Monday, February 27, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Notes From the Dog by Gary Paulsen

Book 15: Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen

When fourteen year old Finn is faced with a summer alone with his dog Dylan while his best friend Matthew works at a construction site and his dad goes to work and school, it is Finn's new next door neighbor, Johanna, who suggests that he create a garden in his yard. Facing breast cancer in her early twenties, Johanna is funny, caring, and insightful and helps bring Finn out of his shell and helps him create a beautiful garden. A great coming of age story about a young boy who learns to connect with the people around him.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Grow by Juanita Havill

Book 14: Grow: A Novel in Verse by Juanita Havill

Twelve year old Kate decides to help her friend and neighbor, Berneetha, create a community garden in a an empty city lot. With lots of care and help from other neighbors and the generosity of the man who owns the lot, a beautiful garden starts to bloom and come to life. However, with the passing of the lot owner, his son plans to sell the little plot of land and the garden will disappear. Berneetha and Kate must figure out how to keep the garden and the dream alive.

Told in verse, this is a quick read with a sweet ending. The story also reminds me a little of Fleischman's Seedfolks.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Bobby vs. Girls Accidentally by Lisa Yee

Book 13: Bobby vs. Girls Accidentally by Lisa Yee

This is a really cute and quick read by one of my favorite authors, Lisa Yee, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and friending. Bobby and Holly have been friends forever, but when Holly starts wearing dresses and nail polishes, Bobby doesn't understand why his friend is "turning into a girl" all of a sudden. Then the student council election could end their friendship forever, as it becomes boys versus girls in their classroom.

This is a fun, fast afternoon read! Of course, my favorite part is that it is inscribed, To the Amazing Deanna. Happy reading!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Book 12: Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Jennifer Pharr Davis is an amazing inspiration! I had the opportunity to hear her speak in the fall at the NCSLMA conference. Her motivational keynote address at the all-conference luncheon was incredible. She shared her trials and tribulations of traveling the Appalachian Trail, offering both humor, faith, and inspiration.

Her book, Becoming Odyssa, chronicles her adventures during her solo first attempt at traveling the 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine as twenty-one year old. What an experience and what a fabulous read!

(Jennifer currently holds the record for hiking the AT in the shortest amount of time: 46 days!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

When Women Are Sick

On the way to work on Thursday, one of the morning radio deejays was talking about his wife feeling sick the night before. When he asked her about feeling faint and if she wanted to go to the hospital, she admitted that the first thought to go through her head when she felt sick was not about her own well-being: her first thoughts were Who will do the laundry if I'm sick? and Is the house clean enough to have company over to visit? and Will everything that needs to be done get done?

I dare say that men do not think that way at all when they get sick. They are probably more worried about who will take care of them, not about their responsibilities to everyone else. Okay, so I'm probably generalizing.

This week I came down with either nasty allergies or a cold, whatever it is, it really hit hard on Wednesday. But instead of taking care of myself, I was more concerned with going to work on Thursday and taking care of business. I certainly didn't do that out of some martyrdom: I think it is a natural instinct of women to be more concerned about the world around them than their own well-being.

After hearing the radio deejay talk about his wife, I questioned why my reasons for going to work outweighed my own health. By noon, I was exhausted, coughing, sneezing, miserable, so I came home.

And today, Friday, I took care of me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not My Day

The last week has been rough both personally and professionally. But today I have literally fallen apart. While enjoying my birthday pastry at Panera (love their perks), I fell out of the booth. Yes, people, I went kerplop onto the floor. Of course, that did not help my already hurting, twisted knee from where I tried to fall over the neighbor's dog a week ago. Oh, and did I mention that I bumped my head on a low hanging light fixture just before I went to sit in the booth that I promptly fell out of?!

I think my karma is off.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

Book 11: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

This 2005 Newbery award winning book is a historical young adult fiction set in 1950's Georgia. Katie practically worships her sister Lynn, the older, more intelligent daughter of Japanese immigrants. When the family must move to the south for their parents to find work and Lynn's wonderful, popular life suddenly changes with the onset of lymphoma, Katie struggles to understand her parents' tireless hours of working at the hatchery, her poor academics and loneliness at school, and her own growing fatigue and resentment of her sickly sister.

This coming of age story finds Katie finally understanding why her sister Lynn taught her to find the kira-kira, the glittering, in all things in life, even in this harsh, sometimes cruel world.

100 Books in 2012: 21 Pounds in 21 Days by Roni DeLuz

Book 10: 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox by Roni DeLuz

Okay, I really don't think there is any way possible for me to lose 21 pounds in 21 days, but I did want to read this book just to understand about detoxing your body and trying to get back on a healthy track. It's a pretty straight-forward book with some testimonials thrown in and a 21-, 7-, and 2-day plan for detoxing your system and getting your body back on the nutritional track. The author is a registered nurse and a naturopathic doctor.

A quick read and pretty good guide and I've eaten a bit healthier this past week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Chasing Orion by Kathryn Lasky

Book 9: Chasing Orion by Kathryn Lasky

This historical fiction young adult novel is set in Indiana in 1952 during the polio epidemic. Eleven year old Georgie Mason and her family have moved across town to a new home during the summer. When Georgie discovers that the teenaged girl living next door has polio and lives in an iron lung, she becomes fascinated with learning about the condition and getting to know Phyllis. Even though the two become what appears to be fast friends, Phyllis has her designs set on Emmett, Georgie's brother.

This was a fascinating coming of age novel. Georgie, with the help of her new school friend Evelyn, realizes that the situation between Phyllis and Emmett is very powerful and almost out of control. She must save her brother from making a horrible mistake while he is captivated by Phyllis.