Saturday, October 31, 2015

Orbiting Jupiter

I read Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt the other night.  I could NOT put it down.  The pages turned themselves.  Then I got to the end.  And threw the book across the room.

I can't tell you much about the book, really.  The advance press tells you all you need to know about the story. 

 There is this.  Married to a caseworker who spent most of his working life in Children and Youth,  I hate books with social workers in them, because most social workers are portrayed as uncaring.  The social worker in THIS book is freaking awesome.  Really, she's wonderful.  Thank you for that, Gary D. Schmidt.

Foster parents also get a bad rap.  These foster parents are so wonderful.  Thanks again, Mr. Schmidt.

Indeed, there is so much about this book that I loved.  I still threw it across the room.  Read it please and tell me if you agree I had the right to do that.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Get a load of these wonderful book-themed costumes over at Seeker of Happiness:  SOOOO CUTE!!

Photo property of Karen Maurer Copyright 2012
Keep in mind that the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild is holding TWO Scary Stories for Halloween events.  Click here for details.

AND I am doing a Halloween Family Storytime at the Allentown Public Library on Wednesday at 6:30 pm (my regular Family Storytime time slot).  I am reading three of my absolute favorite scary-ish Halloween stories.  Room on the Broom,  The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything and  Ghosts in the House.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gon. Backson

I was gone.  Now I am back.  And while I was gone I read OLD books; two by G. K. Chesterton and two by L. M. Montgomery - because I visited Prince Edward Island on my travels.

Chesterton's books were full of the politics of the Empire and, since they were pre-WWII, some of the reasoning seemed very Old Boy network.  Still, they were intriguing looks into a mindset that is probably better done away with.

Montgomery's books were full of light and cheerfulness - as is her wont.  The first, Pat of Sugar Bush, ended as if there would be more to the story.  And I hope there is, somewhere.  The other, A Tangled Web, was written for adults and read like a daytime soap opera.  Six or more couples, friends and lovers, struggle to find out what went wrong - or how to connect - or whatever.  The last line in the book is a glaringly racist remark and soured things for me.  But I recognize the time period and context and just wish people were more thoughtful.  I enjoyed the book except for that.

Obviously, I enjoyed L. M. Montgomery's books more than Chesterton's.  I don't even remember the names of Chesterton's books, oh wait, The Man Who Knew Too Much, was one title.  That book was upsetting because the hero of the short stories finds himself letting felons go unpunished for the good of the Empire - in every single instance.  Also, some anti-semitic rhetoric in one story made me cringe.

Oh well, I came home to Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt.  I will read it and let you know what I think.