On the blog:
- A quickwrite slice in response to Wislawa Syzmborska’s poem, “Possibilities”
Permanent Rose continues the Casson family saga. This one has plot developments for days, a new character in David, a reformed bully from Indigo’s school, who is the only one to see and help Rose at some key moments when her family is otherwise engaged, and a great deal of longing for Tom, Indigo’s best friend from school who became Rose’s best friend too, who has moved back home to America and apparently cut off contact with the Cassons. Of course it all works out in the end–in very unexpected ways. (And isn’t that cover just the worst?)
Caddy Ever After is perhaps my favorite of the series. Each chapter is from the perspective of a different family member, though Rose steals the show as always. McKay manages to convey the age-appropriate concerns of Caddy, in her twenties, preparing for marriage, along with Saffy’s and Indigo’s teenaged crushes, and Rose’s entirely unromantic thoughts in a way that’s fully engaging for a wide audience. It’s a middle-grade series but there’s still plenty to appeal to older readers. The “fond mayhem,” as the Goodreads blurb calls it, reaches new heights here.
I am such a fan of everything Anne Bogel of the Modern Mrs Darcy blog and What Should I Read Next podcast does, and Reading People, her first book, a nonfiction guide to different personality indicators, is no exception. The chapters give an overview of eight different lenses for understanding personality. Some will be familiar (introversion and extraversion, for example) but other chapters may introduce you to indicators that are completely new to you or at least mostly unfamiliar. It’s a short book but not one to read too quickly because each chapter is packed with information about what the indicator measures, how it works, what it’s likely to reveal, and what you might consider doing with the information you discover about yourself. Anne also keeps things engaging by sharing plenty of personal anecdotes and her own brand of homey wisdom. I think you’re guaranteed to learn something about yourself and your family and friends if you read this book. (Also it’s so pretty!)
Nubs is such an extraordinary story! It’s all happy ending, but it still made me tear up a couple of times from the sheer unlikeliness of it! Nubs essentially adopts a Marine group stationed in Iraq and just won’t stop showing up and loving on them. They eventually break the rules by making him their official pet. When other Marines turn them in for breaking the rules, they arrange for Nubs to be sent to the U.S.! It’s a lot of effort and a lot of money to rescue one dog, and I did think about all the other animals (and people!) who also needed help and wondered how we decide where to focus our time, energy, and money given how much need there is. But that’s not really the point of this story. And it’s hard to imagine a reader who wouldn’t be hooked by Nubs’s amazing story.
I love a picture book that breaks the fourth wall, and Deborah Underwood’s Panda Problem is a new favorite. That cute panda refuses to cooperate with the narrator, and their quarrel across the pages is increasingly hilarious. This is one that really begs to be read aloud.
A Computer Called Katherine tells the story of mathematician Katherine Johnson, who worked on the NASA programs in the 1960s that ultimately sent Americans to the moon. It’s an inspiring story, well told by Suzanne Slade and beautifully illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison.
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