A girl and her cat take on the world with nothing more than a cup of tea and a good book and enough dreams to fill the universe.
This weekend while I was away at the Colorado Council International Reading Association, I listened to a wonderful session that was reminiscent of the session I sat in what feels like years ago at the Plum Creek Literacy Festival with Donalyn Miller. A wonderful woman, Linda Warren, presented so many different titles of books for all ages and interests. It was absolutely fantastic. I loved her enthusiasm for the books she was sharing and her talent of spreading her love of books throughout her audience. Several teachers around me were using her handout of book titles as shopping list and checking off the ones I knew they would not be leaving the conference without. It was one of the best series of book talks I had ever seen.
Of course, after this wonderful start to my day, I went and promptly spent about half of my tax return, not on the new washer and dryer I need, but on books. I thought that it was interesting that at the exhibition hall of CCIRA’s conference, there was only one real bookseller that was selling books meant for kids to read that weren’t textbooks. Needless to say, that’s where I spent the bulk of my expendable book money. I tried to snatch up every title that Linda had mentioned, to help get my students fired up about reading once more. Yet, so many of these titles are too wonderful to let go immediately and I find myself trying to race through them first before I hand them over to my students.
Currently, I’m reading All Four Stars by Tara Dairman and it’s so incredibly lovely and fun and light-hearted. I love how Gladys Gatsby, the main character – a spunky, 11 year old girl, loves cooking and writing about cooking. Gladys and I certainly share that trait in that we have been trying and learning to cook since we were little. Gladys has a wonderful aunt who lives in Paris and sends her food equipment and cookbooks too. (While I can no longer really be Gladys, I would love to someday be her aunt.) Gladys’s parents are the type of parents who believe that the microwave is the beginning and end of cooking and eat fast food for most meals. My own parents differ greatly from Gladys’s. My mother loves cooking and eating fresh, whole foods that are in season. My dad enjoys grilling and comfort food staples like mac and cheese. It’s a nice blend and makes me happy to have never known Gladys’s home food life. Gladys loves writing about food so much that she enters a contest, writing an essay in the form of a cover letter to become a food writer for the book’s equivalent of the New York Times, and, of course, she gets the position, but now she has to figure out how to get to New York to complete her assignment. I highly recommend All Four Stars for anyone needing a quick, lovable, light read that will make your mouth water.
On another note, there is still time to enter my giveaway. Please click the follow button on the sidebar and leave a comment with your favorite book you’ve read so far between 2015 and 2016 and you could win the wonderful Hamlet tote you saw in the picture above and two books, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, along with some wonderful Egyptian Licorice tea from Yogi. Good luck and happy reading!
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Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller
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Stefan Falke photographs artists who live and work along the 2000 miles long U.S.- Mexico border to document the vibrant culture of the region on both sides. All photos © Stefan Falke (use with written permission by the author only)