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."
I’m not quite through, but reading One Crazy Summer, a Newberry Honor Book, winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the Corretta Scott King Award, and a National Book Award Finalist, has been such a positive experience that I’ve ordered the other two books in the “Gaither Sisters Series” by Rita Williams-Garcia.
The Gaither Sisters, travel to Oakland, California, on their first airplane trip, by themselves, to meet the mother who abandoned them to be raised by their father and “Big Ma.” It is a tumultuous time for Oakland, and the girls find their very sophisticated mother involved with the Black Panthers and all the riots and terror in Oakland that summer.
I am only on page eighty, but I have come to empathize with and care about all three girls, from Delphine, the oldest, to Vonetta and Fern, her younger siblings. Cecile, their mother, is “something else,” they discover, who has no motherly instincts and seems put upon to have to host the three girls for the summer. For some reason their father, against Big Ma’s protests, feels it’s time for the girls to get to know their mother, and so, sends them to Oakland, a far cry from their home in New York.
I can hardly wait to read about the girls’ adventures, or maybe misadventures, and whether they get to know their mother or are hastily shuffled back to New York.
Use hashtag #2023AudiobookChallenge on social media to alert others of your listens and progress!
Runs January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023. You can join at any time.
The goal is to find a new love for audio or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2023 than you did in 2022.
Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
ANY genres count.
Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc. I recommend creating a shelf on Goodreads titled 2023 Audiobook Challenge. You…
One challenge from 2022 that I wish to carry over into 2023 is the Classic Club Challenge. In 2022, I decided to read a classic every other month through December 31st. This year I will do the same.
January/ February I decided to read Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here because it was our January book for our Tuesday Night Readers Book Club at the Alvin Library.
I read this classic as an e-book on Hoopla, and although I can’t honestly say I liked it, it certainly made me think. What follows are some of the things that came up at the discussion of the book club.
One of the members commented on the interesting characters’ names. Buzz Winthrop, for example created quite a buzz, and Winthrop is definitely a WASP name. A former history teacher added that Buzz was based on a real person, Huey Long who “took over”…
Alda P. Dobbs, Bluebonnet finalist for 2021’s The Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna
Her second book, The Other Side of the River
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2023 AT 2:00 P.M. CST
Ms. Dobbs will introduce us to her two books which tell the exciting stories her grandmother told her mother. She has researched these stories and discovered they are true. Learn about the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and what happened to Dobbs’s grandmother as a young pre-teen and teen during this time. Both books are action-packed page turners that will have you cheering for Petra Luna/Dobbs’s grandmother.
At the end of her talk, she will sign and sell her books. Coffee, lemonade and cookies will be served.
JUST AS SATURDAY MORNING TV PROGRAMMING IN THE 50s and 60s was reserved for KIDS, so PWR reserves Saturday Mornings for recommendation of Kid’s books.
This amazing story of Trisha, who has trouble reading (the letters and words just look all squiggly and move all over the page) and is taunted and bullied because of it resonates with dyslexic children and their parents and grandparents everywhere. It is not until the fifth grade, when Trisha meets Mr. Falker, that she receives help–and what a difference it makes in all areas of her life. Trisha’s story is autobiographical, written from Polacco’s own experiences in school. The ending is so moving that it made me burst into happy tears!
I recommend this for any boy or girl who has trouble reading.
Tchotchkes, pronounced chut-keys, are “small objects that are decorative in nature, rather than strictly functional.” My grandmother used to call them “knicknacks.” In attempting to clear my house of clutter, I discovered I had many of these objects, often dust collectors. As I looked at each tchotchke, I decided which I could not part with and which I would do away with.
This little mailbox was given to My Better Half by his Secret Pal one year at the high school where he taught and was filled with Hershey’s Kisses. The decoupaged bottle was a gift from a Russian woman I was teaching English as a Second Language to one semester. I put them both out in my Little Free Library, and they were gone in a flash.
The Chinese soldier was in my husbands things and into the LFL he went too. I kept, however, the model of the Empty Tomb a pastor friend sent us as a souvenir from his honeymoon to The Holy Lands.
One of My Better Half’s students made the triangular face, and it, too, was destined for the LFL.
The “PG” (pretty great) figure was a gift to My Better Half from a student, and it joined the things in the LFL. The crewel embroderied pictures were ones I did in 1976 in honor of the American bi-centennial. They stayed on the shelf, as did the commemorative coin on the stand. The owl to the far right also went into the LFL. I put these things out there a few at a time, usually right before the kids walked by on their way home from school. The caricature below was done by a friend in a matter of seconds when he was around 85. He is now 91 and still going strong. To the right is a string of Tibetan prayer flags and above it is my teaching motto in calligraphy my student gave me one year. It reads, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Rick Warren The Purpose Driven Life.
My mother gave me the little doggie teacher and her pupils and the bookmarks were crocheted by a close friend. Look closely at the giant acorn and the two unusual pinecones from the yard. All of these stayed on the shelf.
These 1940s vases were on my mantel. I packed them away for the winter, along with the aqua pillow covers and other accessories I put out in Spring and replaced them with brown and burgundy accents for the winter.
This business card was from one of my students who majored in printmaking. That semester I bought several pieces from her.
The totem poles were made from plaster of Paris and painted in Vacation Bible School by My Better Half when he was about 12. I couldn’t part with these. The southwestern vase is from my favorite junk shop, and I gritted my teeth and gave it to a friend as a nothings day present. The photo is from a visit to Texas from a former student and her family who live in Boston.
These nesting dolls were a gift from a friend who brought them back from Russia and who was going into an assisted living facility. The red book behind them is an antique book of wildfires, and yes, I parted with this as well.
This served as a trip down memory lane for me; I hope you enjoyed going along. Perhaps you have similar tchotchkes in your home. Please leave a comment and tell me about them.
BECAUSE I was sick from December 20th until today, I don’t want to talk or even think about the past year. It was a real bummer!
BECAUSE I want to make it easy on myself in 2023, I am not setting ANY reading goals. Yep, that’s right; if I want to take on a challenge, I will, reading and focusing on that one challenge until it is finished. This is out of necessity and literally taking things one day at a time.
My word for 2023 is” hospitality”, and it will be several months down the road before I can offer any of it to anyone. Hospitality is a Gift of the Holy Spirit, and I now have my own home and Rae’s Reads, A book Hub here in my home town (separate from my home–about ten minutes away) where I hope to eventually offer much hospitality.