One Year in Coal Harbor

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

While the cover art for One Year in Coal Harbor far surpasses that on Everything on a Waffle, I liked the later more. I’m not sure if it was the book or my mood, so if you enjoy Waffle, give Coal Harbor a whirl. Here is a favorite passage of mine.

“You can’t replace one dog with another any more than you can replace one person with another, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t get more dogs and people in your life. Even though no one you love is replaceable, you need a dog for the dog place in the heart, I decided, and a child for the child place, if you have a child place in your heart, not everyone does, or a dog place, either, I guess.  I’ve known people who have a ferret place, to which I can only say I am thankful I was not born with one of those.”

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

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Autumn reads

One of the thing I love about early autumn sunsets is more reading time.

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins

Rickshaw Girl focuses on the life of Naima, a Bangladeshi girl with a talent for alpana patterns. Perkins writes that “Girls and Women paint these geometrical or floral patterns on the floor during celebrations and holidays. They used crushed rice power to outline the design, and decorate with colored chalk, vermilion, flower petals, wheat, or lentil powder. Some designs are passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.” In this fictional, yet realistic, story for children Naima no longer attends school because her family can not afford it. As a girl, her options for earning money are very restricted. Beautiful charcoal illustrations are accompanied by a glossary and author’s note that complement the text.

Based on my limited understanding, alpana is equivalent to rangoli. Many beautiful rangoli designs can be seen in southern India.

Rangoli design for Pongal harvest festival

Rangoli design for Pongal harvest festival
Bellary, Karnataka, India
January 2010

Rangoli design for Pongal harvest festival Bellary, Karnataka, India January 2010

Rangoli design for Pongal harvest festival
Bellary, Karnataka, India
January 2010

Painted concrete near Gudur, Andhra Pradesh, India January 2010

Painted concrete
near Gudur, Andhra Pradesh, India
January 2010

Many readers choose books that reflect themselves: similar cultures, activities, or dreams. I challenge you to read something outside of your normal scope. One of the greatest pleasures of reading is being able to experience the life of someone or something different that yourself.

Reading

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

When I first started working as a librarian, about nine years ago, I read 1994 Newbery Award winner,  The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was my way of reintroducing myself to children’s literature and reading a book that is often classroom reading. This dystopia is suitable for children, about grade five through adulthood. Over time I read the companion books Gathering Blue and Messenger. The recognition of adversity, use of primitive techniques, and escape appealed to me. In 2012 the fourth book of the quartet, Son, was published. Of the four books, it was least appealing to me because it too neatly tied up the story lines. In addition, the narrator of the audiobook had a “whispery” voice that I found off putting. What it did do, was make me want to re-read The Giver, to revisit it and regain the details. My recommendation: if you haven’t read The Giver, do so. It fits in well with the current popularity of dystopias such as Divergent and The Hunger Games. By the way, if you are a Divergent fan, the conclusion of the trilogy, Allegiant will be released on October 22.

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

The children’s book, One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath, recently caught my attention because the cover features a girl sitting in a tree stand. I do judge books by their covers. The book is set in the Pacific Northwest, one of my favorite regions! It is the second book in the Primrose Squarp series, which lead me to read the first book, Everything on a Waffle, which is good because it is a funny story but has an unappealing cover.

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

I was going to quote a funny passage from the book right here, and thought that it would be easy, however the funny passages have simply disappeared now that I’m looking for them. You will just have to read the book yourself. The funny stuff is in there. Even though the Pacific Northwest setting isn’t featured as much as I would hope, the book is a good one. It features a hopeful girl, her community, and imperfect but lovable characters. Now I’m looking forward to the book with the appealing cover!

Happy reading!