Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summertime Reading

My summer reading this year has been a two step adult book then a children's or YA book. Today I completed The Invention of Hugo Cabret the Caldecot winner for 2008.
There are several sources for my reading materials.....public library, books I brought home from school, the Friends of the Library book sale, and the Horseshoe Bend Regional Library Bookmobile. The bookmobile visits our school parking lot twice a month, but this summer I caught it at a nearby church. There were lots of people visiting the church's food closet, but only two others beside myself visiting the bookmobile. The bookmobile librarian who is also a college student shared some interesting info on two books she was reading......Dracula and 1984. Her premise about "Big Brother" in 1984 was interesting......Onstar in today's automobiles seems to be akin.
Several years ago I used Judy Sierra's Wild About Books as a read aloud with my 4th graders. In this book the librarian, Molly McGrew, "by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo."

Here is my bookmobile and my "Molly McGrew"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Anne of Green Gables

One of the first "set" of books I ever had was the Anne of Green Gables group. My Aunt Bessie gave to me the first book the Christmas of 1956. I was 6 years old. I'm sure I was't able to read it at that time for I had only been in school for 4 months.

However, I was so enthralled I tried to write a book in the end pages. The title was all I inscribed but it was "The Home of Deddie". I wish I could go back to my 6 year old mind and see if I just got my d's and b's backwards...or if I was giving my character a pseudonym.

I still have the series on my bookshelves. Through an email I received today I learned that this is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery of Prince Edward Island. Of course, there is a website and on it you can sign in that you have read the book. When I registered a few minutes ago I was number 897. I'm sure more of us than that have read and loved the book and series.

Go to this site and read all about Anne and register for yourself.

You will also find activities for students and ideas for teachers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rheta Grimsley Johnson

Had a wonderful opportunity yesterday to attend the local public library's Lunch and Learn program and hear newspaper columnist and author Rheta Grimsley Johnson speak about her career and her new book Poor Man's Provence Finding myself in Cajun Louisiana. The book billed a memoir and travelogue is an account of the people she has met and grown to love and appreciate in the Atchafalaya Swamp and the town of Henderson, Louisiana. Home for Rheta and her husband for half of each year she uses words to paint a vivid picture of the area and the people.

She was an engaging speaker and has some long time ties to our area. She attended school in Montgomery, Alabama where her parents still live. A graduate of Auburn University, she was editor of the Plainman, the campus newspaper, in 1974-75. Her first marriage (which she characterized as "many years ago") was to a local boy, the cartoonist Jimmy Johnson, whose Arlo and Janis cartoon strip ( ) I consider to be a peek inside my own home and marriage. She is now married to a retired journalism professor who once taught at UAB in Birmingham, but now she says "He is a duck hunter." She shared fond memories of our Valley area to the some 100 Senior citizens (and a few of us less Senior) who attended the event.

Rheta is also the author of Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz and America's Faces. Her newspaper column appears three times a week and is published by Kings Features Syndicate. Find out more about Rheta at