Thursday, December 09, 2004

Usually I "blog" in the morning, but it is early afternoon today. I just finished eating a quick lunch on the balcony while watching all the safari cabs go by filled to capacity with tourists. Steve calls them cattle cars because the people are so jam packed in them. But, for a buck you can go around the island. Lots of the locals depend upon the safari cabs to get to work. These are trucks that have open air seats in the back with a roof over the top. People stand along side the road and flag them down. Steve has ridden in one, but I don't have the patience for it. They are the main reason the traffic is so bad downtown in Charlotte Amalie. They are parked everywhere waiting for the tourists from the cruise ships to need a ride.

Been preparing for the Spring 05 YA Lit class by re-reading the books that are required reading. I read Sonya Sones What My Mother Doesn't Know last night. I found myself laughing out loud at the angst of first love/lust! Her admission that she kisses her knee and thinks about her boyfriend caused a snort laugh. I had a friend in junior high that practiced giving herself hickeys on her arm! Even back then I thought that was gross. Sophie going shopping by herself and buying panties her mother wouldn't approve of brought back memories of sneaking my first pair of red bikinis past my mother! I didn't think about the fact that the first time she washed them they would be hung out on the line in the front yard with all the other undies! Everyone would know about them - quite an embarrassing for a young teen! It didn't help any that they were out there for the whole world to see when the bus pulled up to drop me off from school.

Not only is this book a delightful read, it is a tribute to the verse novel and then some. Sones did a fantastic job with this narrative format with her debut novel Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy. The novel in verse is a great format for teens who just aren't into reading a long novel. Hesse is another author who has this format down pat - my favorite of hers is Aleutian Sparrow. I lived in Alaska for 15 years so this novel about the horrible treatment the Aleuts received when they were removed from their islands during WWII really hit home. There are so few Aleuts left after this decimation of their already small population.

I just started re- reading Whale Talk . I have read this Crutcher novel at least twice before but like other Crutcher novels, I connect with something new every time I read them. The scene with T.J. trying to save the fawn was so painful. Hunting has always been a big part of my family's winter "sport". My son thought it was great to be out in the deer stand behind our property with his father until he actually shot his first deer and had to drag it home. That was the last time he ever picked up a gun or bow again.

All for now - need to get some work done on my booktalking research project.