Everyday War

Schools

Movie theaters

Concerts

Libraries

Hospitals

Airports

Churches

Retail Stores

Nightclubs

Baseball parks

Post Offices

Restuarants

The list of public places where people have been shot in the U.S.A. travels for a long way.

The war is here and we are the refugees.

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The Tightrope Walker By Dorothy Gilman

“If politeness was my severest affliction at that time it was also, I’d found, a very good smokescreen for telling a lie.  Nobody doubts anyone who’s polite; it implies a tremendous respect for authority.” (p.17)

I’m not sure why the investigator felt compelled to tell us A) so many detail about characters that didn’t come back into play much or at all.  After all, she’s talking in the past tense so she’s already gone through it and knows what details are actually important to solving the case. and B) why those details were somewhat contradictory, especially about the Colonel.

I can imagine the Author wanted to keep her audience wondering and guessing as to who the murder was, so she threw in a few red herrings before she got down to the meat of the mystery.  However, these ‘extra’ characters that are simply dead ends in the labyrinth are tiresome to me and one of the devices I don’t care for used in the mystery genre.

In the end, she hooked me with the possibility of finding the sequel to the author’s one beloved book.  Gilman connects fandom, and love with coercion and murder to tell Ameil’s story of growing up, falling in love and facing death.  I was delighted to read The Tightrope Walker.

Movement Mondays

I launched a new storytime today, focusing on movement through yoga, books, songs and dance!  We had a small turnout, but we had fun!

We started with a sun salutation call back

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

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Pop goes the weasel

push bike song

Can You Make a Scary Face by Jan Thomas

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Ring around the rosie

Relaxation

Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

No automatic alt text available.In this sweet fast paced coming of age story readers will laugh along with protagonist, Molly Peskin-Suso, as she stumbles into adulthood in this modern age of social media and cell phones.  I love how patriarchal assumptions are being challenged by the characters.  In this scene, where Molly and her sister Cassie are meeting some friends for the first time, the conversation turns to their collective bat mitzvah.

“‘I love that you have your bar mitzvah in front of your parents and grandparents and everyone, and like, that’s the Jewish version of ‘becoming a woman.”  He leans forward, grinning.  ‘But in my religion-‘

‘You are not religious,’ Mina says.

‘In my religion,’ he repeats emphatically, ‘you become a woman by…’ He forms an O with his left hand and pokes through it with his right pointer finger, again and again and again.

‘Jesus Christ, Max.  Stop it.  I’m serious,’ Mina stands up.

‘Yeah, that’s pretty fucking problematic,’ Cassie says calmly.

‘What?’  Max looks wounded. ‘How is that problematic?  The Jewish thing?’

‘Um, let’s start with the implication that becoming a woman has anything to do with whether or not you’ve had sex.’

I have to admit, my sister is a badass.  She just doesn’t get intimidated by people.  I don’t know how to be like that.

‘Ohhh, geez.  Okay.  I was kidding.’  Max sighs.

‘And you know what?  I’m pretty much done with this construct of ‘virginity.” Cassie does air quotes.  ‘Which I’m sure you think applies to hetero, vaginal sex.’

‘You think a person can lose their virginity from oral sex?’

‘Yes,’ Cassie says.

‘I mean, I think people have this mentality that sex is only real if it involves a penis,’ Cassi says finally.” (p. 75-77)

This story addresses the legalization of same sex marriage (Molly and Cassie’s moms get married).

The author also addresses the changing nature of relationships between family members as well as friends when romantic partners begin to enter the dynamics.

” I think every relationship is actually a million relationships.” (p. 335)

And Molly expresses the self doubt we all carry in secret, “I just feel like I’m a really defective girl in some ways.” (p. 135)

 

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Part ghost story, part coming of age, symbols and stories are used to talk about the unexplainable, the unbearable, the unspeakable.  In The Accident Season, author Moira Fowley-Doyle steeps this story in metaphors and recognizable images from fairy tales.   Yet much of the story borders hazily on reality, with school parties, classroom and lunchroom antics and peer pressure.  Even some of the ghostly elements are cast in the doubtful light of reality to keep readers grounded and guessing as to how reliable the narrator is.  Lovely language and keen characterization make this novel a fast read!  Recommended for 14 + due to underage drinking, smoking and sexual references.

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