Monday, August 28, 2006

Only three days left in August. Where has the summer gone? Another week has begun and the first day has already come to an end. I celebrated making it through the first 2 weeks at ECU and a bit more by getting a manicure and pedicure this afternoon. Of course, I messed up my thumb nail before I even got out of the salon! Oh well, for me it is the pampering I love anyway. :-) It was 91 degrees today and I don't even want to think about the humidity. It was cloudy when I dressed this a.m. so I put on black jeans and a black sleeveless sweater, thinking about the arctic temperatures in the library. Oh mama - bad idea when your assigned parking lot requires a hike! Dressing like Johnny Cash in this heat just doesn't work!

Didn't get much of a chance to read this a.m. as Mary and I chatted for the longest time about their new house. The prior owner was a smoker and she found out her "ivory" refrigerator is actually white, underneath all the smoke and gunk. Mary is a surgical technician so she is a germ freak - I felt bad I wasn't there to help her clean that kitchen. MJ's bedroom has a huge wall mural of the space shuttle that he loves so she is going to leave that up. Can't wait to see the house. I will be there for Christmas. Steve too, if I can get him to agree to go to snow country in the winter!

But, I did finish Trudy Krisher's Fallout. I am so glad Holiday House changed the cover to show palm trees in a hurricane rather than the atom-ish SF looking cover that is on the ARC. This is a historical fiction novel, not SF and the old cover gives the wrong impression. I couldn't wait to read it as it is set in North Carolina, during the hurricane season of 1954. I also wanted to read it as I love Krisher's writing style. My favorite of her YA novels is Kinship. When her older brother stands in for her wayward father the tears ran down my face. Fallout hasn't knocked Kinship out of first place, but I devoured this book. There are few YA novels set during the Cold War Era, addressing McCarthy's anticommunist vendetta, and the bomb shelters that many Americans built in their backyard. This must be the year for the Cold War novel as I recently read Karen Cushman's The Loud Silence of Francine Green. Cushman's Franny is an 8th grader in a Catholic school and Krisher's Gen (Genevieve) is a 9th grader in a small town NC high school. Gen revolved around the popular crowd the year before because of her best friend Sally, but now that Sally has moved Gen is on her own, figuratively and literally. That is until Brenda Womper shows up in the classroom and begins to raise a ruckus immediately. She lets everyone know that she is from California and she doesn't agree with the Civil Defense teacher as to how "safe" crawling under a desk and covering your head is if an A bomb is dropped nearby! As much as she tries not to, Gen becomes friends with Brenda because they are forced to spend time together, with Brenda tutoring Gen in Algebra. Of course, Brenda's father is one of those Hollywood men that fell under the hatchet of McCarthy and his war against the Red. And Brenda's mom is a scientist - something that doesn't go over well with the Southern small town housewives, including Gen's mom, who is the local Tupperware hostess. Not only is this an enjoyable read, it is educational, but Krisher does not lecture or hammer home the history lesson. The historical backdrop builds itself as Krisher creates a downright interesting story about a young woman coming of age during the McCarthy Era. A great booktalk title for the Middle School. Give this one to the History teachers to read. :-)

Okay - it may be almost 8 p.m., but I need to get a few minutes work on the booktalking book in!