Saturday, October 9, 2021

Two Tasty Books

 Just in time for Halloween, I read a book about a monster AND a book about a ghost.  

But first let's discuss reading as a kind of nutrition. The books that teach you a LOT but are hard going are like, um, that soup that you get when someone wants to build up your strength. Good for you but not the easiest thing to swallow.  Sad to say, I avoid those books unless I need to learn something for a project.

The books we read for fun - romances, mysteries, graphic novels - they count as snack food, chips and dip, pretzels, chocolate. You could survive on these books but you won't be very healthy. NOW, some of the snack books are more like pretzel sticks and hummus or celery and cream cheese. Still you don't want these fun books to be all you read.

Some fiction is tasty AND good for you, too. Think Thanksgiving dinner (go light on the stuffing and potatoes, though). They are delicious and sooo nutritious. Here are two books to  savor.

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate  This book is so yummy! Willodeen is an orphan brought up by two ancient women. She loves creatures of all kinds and sizes but she is especially interested in the animals that others abhor - the monsters.  The "screechers", large, ugly, loud and very smelly, have a special place in Willodeen's heart - along with her wounded hummingbear.

Hummingbears are crucial to Willodeen's hometown's survival. When the hummingbears return each spring to the blue willow trees, tourists come from all over.  But the screechers and their horrific odor scare people away. So the town puts a price on the screechers' heads.

What happens is disastrous to everyone. Willodeen makes friends with a boy who fashions hummingbears from branches and vines. Can the two friends save the screechers, the hummingbears and their town?

Let this book sit on your palate. There are more flavors to this book than a four course meal. It is food for thought, tastefully served.


Dead Wednesday by Jerry Spinelli .  Everybody calls him Worm. He's in eighth grade, shy, pimply, not so very tall and his best friends is a popular, athletic, Boss of the School. They are off to the best day in an eight grader's year, Dead Wednesday. It's a half day and once the 8th graders are assigned their "Wrapper", they become INVISIBLE to the teachers and adults in their school. Because they are "dead".

"Wrappers" are teenagers who lost their lives in the past year in car accidents caused by drinking, texting, willfully ignoring traffic precautions, reckless driving. The School Administration goes through Dead Wednesday in hopes that the "dead" will learn enough from this experience to avoid reckless driving. HAH! What eighth graders get from this is a half day to go INSANE!

Except it doesn't work out that way at all. Worm is haunted for the whole day. Seriously weird.

  This book will feed your soul for a long time. And the ending is sweeter than pie.


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