Sunday, September 04, 2005

Just made my reservations for AASL in Pittsburgh in October. Am flying through Philly on the way back and spending a few days with a friend. Can't wait. Janna and I became friends at Montessori as she used to teach English there but went back home to be near her family. I miss chatting with her so this should be fun.

I refused to get out of bed this a.m. until I finished Laura Whitcomb's A Certain Slant of Light. It is one of Houghton Mifflin's Graphia titles and what a wonder reading experience. I love ghost stories anyway, but this one has a delightful slant to it. Helen is Light (a ghost) and she has attached herself to a number of human hosts (Quicks) through the years, but none of them have been able to see her. Her latest host is Mr. Brown, a high school English teacher, and it is in his classroom that she realizes one of the students can actually see her - Billy Blake, who recently almost died from an overdose. But, Billy's spirit isn't inside his body anymore, it is James, a ghost who took over the body when Billy was slipping away. He convinces Helen to look for a body to inhabit so they can be together. She inhabits the spiritless Jenny, the daughter of a severely religious couple. The reactions to their inhabitation by family members is quite interesting as they do not know how either of the teens acted in the past. They revel in their physical feelings but all good things must come to an end and they know they must leave the bodies behind. It is time to make peace with what has not allowed them to go to heaven. I was enthralled with this book. Helen and James' use of quaint old English interspersed with modern teen slang brings a smile to the reader's face as stoner dude Billy is quite a handful for prim and proper James to acclimate to. Give this one to any teenage girl who loves ghost stories. Heck, to anyone to wants to read an intriguing story. A ten in my book! :-)

I was sitting in front of the fan as I read Helen Lester's Tacky and the Winter Games. What a fun book, especially when the weather is this hot. I went bobsledding, downhill skiing on frozen fish, and won a skating race with Tacky and his team. Tacky is not your typical penguin with his rotund form and his Hawaiian print shirt - he is a delightful penguin. There are several other Lester books about Tacky, all of which are great fun. Perfect story time fare.