
“Well try thinkin’ for once in you life.” I’ve gone too far. He’s sniffling and smearing his runny nose all over his new ground suit. I sigh and my helmet fogs up a little. Putting a gloved hand on his shoulder, I try to pull him towards me, but he shrugs me off. “Just wait a few minutes, all right? Grandma’ll be mad if you burn your gloves.”
I walk off a couple yards, kicking rocks as I go. I like how they sound bouncing off the rusting metal of the old scrap yard. Howie and I found this place a couple years back, before he left for the mining colony. The sky is an impenetrable brown haze. I can’t tell where the sun is, but the info screen in my helmet says Noah and I have ten minutes before we need to high-tail it home for dinner.
There’s all sorts of things in the scrap yard. Some I recognize from school like cars and refrigerators, others I just guess at. It was a game Howie and I used to play.
“Hey, Howie,” I’d say. “What d’ya think that was for?”
And he’d say something like, “Honestly, Clarabelle! Can’t you tell? That is a tarfunkel. Obviously.”
I’d laugh and ask what it did. He always knew.
I hug myself as best as one can in a ground suit. It didn’t help. If I could see the stars, I still wouldn’t be able to find the rock Dad shipped Howie to. At the time I was grateful for Howie to have a job. I thought it meant we would have a life together.
A whistle reverberates through the yard, echoing against the walls of metal. I turn around but I’ve wandered far in the yard. My feet send clouds of dust pillowing into the air as I push myself as fast as I can. The whistle sounds again, closer. I skid to a halt before I run into a large metal cylinder. I’ve turned the wrong way.
“Noah!” I scream, but the whistle drowns out my voice.
Hello Fellow Book Lovers!
I was so torn this week about whether I wanted to do my Book Club post about a specific book or do another Top 10 List (I was leaning towards my Top 10 Books for Preschoolers) and then I picked-up The Hoarders by Jean Stringham and I knew I had to share this book with you.
The Hoarders is the story of two young boys who do not have a stable home life. It is told from the viewpoint of Cheyenne, the older brother, as he explains all the details leading up to their current predicament. I loved how up close and personal the reader feels to Cheyenne and his family. I’m sure many of us remember being talked over as a child and it’s no different for Cheyenne; he experiences situations where adults are deciding his life without his input and often failing him as caretakers. What helps Cheyenne deal with these difficult situations with an amazing resiliency is that he is a great observer of adults. He learns to control what he can like keeping a hoard of food hidden in his backpack at all times. The story is often heart-breaking, but not only does it teach us as adults (or young adults) the importance of how our actions affect the young people in our lives, it teaches us about what is really important and how blessed many of us are. I hope you will pick this book up and give it a read.
Stay tuned for Jen’s No Rules Friday next week.
Top Ten Middle Grade Books
(In no particular order)
I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of my favorite middle grade books. That’s right. Not only do I read YA, I read MG. And I love it. Truth is I believe that a good story is a good story, no matter how long it is or the age of the protagonist. Here are some of my favorites that I believe are stories worth reading no matter your age:
1. A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
2. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
3. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (See my post here)
5. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
6. The Giver by Lois Lowry
7. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
8. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (See Julie’s post here)
9. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
10. Blue Heron by Avi
Please let me know what you think or if there are any other MG books on your top ten list!
Maidens of the Sea
Summer break should be devoted to something big. Not like photographing every sunset, finding the perfect shade of nail polish, or seeing how many times you can watch The Fault in Our Stars and still cry big, but something really important. Like finding out what happened to Vanity Harrison.
I was two weeks into break and no closer to the truth, halfheartedly studying her house with my grandfather’s faded binoculars through a break in my curtains, my feet dangling off my bed, Fatty Fred happily purring on my back as he cut my lung capacity in half, when Mrs. Harrison drove up her circular driveway in the red convertible looking more like a Hollywood ingenue than a grieving mother had any right to. She parked in front of the elaborate Greek columns lining the exterior of the entryway and went inside. Just like normal. Just like she had everyday since she woke up and found Vanity gone.
“Gah! This is pointless, Fred.” I rested my chin on the edge of the bed, my arms hanging like weeping willow branches to the floor, and dropped the binoculars on the ground. I wanted to turn over and stare dejectedly at the ceiling, but I was at Fred’s mercy and he seemed pretty comfortable for the moment.
There was a soft knocking on my door before my dad pushed it open. I rolled my eyes. Luckily, he could only see my feet and Fatty Fred.
“Dad, you’re supposed to wait after you knock. What if I was naked?”
“It’s 10:30 in the morning. Why would you be naked?”