On the blog:
- I finished up National Poetry Writing Month!
- A slice about Nagini, an outdoor stray who has taken up residence in our garage.
- A new wordless feature for Saturday, better known on the interwebs as Caturday
- A curation of six articles I thought were worth sharing
The third volume of Virginia Woolf’s Diary was my constant companion in April. It was the source material for my poetry project, which was writing poems inspired by words, ideas, or images in the Diary. I read anything from a paragraph to twenty pages each day until I found something to start a poem. I can’t imagine now wanting to do what I did in my 20s–read all five volumes of the Diary straight through. But I did love spending time with it last month.
I don’t know why it took me so long to read Jacqueline Woodson’s Harbor Me, but it was a good read for right now. It’s beautifully written and observed, a bit slow, but a book I’ll continue thinking about.
I really liked Jasmine Warga’s Newbery Honor title, Other Words for Home, about Jude, a Syrian refugee. It’s got such strong character development, and I loved Jude’s voice. I can’t wait to read more from Warga.
I’ll probably always love Ghost best, but Sunny is a close second. I really like the range of personalities and situations Reynolds writes about in this series. Now I have to order Lu!
The Oldest Student is a picture book about Mary Walker’s truly remarkable accomplishment in learning to read at the astonishing age of 116!! I am very glad to know about her, but I wish the illustrations and text had been a little more balanced. She looks so unhappy in every illustration until she learns to read. Her mouth is downturned even holding her baby as a new mother. And the text has her telling herself that she doesn’t know anything because she doesn’t know how to read. If it’s documented that she actually said this, ok, but if this is the author speculating, I think that’s unfair. Walker was incredibly active and hard-working and knew how to do A LOT of things. I am uncomfortable with the message that a person is worthless and without value if they can’t read. (Thanks to Alia Jones whose insightful Twitter thread prepared me to be a better reader of this book.)
A Stick Is An Excellent Thing is full of entertaining and enjoyable poems about playing outside. They all, ALL, rhyme, which made the volume eventually tedious for me personally, but I recognize that I have a very particular taste when it comes to rhyme in poetry.