Sunday, December 20, 2009

13 1/2

Cloudy, here, this morning but, at least, we will not be getting the horrendous snowstorm that battered the East coast. I'm thinking this is going to be a good reading day.

This was a pretty good book. I like her tight writing and will probably pick up more of her novels.

Eleven-year-old Dylan butchered his parents and little sister but only injured his older brother, Rich. He's spent the next 7 years in juvie but at eighteen was released into the custody of his brother. They left Minnesota and relocated in New Orleans.

Polly grew up under the worst conditions. Her mother was a drug addict and was unable and unwilling to help Polly avoid the advances of the various men who drifted in and out of her life. Finally, Polly escaped and made her way to New Orleans.

And, of course, they all meet in the present. What happens next makes for an interesting story. There is even a twist at the end that is very satisfying.

Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I'm sitting here watching the fog lift, hoping for a beautiful sunrise. It's 10 degrees on our back porch and we have about a foot of snow.

I'm never going to homeschool. I've got one more year of teaching high school after this year before I retire. So, why, then, am I so fascinated with homeschooling that I'd read a whole book about it?

I picked this up at the library figuring I'd just skim through it but ended up enjoying it so much that I read every single page.

When the Millman's oldest daughter was in second grade at a Catholic school, her teacher marked an answer wrong that was really right. When her parents questioned the principal about it, he agreed that it was right, but she got it wrong because it was a fourth-grade answer and it wouldn't be fair to the other kids whose parents didn't spend time helping them learn. It was then that they decided to begin homeschooling their children.

They didn't know anyone else who homeschooled so just went into it blind and learned as they went along. They ended up homeschooling all six of their children. The oldest three are now in excellent colleges and the 3 youngest are still at home.

They took a kind of middle-of-the road approach to homeschooling. They weren't extreme. Sometimes they used TV but not to excess. Sometimes they used textbooks and worksheets but not too religiously. Sometimes they had a schedule but, more often than not, they just let the day unfold and produced lessons from that. Every trip was a learning experience.

In other words, it was a wonderfully well-rounded education.

There are times when I wish I could rewind the clock and go back to when my kids were young and do it all over again. I know, I'd seriously consider homeschooling.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Best Friends Forever and this world we live in

Woke up to a couple inches of snow all over everything. Pretty!

I spent the week reading this book. It was pretty good. I like Jennifer Weiner's writing. She's funny and doesn't take herself too seriously. But the underlying message is clear and easy to swallow.

Addie and Val were friends most of the way through school until an unfortunate incident in senior year tore them apart. Flash forward fifteen years. Val is now a successful weather person on TV and Addie stays at home designing greeting cards. Suddenly, Val needs Addie's help and how they rekindle their friendship while avoiding the law makes for a fun read.

I finished Best Friends Forever on Friday and was thrilled to see the ARC for this world we live in in my mailbox on Saturday. Thank you
Susan for sending me one! And I finished it last night before going to bed. I had to. It was stuck to my hands. I couldn't get it off. Even my husband trying to make conversation with me couldn't penetrate.

This is the third "Moon" book by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I read the first two and just couldn't wait for this one and it didn't disappoint.

The moon is still closer to the earth causing widespread weather malfunctions and natural disasters. Miranda and her family survived the winter and are shocked when older brother Matt marries the first girl he runs into but also pleased when Dad, his new wife Lisa, and their newborn, Gabriel, arrive with three strangers, Charlie, a friend who helped them and two teenagers, Alex and Julie Morales from the dead and the gone.

How they survive and develop new relationships in such dire conditions is a testament to our human natures.

And the ending? WOW! is all I'll say. This one's going to stick with me for a long time.

But, now, I'm sad. I wish I hadn't gulped the book. I wish it was 700 pages long. I wish Susan Beth Pfeffer would get to work on a fourth one!