Thursday, June 08, 2006

We have a family of birds nesting in the rafters of our carport, which is right outside of our bedroom window. The babies start twittering at 4:30 a.m. Feels like having a newborn in the house again, but at least I don't have to get up and warm a bottle for these babies. I can roll over and go back to sleep. :-) Add the first time out for the morning happy barking of the puppy in the house down below us and our quiet neighborhood has changed. It used to be completely quiet in the a.m. until the workers on the house being remodeled showed up and started their day's worth of bickering and singing. Sound really carries up the hillside. Reminder to self - make sure I find a quiet neighborhood in Greenville full of non-morning people like me!

Please excuse me if I already talked about this book, but I have my piles of books - blogged and not blogged - mixed up on my desk. Having loved both The Midwife's Apprentice and Catherine, Called Birdy I was looking forward to reading The Loud Silence of Francine Green. I enjoyed this book, but I wasn't as taken with it as the other Cushman books I have read. The main character wasn't as well defined as I would have expected. Francine is a 13-year-old Catholic school student living in the LA area during the time of McCarthy accusations and bomb shelters in the backyard. Francine's little brother is so scared that the Chinese will come up through the hole his father is digging in the backyard for their bomb shelter that he goes out and pushes dirt back in every morning. Francine is smart enough to wonder why the government recommends bomb shelters when the nuns assure the students that crawling under their desks and covering their heads with their arms will be enough to protect them from radiation. Francine becomes friends with Sophie Bowman, who is the strong feisty female character one expects in a Cushman book. Sophie is the daughter of a father who wants his daughter to think and question the ways things happen in our world - something the nuns highly frown upon. Sophie spends a lot of her time standing in front of the room in the trash can as punishment. Whereas Francine is afraid to open her mouth, let alone voice an opinion, Sophie is not. She voices her opinions, of which she has many, most of which do not agree with the general conservative, anti-communist atmosphere of the time. When Sophie's father's actor friend is arrested for his beliefs Sophie and her father move away. Francine is left to decide how she is going to deal with the silence that is left behind, now that Sophie has opened her eyes to what is happening in the world, beyond her home and her Catholic school. Was I thrilled with it? No. Do I think it is a must for every MS collection? A resounding yes! There are very few novels for children or teens set during the Cold War Era after WWII and this one helps fill that void.

Off to Montessori again. What a day it was yesterday. With the intense heat and the kids in and out and the slamming screen door and the problems with the computer I was ready to get out of there. Came home and took a quick shower before I went to pick up Steve. My clothes were stuck to me and even though I don't use bug spray there was so much of it sprayed in the library yesterday that I felt like I was covered with it too. I hate the smell of Off! Today is the Upper Elementary School and MS Graduation. At least it is at 9 a.m. so it won't be quite as hot in the outside music room where it is held.