This was an amazing book about a young man who was trying to fit in and yet also trying to figure out who he was. This is a series of poems, mostly in his voice but also in the voice of his girlfriend and another woman he meets on the bus.
Sometimes it is hard to fit in this world, for we have such narrow roles for people.
Brendan feels that to fit in he has to be on the Varsity wrestling team, despite the fact that his coach is abusive.
After his parents’ divorce he has been going for counseling every six months and is on meds, but he doesn’t think they are really helping. And his doctor never seems to listen, so he has stopped speaking.
His little sister is adorable and he loves her very much, she is the reason, when he considers suicide, not to do it for his thought of what if she is the one who finds me, stops him in his tracks.
This is a great book. I highly recommend it to adults who work with youth and youth who like to explore different facets of people. It is rich and textured. Since it is written in verse, it is a quick read yet very powerful.
October is a hard month usually, so this month I stacked up the things I am looking forward to doing. Two amazing things are happening this month and I am SO excited about these. I get to spend some quality time with family and I get to experience the arts and culture in ways that I do not usually get …
First – I get to spend time with my cousin with whom I haven’t spent any time with since April. And that time doesn’t count. I am not exactly certain what we will do together – but we are thinking some quality tea and maybe a pedicure. Though I KNOW exactly what we will be doing at 7PM. Listening to one of my favorite authors talk about his first book in a new series. We have heard the Greeks, The Egyptians and the Romans … now we finally get to move on to the Norse. It will be a late night, but it is worth it … a fun day with a very dear cousin who has gone through hell lately and an evening of wonder with one of my favorite authors, Rick Riordan.
Secondly, I am finally going to Broadway to see a musical by George Takei. This is a dream come true. My friend and her grandson and my children and I will abandon the rural countryside for a day in the big city. “Allegiance” is a musical based upon George Takei’s experience in an internment camp during World War II. I am so excited. This is a one in a life time experience that I am so thankful that I am able to share with my children.
So this month – I choose to step back from the old life and find these new exciting things to contemplate … life truly is good!
When I hit milestones and anniversaries I reflect upon what is going on in my life. Recently, I stopped and looked. What I saw made me want to shout — STOP! I SO want to get off the wild ride I am currently on.
what we are missing while we are busy with our lives
What happened to my life that I am working forty-five hours a week? Why I am I driving three thousand miles every two months? Waking up at 5 AM and going to sleep at 10 PM if I am lucky?
Why am I running around doing things that I am not excited about?
My dream is to be home more. To spend time with my children while they are still relatively young. To know the truly wondrous people they are becoming — not to receive five texts while I am at work saying, “I miss you”.
Life is so complex.
When our children are young, our vacation time is practically non-existent. As we age our vacation time expands but somehow it doesn’t ever quite fit what is needed, while the kids are still at home.
How do we battle through? The things we put ourselves through for benefits and security … other people raising our children. Food grown by others in a country far away. Our lives so scheduled that we breathe with military precision, if we breathe at all.
No wonder our kids lives are over-scheduled.
We know no other way to live.
I have a cat in my office and that is messing up my routine. I just moved all the furniture around this summer and my desk is in this tiny room with massive windows. It must have once been a porch that someone in their brilliance made into a real room. It is tiny and really can serve very little purpose for a desk and chair completely fills it up. But it is a great place to spy and be spied on by the neighbors.
I had been pretty good at writing every day after the furniture move. I love the bright sunshine. The bulletin boards with ideas and motivating pictures could be propped up and the tree was growing in front of the window so that it was slightly less conducive for neighbors spying on me … but really good for watching others!
I would take my notebook and pen and sit at the desk and play with the stones and crystals that family and friends had given me over the years and be encouraged to write.
It is really hard to write when a cat is hiding in there. Not that the cat takes up a lot of space. She will sleep in the cat bed on the desk but when a human enters the house she leaps as if she is on fire and duck under the desk or between the chair and the wall. When I feed her, she is in shadow behind the chair watching me with saucer eyes as if I were a cat eating monster, fattening her up so that we can stew her later. I tell her I am mostly vegetarian and she looks as if that is a lie all cat eating monsters tell.
So, I need to find another place to write where I do not need to keep doors shut and my other cats out. I suppose when the wood-stove is on full-time, I will just sit in my old striped comfy chair. The chair I always sit in, but wow, it was really nice to have and use my desk…
Autumn has arrived. I started the fire in the wood-stove. I placed flannel sheets on the bed. The cat has taken up a position under the covers as opposed to just taking over a pillow. The other day I wore my Icelandic sweater … that is the beginning pf the end!
I do love autumn — it is beautiful, crisp and fresh. The colors are bright and the cloud formations are impressive.
We find the blankets. We shut the windows. We contemplate the turning on of furnaces. We call the Chimney Sweep. We stack wood.
We feel the need to hibernate. This is when the slow cooker comes out and gets dusted off. This is when the pies are made and the winter veggies are roasted.
This is when we think about family, past and present, and we are grateful for the family we choose.
Autumn has arrived, isn’t it grand?
This is a hard story to read, maybe because it comes from the headlines of today’s paper.
This is about a young black high school student who was arrested for killing a man. He was nowhere near the body when he was murdered, but he says himself that he did argue earlier in the day with the victim. An anonymous phone call was the only thing that truly ties him with the death.
This is a hard book to read, because when I read I want to either read a memoir about a person who overcomes difficulty and triumphs or something completely fantasy.
This is realistic fiction in which the role of Malik is every black teen. The lawyer who comes in to help Janae defend her son tends to do more human rights cases. His theory is that this isn’t about one youth who killed another. This is about a legal system which is supposed to support and rehabilitate youth, but rushes through the legal process and throws youthful offenders in with adult criminals and so they end up possibly leaving prison thirty years later and by that point they are criminals too.
This book is a hard read, I am not saying that I agree or disagree with this book. But I will say that I agree with the lawyer … a new way of dealing with crime needs to be found. Something in our current system is not quite working.
I first encountered this book because of a youth reading nominating committee I am a part. This is definitely not a youth book. Amazon.com calls this a mystery, thriller or Women’s Literature. Most libraries have this book in the Adult section.
So if you want a book that will make you shake your head and say, dang things need to change somehow … read this book. If you like something lighter … stay away.
I love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I love the personal story behind the books and though the books get darker the deeper into the series you travel … isn’t that a great life lesson? What an eleven year old can handle is different from what a seventeen year old can handle. Youth need to be guided with a loving hand and it is amazing how resilient they can be when taught well.
Over the eight years of being at the library, my computer desktop has often been either a Harry Potter quotation or a Thor related picture. Every once in a while it has been a Rick Riordan image … but the Harry Potter movies truly beat out the Percy Jackson movies … it all revolves around keeping some modicum of control over movie rights!
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” – Albus Dumbledore
It doesn’t matter if you were born into a pure blood home – you can still be best friends with a werewolf.
It doesn’t matter if you were born to dentists — you can still be the brightest witch of the age.
No matter what circumstances you were born into … what will you become?