Sunday, January 09, 2005

It is pouring outside and the mud filled rain water is rushing down the hillside between our building and one next door. Our neighbor had to shovel buckets of dirt off of the roof of his first story before he could start building the walls for the second story. I imagine there will be more mud to shovel away after this rain. We have been watching him build the walls for the second story out of concrete blocks. Down here the entire house is built out of concrete. Makes hanging anything on the walls a bit difficult. His house is so close to the one we live in that I can hear him clear his throat while he is working. We have big windows on that side of the apt. and certainly had to put curtains on them as one is above the kitchen sink and the other is above our bed. Privacy is not a big commodity since most of us don't have air conditioning and the windows are usually wide open.

I hope the rain stops by this afternoon. I am flying out around 5 p.m. on a small plane to Puerto Rico and then on to Charlotte, NC. The weather forecast indicates it is a lot nicer in NC than in the islands right now - at least it is sunny. Hopefully I will get there.

One of my favorite Canadian publishers is Orca. The Soundings series is great for reluctant readers. I am so glad to see a MS series for reluctant readers is coming soon. One of my favorite Orca titles is Holubitsky's Alone At Ninety Foot. Wonderful story about a young teen dealing with her mother's suicide. She goes out into the woods and sits near where her mother died. I was glad to see Orca kept the wonderful jacket illustration of a girl sitting on a rock with her arms wrapped around her knees for the paperback.

Now the cover on Carrie Mac's The Beckoners has less emotional impact before you read the book than after. The tops of a book of matches, deep red and ready to be stricken. And stricken they are, both matches and characters in this dark look at bullying and hazing at it's worst. As a new student Zoe has no idea how feared the girl gang, the Beckoners, are. They have pretty much free rein in the school to harass anyone they feel like, and April, referred to as Dog by most all the students, has been their main target for years. Other students stay away from her for fear they will come under the Beckoner's wrathful eye. Before she knows what has happened Zoe is initiated into the Beckoners by literally being branded. The hard part is getting out once she realizes the hell she has gotten herself into. This one is certainly going to be an entry in the 2nd edition of the HS version of Tantalizing Tidbits. Wow!

Need to finish packing. Will talk about what I read on the plane when I get back on Tuesday. Then Thursday it will be off to Boston for ALA. :-)