20 Books of Summer +1 #20BooksofSummer2021

Thanks to Cathy at https://746books.com/2021/06/01/its-20-books-of-summer-time/ for sharing the 20 Books of Summer Challenge again!!! Yay summer reading!

During the summer of 2020, I participated in Cathy’s #20booksofsummer2020 and I LOVED it!

I enjoyed reading my choices and the posts of others readers as they shared their summer read picks. It made a season of quarantine feel like it a had some sense of community.

For Summer 2021, I am eager to dive into my summer reads, but I’m going to challenge myself to 21 reads before September 1st! #20booksofsummer2021 +1.

As the volunteer librarian at my children’s school, I host a reading club each year, and I always try to include the books in contention for the Mark Twain Award. There at 12 books nominated each year, and I have yet to be disappointed whenever I read those nominated. Students love them and often make informal waiting lists on my library desk for the Mark Twain Award titles. These 12 titles will definitely make up part of my 21 reads this summer, so I thought I would kick the list off with the nominees.

Shine!
Summer Read #1: Mark Twain Award Nominee #1: Shine by J.J. and Chris Grabenstein
Pay Attention, Carter Jones
Summer Read #2: Mark Twain Award Nominee #2: Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt
The Bridge Home
Summer Read #3: Mark Twain Award Nominee #3: The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
New Kid (New Kid, #1)
Summer Read #4: Mark Twain Award Nominee #4: New Kid by Jerry Craft
Song for a Whale
Summer Read #5: Mark Twain Award Nominee #5: Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
Shouting at the Rain
Summer Read #6: Mark Twain Award Nominee #6: Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation (Charlie Thorne #1)
Summer Read #7: Mark Twain Award Nominee #7: Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse
Summer Read #8: Mark Twain Award Nominee #8: Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught
Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen
Summer Read #9: Mark Twain Award Nominee #9: Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen by Niki Lenz
The Memory Keeper
Summer Read #10: Mark Twain Award Nominee #10: The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA
Summer Read #11: Mark Twain Award Nominee #11: The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Benda Woods
White Bird: A Wonder Story
Summer Read #12: Mark Twain Award Nominee #12: White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

M.C. Higgins, the Great
Summer Read #13: M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton is a book I often recommend to students in the library, but it’s beena while since I read it the first time and want to revisit this amazing story.
Continue reading “20 Books of Summer +1 #20BooksofSummer2021”

A Worn Smile #writephoto

worn-steps

Some call it character. Others call it poor construction. I call it inevitable. After lifting up the weight of the world since my construction, things are going to start sagging. Edges will soften. Layers will lower.

Have you ever considered what it’s like to be a stepping stone in someone else’s journey every single day?

Have you ever thought about the demoralizing existence that comes from inviting others to walk all over you?

Have you given thought to the loads these stones have allowed to ascend and descend in efforts to keep life moving?

How do you think it feels to bow beneath feet as moss and weeds make their homes in my fractures and blemishes?

Now don’t start thinking I’m as sad as my picture might seem. Those curves in my face, they aren’t sags of sadness. Continue reading “A Worn Smile #writephoto”

That Bucket’s Not Going to Carry Itself

That Bucket's Not Going to Carry Itself

The farm has taught me many lessons. One lesson that will forever stick with me is the idea that a bucket can’t carry itself.

Why, you might ask, would a bucket’s inability to carry itself be a lesson of any value to anyone?

Well, it all started in a calf barn.

When I was 4 years old, the farmer my father worked for gave me a feed scoop. It was orange, plastic, and had a Purina logo embossed in the handle. The purpose of the scoop was to fill the stainless steel bowls that were mounted on the front of each calf’s stall. My purpose for having that scoop was so I could be the filler of those bowls.

I was elated. Those calves were the best part of the farm in my 4-year-old mind. I loved how they smelled like sour milk and straw. I giggled non-stop at the way they sucked on my fingers. I cried when they were sick or when it was time to move them out to pasture with the larger calves. I was proud to be their caregiver.

There was just one problem.

The bucket my father filled with feed weighted more than I did. The task of feeding those sweet, spotted calves was a tough one because I often spilled feed going from bucket to stall and back again. Spilled feed is almost worse than spilled milk, but I wasn’t supposed to cry about either.

I soon became discouraged when my father would lose patience over my slow progress and pick up that burdensome bucket to deftly pour just the right amount of feed into the remaining bowls without so much as spilling one kernel of corn.

Why couldn’t I carry that bucket that way?

Nothing frustrated me more than not being big enough to do a job. My father knew this.

One day I noticed the bucket wasn’t quite full. After a scoop or two, I tested my luck. With some effort I was able to pull it closer to my sweet calves and didn’t have to truck those precious scoops of feed quite so far. I was doing it! I was carrying the bucket! Continue reading “That Bucket’s Not Going to Carry Itself”

Our Only Loss – #BlogBattle

woman in blue and white basketball jersey holding brown basketball

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We had beaten them earlier in the season.

Yes, it was only by one point, but we had beaten them.

With the first whistle blown and the tip off tapped in our direction, the game felt like nothing but ours to win.

As the first few shots bounced out and dully rolled off the side of the rim, we struggled to ride the wave of adrenaline. If we just kept shooting, passing, rebounding, we were certain to make a basket sooner or later.

At the half, we were down. Hope told us we could do this. Continue reading “Our Only Loss – #BlogBattle”

To the Moon and Back

BlogBattle Moon

It was a peculiar evening. Rarely did she find herself outdoors after dusk, but there she was standing alone. Alone, but for the moon and the sounds that night brings.

The glow of the Moon seemed to be magnetic and the stillness that it attracted surrounded her. Enveloped in its beams, her tired mind seemed content to just soak in its milky gleam. There was something comforting about the slowness of its ascent and the darkness that accompanied.

Without realizing it, she found herself treading across the cool blades of grass. There was an intense need to follow the pale path as it radiated across the smooth, damp blades. Not sure where she was headed, the trail of light shined with reassurance that this was where she needed to go.

The only sounds that could be heard were those of her soft steps on the foliage and an occasional breeze. None of these sounds could disturb the tranquility within her.

Once deep in the woods the terrain grew steeper and at the highest point a clearing was revealed. Here the moon shone so brightly she felt that it was within her reach to touch the brilliant orb.

After a few moments of unhampered silence, a voice came to her.

“You have asked for peace, quiet, and freedom. I have come to give you these.”

With a slight shake of her head, she replied, “Who are you? Where are you?”

The voice spoke with a slow, confident drawl. “Is it not easy to see? Am I not shining right before you? Late each night as your little one fails to sleep or worry races through your mind I hear you ask for stillness, freedom, simplicity.” 

Continue reading “To the Moon and Back”