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Wagon Wheels. Barbara Brenner. Illustrated by Don Bolognese. 1978. HarperCollins. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]
First sentence: "There it is, boys" Daddy said. "Across this river is Nicodemus, Kansas. That is where we are going to build our house. There is free land for everyone here in the West. All we have to do is go and get it."
Premise/plot: Wagon Wheels is an early chapter book based on a true story. Set in the late 1870s, the book follows the adventures of the Muldie family as they settle in Kansas. First the family settles in Nicodemus, Kansas, a black community. Then the father leaves the boys behind and searches for a better place to settle down and call home, this time near Solomon City. The boys--all on their own--travel to rejoin their father. (The father disliked the flat land and missed trees and hills.)
The book is narrated by Johnny, one of four boys being raised by a widower. The text is simple, and the action is straight-forward. Though simple, it was packed with just the right amount of detail. This book is much, much shorter than any of the Little House books, but, it is just as vivid.
My thoughts: I really liked this one. The edition I picked up is all black-and-white illustrations. I could not tell based on the cover alone that it was a black pioneer family. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I started reading the text to find some diversity. The family--and the community--are saved from starvation by the generosity of Indians--Osage, I believe. Unlike the Little House books, the Indians are portrayed positively. Yes, they are referred to as "Indians" but not savages or redskins or the like.
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Hi, folks, I've been writing a series all about a time in my twenties when I was part of religious cult. Last week I wrote a heart-breaking story from my past about G and his sad demise. This is my version of the Valley of Dry Bones from the Book of Ezekiel. I'm calling it Close to the Bone. This is the final in the series.
Toward the end of the dark days of the cult, I was failing around for purpose. A teacher from college, Dr. Van Riper, ran into me at the supermarket and demanded to know why I had three children instead of writing books for children. I had no answer. She'd told me what to do, and I'd ignored her.
I was slowly waking up in these days. God's chosen people were now looking like a bunch of uneducated country folk, plus a bunch of kids that had choked on embracing the future after college. That's when I saw the ad in the newspaper about some group called SCBWI.
Fellow-shipping outside the church was forbidden in manipulative, oblique way, but this was business so I figured God would give me a pass. I remember heading to that first meeting and feeling so welcome. There were 8 or 9 women and they were so gracious and kind. I remember the first conversation in a long time without having to say praise the Lord or how God was directing me every third word. I also remember KA. She was a real author and the leader of the SCBWI group. Her first picture book had come out but she talked to me like I was a colleague. Bam, I was in the inner circle.
I can not tell you how much KA's leadership meant to me. I tried to keep secret from the church my fraternizing with the world. KA was a Unitarian. That was something I was supposed to fear. Of course, by now, I understood that I was supposed to fear everything, and it was sort of ridiculous and tiring. KA believed in me as a creative person. She never let me feel like I was a little off with my long dresses and three kids in three years. She accepted me just as I was. It was the most Christian thing I'd ever experienced.
I remember being invited to another SCBWI member's house called DC. I had friends outside the church for the first time in almost eight years. I was hanging out with a group of women, totally normal women with varied backgrounds. It was sort of dizzying. I was supposed to have left the world behind but now I sneaking back into it. Oh, and the big problem? I loved it.
SCBWI became an island of normal in my life. Like Phoenix, I was rising from my ashes. KA tried to convince me to go to Los Angeles for the annual conference. I chickened out but her encouragement planted a seed in me. KA convinced me to volunteer for events, write letters to editors, and even submit my drawings to the SCBWI Bulletin. My first credit was as an illustrator in the Bulletin. I was so proud. I was engaged in the pursuit of liberty. I had expressed myself. I made $50. It was mind-blowing.
When Tim and I decided to move away the place we had known such tragedy, KA continued to encourage me until I left town. I have no idea if she had any idea of how lost I was, and how much I needed help to become a normal person again. She never said anything when the sorry story of my entire life was reported in the local newspaper. KA encouraged me creatively, commenting on my work and giving me suggestions, and once she sent me a card stating there would be a day when she said she knew me when. She bridged the way for me to absolutely normal. I turned into the funky person I had been before all the religious nonsense. I came to my senses.
Well, this is end of these posts and also time for big news. My blog is moving over to Niume.com. I hope you consider following me an my content there. You will receive updates of posts if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or tumbler.
One of those early drawings. I sent to the Bulletin on a notepad paper, a big no-no. Sm bought them anyway.
A quote for your pocket:
My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.
Ezekiel 37: 12b-14
Question: I've been told I'm head-hopping in my contemporary romance manuscript. How do you convey different characters' thoughts, feelings, or reactions
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Are you taking any philosophy courses as part of your degree this year? Or are you continuing with a second degree in philosophy? Then look no further for the best in philosophy research. We’ve brought together some of our most popular textbooks to help you prepare for the new academic year. From Plato to Descartes, ancient wisdom to modern philosophical issues, this list provides a great first stop for under-graduate and post-graduate students alike.
The post Back to philosophy: A reading list appeared first on OUPblog.
Number 2 in the discoveries made at my dad's house from long hidden archives of my work. In my wildest dreams I never thought I'd ever see this picture again, but there it was, in my dad's loft, warts and all, the very first drawing I ever attempted in pen and ink, from 1975, aged 16.
|School project: The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson, copy of an engraving in The Graphic, after the painting by John Collier. Pen & Ink with watercolour on paper. 73cm x 51cm. 1975. |
Prior to this drawing I'd worked steadily but quietly at school on assigned projects. It was acknowledged that I was "good at art", but this was post modernist, late hippy mid 1970's, most of the art classes were light on drawing skills, heavy on texture and tactility, I found little to inspire me. Batik tshirts? Organic bio-plant patterns? Yeuk! No, I wanted to draw! Draw people! Things!
Away from school however I'd long since discovered the joy of the BIC biro, and filled old unused school exercise books with drawings, copied or inspired by WW2 Commando
comics. After my dad bought me a couple of Adrian Hill guides to drawing and sketching I'd taken a sketchbook with me everywhere I went, and on every holiday over the previous year filled it with directly observed sketches from life in biro. This was all entirely independant from school. Finally a confrontation with a school bully ended up with the contents of my school bag scattered across the classroom floor, and my sketchbooks were discovered by my form tutor (and art teacher) Al Sayers.
Everything changed from then on. My wonderful art teacher Jackie Asbury (where is she now?) introduced me to a dip pen and a bottle of indian ink for the first time, and told me to draw something challenging. A 19th engraving of Collier's The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson
seemed to fit the bill. I knew absolutely nothing about Henry Hudson or John Collier, or for that matter pen and ink drawing, but I set to and produced this clumsy, tentative piece, little knowing that pen and ink was to become my chief medium for the next 40 years.
Well, this is what I wanted it to look like....
|The source engraving, The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson, after the painting by John Collier|
It's embarassing - those terribly badly drawn hands... it bears little resemblance to the source image, how could I hope to reproduce an engraving with a dip-pen? I had a lot to learn, but it was a start, and I never looked back.
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In the end, the decision for the UK to formally withdraw its membership of the European Union passed with a reasonably comfortable majority in excess of 1¼ million votes. Every one of the 17.4 million people who voted Leave would have had their own reason for wanting to break with the status quo. However, not one of them had any idea as to what they were voting for next. It is one of the idiosyncrasies of an all-or-nothing referendum.
The post Brexit and article 50 negotiations: What it would take to strike a deal appeared first on OUPblog.
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Opening the morning paper or browsing the web, routine actions for us all, rarely if ever shake our fundamental beliefs about the world. If we assume a naïve, reflective state of mind, however, reading newspapers and surfing the web offer us quite a different experience: they provide us with a glimpse into the kaleidoscopic nature of the modern era that can be quite irritating.
The post The quest for order in modern society appeared first on OUPblog.
Please help me welcome Theresa Milstein, to The Storyteller's Scroll. We're revealing the cover of her new poetry and prose collection, Time and Circumstance.
Publication date: March, 2017
Genre: Single Author Poetry & Prose Collection
Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-1-925417-30-2
ePub: ISBN-13: 978-1-925417-31-9
Kindle ASIN: to come
“The trunk of this family is
lost to history / Photo
Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries
- Stories from the Life of Jesus by Celia Barker Lottridge
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- It's Not About Perfect by Shannon Miller
- Won Ton by Lee Wardlaw
- The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
- Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
- Louise & Andie: The Art of Friendship by Kelly Light
- Won Ton and Chopstick by Lee Wardlaw
- This Is My Dollhouse by Giselle Potter
- March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
- March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Hi! I'm John (big fan of your page!), and I have a question that has been haunting me for a while and will not let me begin ANY book I try to write.
किनारो सी है यह ज़िंदगी, खुशियाँ छूकर गुज़रती है,
हवाओं सी आती है हिम्मत, किरणों सी बिखरती है || Dr DV ||
लहर सी टकराई तू, मैं किनारो सा मौन रहा, बरसी बारीशों सी , न जाने मैं तेरा कौन रहा || Dr DV||
प्रचंड सागर में, एक नाव का सहारा था, ऐसा ही शायद कुछ, वो रिश्ता हमारा था || Dr DV ||
Author: Alex Gino
Source: Local Library
A note: While she's called George through most of the book, Melissa is the name she's chosen for herself, so that's what I'll use in this review. Please see: How to Talk About George at AlexGino.com
Summary: Melissa knows she's a girl, even if the whole world seems to think she's a boy named George instead. She's scared to tell anybody - her mother, her brother, even her best friend - the truth that she knows in her heart. But when the chance to play Charlotte in Charlotte's Web comes her way, she realizes that this may be a way to be who she is.
First Impressions: This was so quietly sweet, and yet so comprehensive in how the world was enforcing gender on her. I keep getting the sniffles over it. I also loved how unexpected some of the reactions were.
Later On: The thing that kept running through my head was how thoroughly this is a children's book. Melissa is in the fourth grade. The class play is Charlotte's Web. There's little to no discussion of sexuality or attraction - it's this vague, misty thing that feels as far away as the moon. There's a little discussion of genitalia: she hates taking a bath and having to see "what's between her legs", and she talks briefly and vaguely about transitional surgeries and medication with her best friend. But Melissa is primarily and appropriately concerned with a child's world - her family, her friends, school woes, why nobody seems to know who she really is.
Her gender is a source of constant stress - not confusion. I think it's important to clarify that. She knows her own gender, even though everything from the bathroom pass to the play's casting call conspires to shout at her, boy boy BOY BOY BOY. It's this constant screaming that makes her miserable. When she gets the chance to be her real self, in public, with her loving and accepting best friend at her side, I swear that I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.
I know that strictly because of the topic, this will be shelved in some YA sections. That's the wrong place for this book. This is a tender, beautiful, relatable book for children of all gender identities.
More: Waking Brain Cells
Interview with Alex Gino at School Library Journal
रक्तदान महादान है और स्वैच्छिक रुप से किया रक्तदान सबसे अच्छा दान है रक्तदान का महत्व समझते हुए हमें रक्तदान जरुर करना चाहिए क्योकि रक्त किसी फैक्ट्री में नही बनता और एक नेक कार्य करने का सबसे बेहतर तरीका है रक्तदान करना रक्तदान करना मानो किसी को नया जन्म देना आज का दिन रक्तदान के […]
The post रक्तदान का महत्व – आईए नया जीवन दें appeared first on Monica Gupta.
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Cities in the early days of the United States were mostly quiet at night. People who did leave the comfort of their own homes at night could often be found walking into puddles, tripping over uneven terrain, or colliding into posts because virtually no street lighting existed.With the advent of gas lighting, culture transformed in fascinating ways. Here are 12 interesting facts about urban nightlife, which show how times have greatly changed and, remarkably, how some things have remained the same.
The post The development of urban nightlife, 1940s hipsters, & the rise of dating appeared first on OUPblog.
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
Author Lois Duncan
, died in June while Cynsations was on summer hiatus. Lois Duncan Obituary: Bestselling author of fiction for young adults, including the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer
by Julia Eccleshare
from The Guardian. Peek: "She was born Lois Duncan Steinmetz in Philadelphia, and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. Lois wanted to be a writer from childhood, and submitted her first typed manuscript to Ladies’ Home Journal when she was 10."Obituary: Lois Duncan
by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "After attending Duke University
for a year... She entered her YA project Debutante Hill in Dodd, Mead & Company’s Seventeenth Summer Literary Contest and earned the grand prize: $1000 and a book contract."Lois Duncan, 82, Dies; Author Knew What You Did Last Summer
by Daniel E. Slotnik from The New York Times. Peek: "Though her books had their share of violence, Ms. Duncan said she was 'utterly horrified' when she saw the  film adaptation of “I Know What You Did Last Summer,”
which...turned her novel, about a group of teenagers desperately trying to conceal an accidental killing, into a horror tale in which the same teenagers are systematically dispatched by their hook-wielding victim." Note: To clarify, I heard Lois speak about this at an SCBWI conference. It wasn't the violence per se but rather the way it was trivialized for cheap thrills. Her novel had a strong moral center that was absent from its film adaptation.I Know What I Read That Summer
by Carmen Maria Machado from The New Yorker. Peek: "Her prose is unfussy and clean. She centered her books on young women, and her writing considers themes that have come to obsess me as an adult: gendered violence, psychological manipulation, the vulnerability of outsiders."
Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens. Brandon Sanderson. 2010. Scholastic. 294 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: So there I was, holding a pink teddy bear in my hand.
Premise/plot: The fourth book in the Alcatraz fantasy series for children. Is Alcatraz brave or stupid in this one? He insists that bravery and stupidity are essentially the same. The free kingdom of Mokia is in danger of falling. Their capital city seems doomed to fall within days...if not hours. The royal family has been evacuated, so we're told, and unless a famous person whose life is so very, very, very valuable is there to be saved, no knights or soldiers will be endangered or sacrificed recklessly. Alcatraz's scheme? To go to Mokia so that the KNIGHTS will go to Mokia. Once he arrives, he learns, well, that would be SPOILERS. But he learns that he isn't the only person with Smedry blood to be stupid or brave. Bastille is along for this adventure....Kaz as well.
The new character introduced in this one is Aydee, and, her talent is being BAD AT MATH.
My thoughts: This one is definitely the best of the series perhaps. Or rereading all four books within two weeks has made me care so very much about these characters?! Either way, I recommend the series.
This book left so many unanswered questions. I had almost come to terms with having no true answers...when I learned that the fifth book will be released this year. So after years, I can finally know what happens next!
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
I love this book, THEY ALL SAW A CAT by Brendan Wenzel. Check out the trailer on YouTube by clicking the image below.
My students won’t become writers just because I want them to be writers. Writers need to wallow in new information, time to let all the words, ideas and questions wash over them, connect with their schema, and let the new information become their own.
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I chalk it up to heat-induced temporary insanity. It could happen to any Canadian crossing the equator. I had a strong desire to make my way to Germany, dye my hair orange and drum for a punk band which specialized in industrial music. The desire passed as the bus followed the road through the lush jungle vegetation past rice paddies and wilted looking livestock. When I thought about summoning enough energy to listen, I was convinced I could hear the plants grow in the humidity. The whole island was a hothouse. The single minded bus driver seemed to be the only one expending energy as he missed pedestrians, livestock and other vehicles, leaned on the horn. We were used to the danger by now. A sort of fatalistic resignation takes over on breakneck bus rides through the countryside of Sumatra. It was too hot to care. We had left the craziness and heroin of Penang behind. The sweat dripped off of our noses. Everyone on the bus, even the natives, had a worn out, washed out look. We were travelling from Medan, where the ferry from Penang had taken us, down the spine of Sumatra to Lake Toba, thence to Padang, about halfway down the island, on the coast. In Padang we spent hours at the consulate waiting to get our visas renewed because it was cheaper there than in Bali. Of a dozen uniformed clerks, two were reading, the rest inspected the Western girls or stared into space, a paper clip twisting in their fingers. When they did stir to attend the sweating crowd of travellers they wanted to first see proof that you had a return ticket. It’s the only legal way to enter Indonesia. It didn’t matter that we’d entered days before at Medan. The passports and applications lay in a pile on a desk. They didn’t have to worry about an overwhelming influx of immigrants heading south since the island of Java is the most thickly populated place on earth, but it was one way for the government to get money from travellers. A Japanese girl told Joyce that she had tonsilitis and that they didn’t have toilet paper even in hospitals in Padang. Seventy-five cents for dormitory beds at the local hostel. Officially marrying before getting to Asia saves a lot of problems. Single women are targets. At Lake Toba, we recovered from the bus ride during which it was too hot to sleep. The soaking heat deprived us of every traveller’s last resort, the final escape from the tedium and discomfort ... sleep, oblivion. There, time stood still, then went backward. We had landed in a timeless, primitive existence. Surrounded by the jungle and jungle sounds. Old men wailed their night songs in the dark. It sounded like a Tarzan movie. Wild boar lived in the jungle, endangered humans occasionally, provided meat and tusks more often. Snakes and mongooses and their spirits were part of the diet and the mythology. Ancient Sumatran devils caused poor sleep, restless dreams. All the dwellings had horned roofs which intruded, then dominated. A reminder that no matter what it was like in the outside world, this was here and now. This primitive existence was the present. Reality. No luxuries, no concrete, no advanced plumbing or electricity. Rats made nests in the roof so when you woke up into the flickering darkness from a dream of ancient enemy skins hanging by the fire, you could hear them running along the rafters over your head. You could see their shadows on the thatched roof when the candle light caught them. Sleep again became a refuge along with a short prayer for the balance of rats. We finally boarded a freighter, in Padang, the cheapest way to travel from Sumatra to Java. The beginning of our sea voyage was normal. We watched the port, then the island of Sumatra fade into the distance behind us and with it, the confusion and brain fever. Deck space, a place to sleep beneath the canvas strung across the deck for protection from the sun and rain, was what we paid for. Two big, deeply tanned Aussies who were obviously used to the sea and travelling by sea, probably lived by the sea, told us they had accompanied fishermen from an island near Bali on an early morning trip. They witnessed, then tried, the eating of the raw hearts of the fish they caught. They found it to be a life giving experience with aphrodisiac powers. Meals were cooked in the tiny galley below deck; a green vegetable which had obviously been boiled, over a bed of rice, on a tin plate. Tasteless but necessary to settle the queasy stomachs everyone felt The sea looked calm enough. But a rhythmic sway began to get to everyone. Coconut oil smoke made it worse. Even the regular crew and the Aussies were hit by sea sickness. They laughed and made wise cracks between spews. The rest of us weren’t so lighthearted about it. Soon there were travellers and crew members staggering to the rail to vomit over the side. The unwary ones stood downwind from others puking over the side near the front, got splashed. One grain of rice, well soaked in the stomach’s digestive juices, inadvertently snorted while vomiting, causes untold misery in the nasal passage and a long lasting, unpleasant reminder of how sick you really were. Finally, that particular movement of the ship passed and so did the seasickness. The travellers and crew wobbled about unsteadily for a while, then settled down. No one offered the travellers rice after that. Our diet became the fruit we had brought on board with us. We settled down on the deck, tried to sleep through the hot days and windy nights. Serge from France, tanned dark brown, curly hair down past his shoulders, wispy goatee, regained his happy smile as he recovered from the seasickness. He wore a sarong like a native, always carried a flute attached to his backpack. Everyone commiserated with him when we found out he was on his way back to France to fulfill his military obligations. He had been drafted. These were his last few days of freedom. He had made his choice. He was tempted to keep travelling, but he knew that eventually he’d want to return to France. The army was one step above jail. He couldn’t go back on the run. He was a proud Frenchman, but that had nothing to do with the government’s army. His ideas and life were far from conformity, uniformity, the military. One night, in a Tull like performance, he started playing. Under the canvas, starry night above, the sea breeze blowing his hair in time with the tempo of his song, Serge captivated everyone. All the travellers stopped talking or sat up to look and listen, even some crew members, smoking by the dark rail, paid attention. He started in the familiar pose which we had all adopted... leaning, laying back against our packs and bedrolls, then he seemed to find something as he played the first few, hesitant notes. He stood up, still playing. His flute came alive. His song gained and lost volume and speed as he breathed life into it. It wasn’t recorded, probably forgotten even by Serge, a few days later. There was the soft soughing of the ship as it made its way through the water, the sea breeze in the wires, occasionally something would flap in the southern night wind. The notes of Serge’s flute seemed to linger and then be snatched away by the other sounds. His eyes closed, Serge stood and played to the night, to his humble companions, listened to the sounds around him and echoed them. He didn’t stand on one leg, but he carried us all away as he talked to the wind in its own language. Selamat Jalan...Good Journey. A fitting Indonesian goodbye to Sumatra. Then someone told us that we were passing Krakatau which erupted in 1883 killing thousands of people. It was just a lump on the horizon from the deck of the ship. A famous volcano which the world knew about because of the tragedy. Later that day, we landed in Djakarta.
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
CSK Author Award Acceptance Speech by Rita Williams-Garcia from The Horn Book. Peek:
"...upon occasion, our histories are bound by peace and wonder as people of the planet Earth, looking up as we did on one night in the summer of 1969.
"In spite of some current rhetoric, very few of us on this soil can claim a separate and sole history. We are a joined people. Let’s keep looking up."
We're still in a bit of a farm-induced haze here at Juncture. Missing those writers we came to know on that slice of Central Pennsylvania earth. Imagining those stories flowing forward.
Our next issue of Juncture Notes will feature the scenes from and lessons of that workshop, as well thoughts on a new bestselling memoir. We'll send it out to our list in a day or so. If you'd like to be on that list, just sign up here.
Juncture Notes, which combines Bill's art with my memoir obsession, is free.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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The feeder's full; the hummingbirds
Have likely flown away
To find a better climate
For their wintering foray.
I've read that they fly solo,
Not like others, in a swarm,
To Mexico or Panama
In search of someplace warm.
I wonder how they fare in flight,
Their frenzied wings a'blur
And what they do if storms or winds
Or hurricanes occur.
I'll take my feeder down and dump
The sugar water out
And hope next summer once again
I'll see them flit about.