Actor and travel writer Andrew McCarthy eventually discovered his family roots in Ireland and added on more family besides when he wed a Dublin girl.
His several-page story of a reunion across generations is part of Journeys Home, a collection of more than two dozen tales of seekers who found out more about themselves by finding where they came from: Cuba, Africa (and then to Virginia), Peru, Prague, India, Taiwan, and England, among others. Journeys Home is replete with glorious photographs, old and new, that are typical of the quality a reader would expect from its publisher, National Geographic.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, by Kenard Pak, is a gentle read-aloud that follows a girl walking through the forests and fields and town of a changing world.
“Hello! You can hear my low rumble from far away.
My clouds loom over the open fields and quiet hills.”
Nature programs on TV can only go into so much detail about the fascinating history that underlies our beautiful world. After all, there are commercial breaks to consider and trying to produce a show for the most casual channel surfer. So viewers come away with an idea of what a place looks like—and maybe a few facts about it—but for the truly curious, there is a dearth of content.
Mountains of the Heart: A Natural History of the Appalachians, by Scott Weidensaul, has been a go-to classic for around 20 years. Written in a casual and fascinating yet scientifically accurate way, the narrative draws in readers who do not want to crack academic tomes on the subject but who do wish to learn more about the region’s alpine tundra and the still-living remnants of mighty chestnut trees.
Gawain of Orkney doesn't need a squire. He's yet to make it to King Arthur's court to be knighted, and, if he does need a squire later, he has a few brothers in the hinterlands who will do. For his part, Terence is perfectly happy taking care of his foster father, the hermit Trevisant. He is a kind boy and an excellent cook, though granted a bit confused at present. Just recently the trees had started talking to him.
Trevisant, however, has other ideas. After a shared pot of excellent stewed rabbit, the hermit tells the pair that they are destined to achieve great things together. Terence tells Gawain that it must be so, since Trevisant has the gift to see the future as if it were the past.
Maisie Dobbs. Perhaps it’s not a fascinating name, but it –is- the name of a fascinating woman. Born to a poor but loving family, thirteen-year-old Maisie goes into service in a grand London house. How very fortunate for her that it is the home of a clever and bored lady bountiful.
History is complicated, and people’s lives are even more so. In the short biography and video clip that Facebook has to share, Irena Sendler is presented as a Catholic woman who saved approximately 2,500 Jewish children. That is true, as far as it goes. Irene was certainly a courageous woman, and she came from Catholic roots and was devoted to the Church during her later years. But there is more to her story. Real heroes often lead complicated lives, as readers of Tilar J. Mazzeo’s Irena’s Children will discover.
From the moment she was born, the black-haired girl with the sad eyes never made a sound. When she was a child, her parents discovered that her true talent lay with quickening the mending of bones and quieting fevers. The local healer Jolin noticed as well, and, as she had no daughter to teach, she took Lily as her apprentice.
That was going well enough until Lily met a mage-marked stranger who brought the hope of a cure—and perhaps of happiness for them both. But what would be the cost?
Do you know the difference between a subject and a predicate or between a compound sentence and a simple one? How about the differences between capital and capitol, color and colour, action verbs and passive verbs? Do your subjects and verbs agree?
Learning how to diagram a sentence will not teach you to be a great story writer, any more than learning to read music will guarantee you fame and fortune as a lead singer. However, understanding grammar will show you how English language works, which is certainly handy for every writer.
“How was your summer?!” That’s what friends and teachers ask when they see you again for the first time in September. Maybe it was great. Maybe it was just boring—though we, at the library, could have totally fixed that with books.
But it probably wasn’t a total ruin, was it? Chloe’s is shaping up to be very much less than stellar. It’s her first time at a sleep-away camp, and she is far from sold on its wonders. True, the boy she has a crush on is there with his goofy friend, but then there’s this:
From the Queen of the Pamunkey tribe to Civil War officer and nurse Sally Louisa Tompkins, the Virginia Women presented in Kierner’s and Treadway’s essay collection are well worth knowing about.