Thursday, April 18, 2013

At King's Books for Tacoma Reads Together Discussion

Lauren Walker from Tacoma City Council moderated the discussion of Wonder by R. J. Palacio at King’s Books on Wednesday evening.  About a dozen attended, including two children, their discussion was important, because the book is a children’s book.   The main character is August, or Augie, who has a facial difference and, after years of home school, enters a middle school or junior high named for Henry Ward Beecher. 

The setting was New York.  According to the story, the family had lived in Connecticut.  When our discussion also included bullying, Lauren Walker described experiences of her sons when they were in school in London in 1990.   

Another person attending brought up the idea of Connecticut as a literary enclave.  Our discussion did not continue long about literary Connecticut, we stayed with the characters in our story. When I looked that up later, I found that Mark Twain had lived in Connecticut, probably the strongest historic figure of that group.   

Henry Ward Beecher and Harriett Beecher Stowe were from Connecticut.  Also from Connecticut were Robert Lawson, Walt Kelly, and Edward Eager, among other authors I remembered from children’s books days.  The format used in Wonder - alternating narrative - was used by Edward Eager in a book called The Well-Wishers.  Since today is Paul Revere's Ride day, I should remember that Robert Lawson wrote a book about Paul Revere's horse.   Eleanor Estes and Madeleine L’Engle were from Connecticut.  (When I took the train in the Northeast in 1997, it was not in Connecticut.  My thoughts were of the area, though, of the sight of a shrub beside the train I later learned was Staghorn Sumac). 

Narration by Augie’s sister and his new friends alternated with narration by Augie to tell the story of how they were supportive of him and showed him empathy.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Annette Funicello

A few years back I enjoyed reading the Hollywood Autobiography about Annette - "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" I saw a television Mickey Mouse Club serial also, a few years back, and watched on video.  It seemed so very familiar. 

It was a while before I realized that our comic collection included Walt Disney's Annette, an interesting story that I read several times.  Print was ahead of the screen for the Mickey Mouse Club at our house - when I was a child we did not get television until I was in fifth grade.  Just a couple of years before that, my grandmother got a television. And of course there were neighbors.  I am so sorry to learn about the death of Annette Funicello.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April - Morning Bus Ride

So many flowering trees, pruned in close deliberate and yes nice ways, or growing up and up.  Along the streets in the rain, and the windshield wipers of the bus flick back and forth.