My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lots of Exciting Book Talk Today

Whew! I just finished listening to the podcast of the ALA book awards. I've posted the two big winners here for you. You'll notice that I've already reviewed one of them here. If you haven't read them, you must.

I also read two great YA novels this week-end since I've been down with my back. First of all, I read SHIVER. Wow, talk about a fitting title. SHIVER is a YA novel about a girl who is mauled by wolves as a child. She is actually saved from near-death by another wolf who brought her home. She survives, of course, but she spends her growing up years watching 'her' wolf who occasionally shows up in her wooded backyard in the wilds of Minnesota. I don't want to spoil it for you, but I will say it grows into a fascinating and nearly believeable love story between the girl and her, you guessed it, werewolf love. It sounds so hokey, but you won't think that when you're reading. I literally read it in one sitting. It has the emotional intensity of Twilight but the believeability and good writing of Sara Zarr's SWEETHEARTS. Check it out.

The other great book I read this week-end is ROSIE AND SKATE. Incidentally, it also appeared in the NYTimes Book Review yesterday and well-earned. IT's a touching story about two sisters who have to make their own way due to the death of their mother and the imprisonment of their alcoholic father. Skate has written off her father and won't even visit him in jail, but Rosie just keeps on hoping and wishing and giving him the benefit of the doubt. They belong to a AA group of kids of alcholics, led by a believeable and kind college student, Gus, who helps them way more than even they realize. In the course of the story, both girls find love and get in way over their heads in situations involving sex and alcohol--realistic components given their background and lack of parental supervision. Toward the end, though, Skate says it best when she tells her sister that they're turning out pretty good in spite of everything, and she's right. It's a touching, tender story that will likely resonate with kids who have lived with alcoholism in their home.

My back is getting better every day, thank goodness, so my intense reading opportunities are probably behind me for a while, but I was grateful to have two such inspiring and fascinating reads. Those great stories inspire me to get back to work on my own writing.

Kids are out of school today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. Happy MLK Day! Go to Youtube and watch his I Have A Dream Speech and share it with your children. It's a beautiful, touching slice of history yet huge relevant today.

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