Thursday, March 24, 2005

Good morning! I am off to the eye doctor's shortly. GRRR!! Old age is creeping up on me and I need glasses for my close up vision. Never had problems with that before - just distance and that was fixed with lasik a few years ago. Steve convinced me to have it done in time for our first sailing trip together. He knew I was pretty much blind without my glasses or contacts and a sailboat is not a good place to be with no depth perception. I still remember sitting in the restaurant on Mustique Island and looking out at the lush vegetation and realizing I could actually see the delineation between leaves. I find myself pushing up those imaginary glasses again, but now it is because I can't read the fine print.

Well, I finished Walter Mosley's 47. It is an intriguing mix of historical and science fiction. 47 is a young slave who is to be the savior of the universe, at least that is what Tall John, a runaway slave who is actually an alien from another planet/solar system, tells him. 47 learns that calling himself or other blacks a niggah is not appropriate nor is considering himself property of the plantation owner. This is a very thought provoking book, but I have to admit I was disappointed by the ending.

I started Crutcher's Sledding Hill last night and so far am enjoying it. He wasn't kidding when he said there is no profanity in it. You have to chuckle when he says the student used a term in class that rhymes with what they call a classmate's dad who drives big diesel trucks. The narrator, Billy, has recently died and is watching his super hyperactive best friend not dealing well with the recent death of his father and his best friend.

The question came up on YALSA-BK about what is the one YA book you would give someone. That is a tough one as there is a book in every genre that would be appropriate, but for contemporary realistic fiction I would have to recommend Crutcher and anything he has written. For years Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes was the one I had my students read, now it is Whale Talk. But my favorite of Crutcher's is Ironman - because of the inner battle the protagonist has with his anger and feelings toward his domineering father, but mostly because of his letters to Larry King. :-)

In historical fiction one of my all time favorites is Sherryl Jordon's The Raging Quiet. A romance, but so much more with her teaching a mute young man how to communicate and her response to the villagers testing her as a witch. My own palm was tingling as I read about her holding the red hot metal rod in her hand.

All for now.