Monday, February 14, 2005

A breezy cool Valentine's Day here, but bright and sunny. We celebrated early and went out and had the Sunday night prime rib special at Bottom's Up - one of the local marina bar/restaurants near us. It was packed. At least we got our prime rib before they ran out, even though we waited an hour for it. It was worth the wait. The people watching was fun so we really didn't mind.

I just finished reading, or I should say experiencing, Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton. I see why it is a Printz Honor book. The fear of HIV/AIDS is so intense it radiates off of the page and makes the reader queasy. Chanda's courage and strength to keep her family together when all social taboos demand she leave her mother to die hidden away in a fallen down hut, to spare the family the shame, is incredible. This is one smart and resilient young African female who isn't willing to let rumors dictate who she loves and cares about, including her friend Esther who fools herself into thinking she can hook for just a little while to get her siblings back. Death visits Chanda's family far too often, but the symbolic white stork leaves the reader with a sense of hope for the future.

Happy Heart's Day all.