Tag Archives: middle fiction

Lucy is 9 today

18 Jun

It is Lucy’s 9th birthday. That means she’s been with me for 5 years. My how time has flown. If you don’t remember it, you can read a little bit about Lucy’s story.

LucySandwich

Lucy is a snuggler and adjusts her blankets and bedding for maximum comfort. She loves to sleep pressed up against me.

I did something to my back and spent much of yesterday with my heating pad, Lucy and Fiona snuggled beside me. I am much better today, but I am still using the heating pad. This is an excuse to read and knit. I have a couple of dog related books on my shelf right now.

Unknown

In Dan Gemeinhart’s debut novel, a boy named Mark, tired of being sick with cancer, conceives a plan to climb Mount Rainier, and runs away from home with his dog, Beau–but with over two hundred miles between him and his goal, and only anger at his situation to drive him on nothing will be easy, and only his best friend, Jessie, suspects where he is heading.

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A Handful of Stars is Cynthia Lord’s latest. When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather–but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.

My weekend in Renaissance Venice

21 Sep

I didn’t have much of a summer vacation because of summer school. So, thank goodness I can live vicariously through books.

This weekend, I’m in Renaissance Venice, courtesy of Falcon in the Glass, by Susan Fletcher.

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I actually visited Venice way back in 1983, when I was an exchange student in Denmark, so I can really visualize the story as I read. Even if you haven’t been to Venice, Susan Fletcher’s vivid recreation of the setting makes it easy to imagine what our hero, Renzo sees and experiences. She also manages to bring the history and beauty of glassblowing in Murano to life without being didactic.

Here’s the story in a nutshell:

Renzo, a twelve-year-old laborer in a glassworks, has just a few months to prepare for a test of his abilities, and no one to teach him. If he passes, he will qualify as a skilled glassblower. If he fails, he will be expelled from the glassworks. Becoming a glassblower is his murdered father’s dying wish for him, and the means of supporting his mother and sister. But Renzo desperately needs another pair of hands to help him turn the glass as he practices at night. One night he is disturbed by a bird–a small falcon–that seems to belong to a girl hiding in the glassworks. Soon Renzo learns about her and others like her–the bird people, who can communicate with birds and are condemned as witches. He tries to get her to help him and discovers that she comes with baggage: ten hungry bird-kenning children who desperately need his aid. Caught between devotion to his family and his art and protecting a group of outcast children, Renzo struggles for a solution that will keep everyone safe.

A great read for kids who love historical fiction.

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