Saturday, April 04, 2009

Well, the for sale sign is up in the front yard. The new realty company, a couple who work together, were here to take pics and for us to sign papers. One step closer to our move to Florida. With today being one of my worse fibro days in a long time the warm moist weather of southern Florida sounds better and better. Even though I could barely move this morning I got up and helped Steve pick up and clean. By the time they left I was shivering with the chills. My darling Steve went and got us our regular Steak & Shake burgers and brought them home and ate lunch with me while I sat in my fuzzy winter bathrobe. He went off to the gym and I took a nap. It's going to be a do a bit of work from bed and nap when needed kind of day. I've been really pushing myself since the surgery in February - I should know better but no one but me knows what to do with my books and I brought home a car full when I moved out of my ECU office. So, as I sit here trying to join the world of the totally awake, I'm watching one of my favorite movies - The Last of the Dogmen with Barbara Hershey and Tom Berenger. Good description of it at: Puts Dances with Wolves to shame for wonderful Indian adventure movies and one of Berenger's best.

My YA book for today is Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia. It is not my favorite of hers - that would be Every Time a Rainbow Dies in which quiet sixteen-year-old Thulani, whose mother has died and is not living up to his older brother's expectations, comes to the rescue of a young woman who is raped and left battered in an alley but she berates him rather than being thankful. Thulani is fascinated by her reaction and works his way into her life. This is a beautiful, edgy and sometimes harsh urban novel for older teens. It is not one you will forget. Jumped is also set in an urban environment, but addresses the brutality of girl on girl violence. The central figures are three high school girls - a basketball player with an attitude, an artistic pretty girl who thinks the world's, at least all the boys', eyes are on her, and Leticia who spends more time telling her friend on the phone about what is happening around her than living her own life, including doing the right thing. When ditsy Trina gets in the way of angry Dominque, who has been kicked off the team for bad grades, Leticia hears Dominque brag to her friends that Trina is going to get tromped after school. Even with her friend on the phone begging her to tell the school security guard what she heard, Leticia doesn't. She just watches and Trina pays the price. It's much easier not to get involved, but can you live with the results of not standing up for an innocent who has no idea she is about to get jumped? Williams-Garcia raises many questions in this edgy YA novel of the harshness of the urban high school environment from the perspective of three distinctly African American teenage girls.

Remember the optical illusion that when you first look at it what appears are facial profiles but upon another look - it is a vase? In a similar vein, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld offer up a visual delight with a touch of humor in Duck! Rabbit While doing a school visit together Lichtenheld drew the duckrabbit figure and the kids loved it. So did Rosenthal and she insisted it could be the basis for a book. Sure enough, the simple but irresistible picture of what looks like a rabbit with ears laid back or a duck with an open bill that the illustrator had seen in a college course called Zen and Freud and stayed with him since is now an absolutely addictive children's (well, all ages as I am certainly not a child, though my inner child is very alive and well) picture books. How fun read and discuss whether the illustrations are of a is a duck opening his bill to eat a piece of bread, quacking, wading through the swamp, flying, getting a drink etc. or a rabbit eating a carrot, sniffing at something, hiding in the grass, or hopping away. And of course, they leave you with yet another illustration open for discussion as to what it is - a dinosaur or an anteater - or perhaps you see something else altogether. Such a simple, but absolutely incredible visual feast to behold and visit over and over again, no matte what your age. But, I can't wait to read this one with the grandkids.

Okay - I think I am clear headed enough to do some grading! I don't wish fibro fog on anyone - gets totally in the way of concentration and I've even typed words that have no connection whatsoever to what I was thinking, so clearly the fingers and the brain do not always work in conjunction of a bad fibro day!