I never seem to get this done mornings! I had good intentions today and even got up at 6:00 a.m. (on a Saturday!) to get started. After taking my morning pills and waiting for them to kick in, I listened to Fifth Dimension’s (a 70s group) Up Up and Away, particularly focusing on side 2, which I don’t remember ever playing. There are some “interesting” songs, mostly about breakups and moving on, and thus, it was soon time to start working in the yard.

After a sandwich around 11:00, My Better Half drove me to Esther’s Field, “out on the highway” to buy handmade soaps, preserves, and I lucked into a 50% off basket where I found some nice Nothingsday gifts.

Here it is almost four, and I am just getting to my blog. Ever have this happen to you?

Thanks to Carla of Carla Loves to Read for the image.

Today’s recommendation is by one of my favorite children’s authors, Beverly Cleary, but for once, the protagonist is a boy.

An excellent idea for a letter-writing project

Leigh Botts’s teacher has read Boyd Henshaw’s book to her students in second grade. Leigh loved the book. Now in sixth grade, he is assigned a letter-writing project, and he addresses his complaints about being the “new kid,” whose father, a cross-country trucker is never at home, to the author.

Surprisingly enough, Henshaw answers Leigh’s letter, and his correspondence with Leigh over time gives Leigh some unexpected answers and changes Leigh’s life forever.

This is a fine read for both boys and girls, but it is especially meaningful for boys who feel neglected by their work-absent fathers and who are a bit on the “sensitive side.” The story itself is humorous and warm at times, as well as well-crafted with complex characters, whom kids come to really care about.

Were I rating this book, I would give it a full five stars out of five.

Writing can bring unexpected results. Writing letters or having pen pals can encourage lifelong friendships.

This was too cute not to share.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."


  1. I have read so many Beverly Cleary books, but I have not read this one. It sounds just as good as her others. I love that graphic for the coffee titled books. We all have days like that one, Rae. It sounds like a wonderful day to me.


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