Tag Archives: twins

A step in the right direction

4 Aug

It’s August, so my mind is turning back towards school. I have my first training  of the 2016-17 school year today, a presentation by Kelly Gallagher. It will be fun to see colleagues again and go out for lunch, and generally start getting ready to go back to school. I am ready to change direction.

In her graphic novel, Compass South, Hope Larson;s characters have t change direction, too.


Publisher’s Summary: It’s 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra’s father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. But once there, Alex is shanghaied to work on a ship that is heading for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Cleo stows away on a steamer to New Granada where she hopes to catch a train to San Francisco to find her brother. Neither Alexander nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are in-they are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. How they outwit the pirates and find each other makes for a fast-paced, breathtaking adventure.

This is the first book in a series entitled Four Points and is really quite engaging. The second book, Knife’s Edge, is due out in June 2017 and I am looking forward to reading it. This series would be perfect for readers in grades 4-7, who love adventure.


As I sit  here this morning, sipping my coffee and gearing up for the day, I feel like a ship, changing course in a very calm ocean. August is the month where that transition happens. Rolling home, back to work. Here’s a little musical interlude from one of my favorite Scottish bands that sort of sums up how I am feeling these days.



Two hearts beating as one

26 Feb


I’m reading Untwine by Edwidge Danticat. I might not have picked it up, but I can’t resist a good twin story.

Publisher’s Summary:Sixteen-year-old Giselle Boyer and her identical twin, Isabelle, are as close as sisters can be. They are each other’s strongest source of support even as their family life seems to be unraveling and their parents are considering divorce. Then the Boyers have a tragic encounter that will shatter everyone’s world forever.

Giselle wakes up in a hospital room, injured and unable to speak or move. She doesn’t know what’s happened to her sister, to her family, to herself. Trapped in the prison of her own body, Giselle must revisit her past in order to understand how the people closest to her—her friends, her parents, and above all, Isabelle—have shaped and defined her. Will she allow her love for her family and friends to buoy her and lead her on the path to recovery? Or will she remain lost in a painful spiral of longing and regret?

Untwine is a spellbinding tale, lyrical and filled with love, mystery, humor, and heartbreak. Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat brings her extraordinary talent to this graceful and unflinching examination of the bonds of friendship, romance, and family; the horrors of loss; and the strength we must discover in ourselves when all seems hopeless.

I first heard of Edwidge Danticat when I did a summer library internship at Benson High School. Much of the job was taken up with checking in and out the books the summer scholars were using in their English classes. Danticat’s Krik? Krak! was  a title a couple of teachers used. I’d never heard of it, so I gave it a read. There was some down time.

Untwine possesses some of the same characteristics I remember from Krik? Krak!: poetic language, poignancy, Haitian culture.

It reminded me a little of Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go  by Laura Rose Wagner.


Goodreads Summary: Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go follows the vivid story of two teenage cousins, raised as sisters, who survive the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. After losing the woman who raised them in the tragedy, Magdalie and Nadine must fend for themselves in the aftermath of the quake. The girls are inseparable, making the best of their new circumstances in a refugee camp with an affectionate, lively camaraderie, until Nadine, whose father lives in Miami, sends for her but not Magdalie. As she leaves, Nadine makes a promise she cannot keep: to bring Magdalie to Miami, too. Resourceful Magdalie focuses her efforts on a reunion with Nadine until she realizes her life is in Haiti, and that she must embrace its possibilities for love, friendship, and a future.

When Twins Don’t Get Along

18 Dec

I recently reread Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson, which I have always said is my favorite KP book. It wasn’t quite the book I remembered, but I still enjoyed it.


 The main character, Sara Louise Bradshaw, has a twin sister, Caroline, who is prettier and more talented, and better at social situations. The book is essentially Louise’s attempt to break free of her sister’s shadow.

As a twin, I find this a fascinating book and I remember now why I liked it so much. My sister and I got along very well, and still do. I was the quieter, shyer twin and sometimes felt like I lived In my sister’s shadow. Sometimes that was a safer, more comfortable place to be. I could let her take the lead in social situations where I felt uncomfortable, and often let her speak for both of us.

I am currently reading I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.


It features boy-girl twins, Noah and Jude who are very close until around age 13. Noah is artistic and solitary, Jude is much more outgoing. The story is narrated in an alternating pattern, with Noah telling the early years, and Jude telling about life at age 16. As each chapter unfolds you find out what happened to break their connection, and what helps put it back together.

Even if you are not a twin, both stories explore complex sibling relationships that most people can connect to.

The Rainbow Connection

24 Nov

I can be brought to tears by listening to Kermit the Frog sing The Rainbow Connection.  Do you remember it?

Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbows are visions
They’re only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we’ve been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they’re wrong wait and see

Someday we’ll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

In the world of dog owners, when  dog passes away, we talk about them going to the Rainbow Bridge. I can’t even read that one anymore. I’m getting weepy just mentioning it.

Rainbow Rowell has had quite a year, with two fantastic books: Eleanor & Park  and Fangirl.

   Unknown-1   Unknown-2

I finished Fangirl this weekend and only just read Eleanor & Park before Fangirl. I’m not going to write much about Eleanor & Park   except to say that you really should read it.

I wasn’t sure about Fangirl when I started it. It was so different from E & P, but I connected. It is about twins who go away to the same college. One is out going and one a little more reserved, just like my twin sister and I, although we went to different universities. It is told from the point of view of Cath, the shyer twin.  And this is what I liked most about the book. I was the shy one in our twindom. I felt just like she did meeting my new roommate and figuring out how being a twin works as an adult. My sister didn’t have Wren’s drinking problem, our dad wasn’t bipolar and our mother was present, so there are lots of differences. But I understood Cath’s anxiety about new people.

Anyway, you should read Fangirl, too. But be prepared for something different.

You can learn a little more about Rainbow HERE.

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