I had a wonderful week-end in NYC. I heard some fabulous speakers and made some new friends and happily connected with my favorite writing friend of all. We had fun and worked hard and made it home safely--what more can you ask for? Well, actually, how about a terrific snowfall for the fam to enjoy in my absence? Well, they got it. It's still beautiful and snow-covered here today. Incredible. I feel blessed in a thousand different ways this morning, and the snow is just icing on my already scrumptious cake.
This week I"ll be connecting you, my readers, with notes from the conference. I"m not sure how I plan to do that yet, but stay tuned for more conference info. With all the travel this past week, I did a lot of reading (on the plane and in the airport, waiting...), so I have three new reommendations for you.
First off is GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray. About 11 days ago, the author won the Prinze Award for this book (highest honor for a YA book--Go Libba Bray!), so I knew I had to check it out. Wow, what a ride! This book renders me speechless--no kidding. I'm just dying for others to read it, so I can discuss it with someone. P.S. My very favorite part is the section set in New Orleans. She so captures the magic of music. This book is strange, amazing,long, and the most winding, crazy adventure I've taken in a long time. It IS YA complete with sex, drugs and rock and roll, so don't hand it to your ten-year-old (or even your twelve-year-old, IMHO). However, it's beautifully drawn and fantastically delivered. Ms. Bray spoke at our conference this week-end, and she is no less brilliant in person.
Secondly, the the talented and brilliant Jacqueline Woodson's IF YOU COME SOFTLY, a modern Romeo and Juliet story. It's a beautiful, tragic and thought-provoking love story between a white Jewish girl and an African American boy who meet at a choice Manhattan school. It's an amazing story with delicate but powerful messages about race in our country and culture as a whole. Should be required reading for EVERYONE--young and old. No sex, drugs or rock and roll here, folks. Share this book FAR AND WIDE. I LOOOOOVED it, and you will, too. Check it out!
Lastly, TAKEN BY STORM by Angela Morrison. It's a lovely story about a high school senior who is a passionate scuba diver who loses BOTH his parents (and nearly twenty other friends) in a tragic accident. He is the only survivor, and must go spend the remainder of his senior year with his Grandmother in a quiet rural community. He is traumatized and haunted by the incident and becomes fixated on a devoutly Mormon farm girl. Their relationship grows, despite her many rules to maintain her purity (a refreshing perspective in this sex-drenched culture) and her attempts to introduce him to her faith. An interesting, thought-provoking yet fully engaging and believable love story. I would also highly recommend this YA novel.
Have a wonderful day, and if you're surrounded by snow, as we are, enjoy it before it's gone! Until tomorrow....
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.