Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hank's Got A Series For You

Poison Flower, the seventh novel in Thomas Perry’s celebrated Jane Whitefield series, opens as Jane spirits James Shelby, a man unjustly convicted of his wife’s murder, out of the heavily guarded criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles. But the price of Shelby’s freedom is high. Within minutes, men posing as police officers kidnap Jane and, when she tries to escape, shoot her.

Jane’s captors are employees of the man who really killed Shelby’s wife. He believes he won’t be safe until Shelby is dead, and his men will do anything to force Jane to reveal Shelby’s hiding place. But Jane endures their torment, and is willing to die rather than betray Shelby. Jane manages to escape but she is alone, wounded, thousands of miles from home with no money and no identification, hunted by the police as well as her captors. She must rejoin Shelby, reach his sister before the hunters do, and get them both to safety.

In this unrelenting, breathtaking cross-country battle, Jane survives by relying on the traditions of her Seneca ancestors. When at last Jane turns to fight, her enemies face a cunning and ferocious warrior who has one weapon that they don’t.

Hank says:
"I have followed the story of Perry's character Jane Whitefield since receiving a promotional copy of the first novel, Vanishing Act. Four more books in succession fulfilled a contract, and he went on to write other books, so now it's a treat when he decides he has something more to tell us about Jane's life. She's unlike any other thriller protagonist I've ever encountered, relying on the guiding skills of her Seneca heritage to assist people in trouble, and help them disappear from their pursuers into new, safer lives. Paradoxically, this puts her own life in great danger, and while she would now prefer to disappear into her own settled, happily married life for a number of years, once in awhile a situation arises in which she feels compelled to come out of retirement.

In Poison Flower, Jane helps a wrongly convicted man escape from a courthouse appearance, and the chase is on! Perry ratchets up the sense of peril beyond any previous level, and there's a nasty "reunion" with various characters from other novels who've underestimated her, and are ready for revenge. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend starting with Poison Flower, but preferably with Vanishing Act, and continuing in series order. Jane ages in real time with each book, so she's quite a bit older now than when we first met her. People talk about magical realism in literature, and I would make the distinction that Jane's worldview includes more of a mystical realism, as she draws on her Seneca traditions to counteract the otherwise harsh and gritty scenarios she negotiates.

People who enjoy C.J. Box's fast-paced suspense will probably enjoy Jane's narrative."

The First Six, In Order:

Eric B. Recommends...

As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the federal purview.

Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease that is now afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa's resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.

As a flash flood traps them in a treacherous canyon, only one man is brave-or foolhardy-enough to come to their rescue: Lars Jorgenson, Rosa's first love and the father of her healthy daughters. Together they escape to Berkeley, where a leading specialist offers their only hope of saving Ana and Miguel. Here in northern California, they create new identities to protect themselves from Rosa's vengeful husband, the police who seek her for questioning, and the gangsters Lars reported to Prohibition agents-officers representing a department often as corrupt as the Mob itself. Ever mindful that his youthful alcoholism provoked Rosa to spurn him, Lars nevertheless supports Rosa's daring plan to stake their futures on a struggling Sonoma Valley vineyard-despite the recent hardships of local winemakers whose honest labors at viticulture have, through no fault of their own, become illegal.

Everything he’d seen had been unimaginably different from the dry, dour streets of home, and to his surprise he was not sorry in the slightest. He was smitten by the beguiling otherness of it all.

And so began my grandfather’s rapturous love affair with America—an affair that would continue until the day he died.

This is the story of the Meisenheimer family, told by James, a third-generation American living in Beatrice, Missouri. It’s where his German grandparents—Frederick and Jette—found themselves after journeying across the turbulent Atlantic, fording the flood-swollen Mississippi, and being brought to a sudden halt by the broken water of the pregnant Jette.    A Good American tells of Jette’s dogged determination to feed a town sauerkraut and soul food; the loves and losses of her children, Joseph and Rosa; and the precocious voices of James and his brothers, sometimes raised in discord…sometimes in perfect harmony.    But above all, A Good American is about the music in Frederick’s heart, a song that began as an aria, was jazzed by ragtime, and became an anthem of love for his adopted country that the family still hears to this day.

Zella Grisham never denied shooting her boyfriend. That’s not why she did eight years of hard time on a sixteen-year sentence. It’s that the shooting inadvertently led to charges of grand theft. Talk about bad luck.

Leonid McGill has reasons to believe she’s innocent. But reopening the case is only serving to unsettle McGill’s private life even further—and expose a family secret that’s like a kick to the gut.

As the case unfolds, as the truth of what happened eight years ago becomes more damning and more complex than anyone dreamed, McGill and Zella realize that everyone is guilty of something, and that sometimes the sins of the past can be too damaging to ever forget. Or ever forgive.

When his land is taken by force, Prince Jayavar of the Khmer people narrowly escapes death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman. Exiled from their homeland, he and his mystical wife Ajadevi set up a secret camp in the jungle with the intention of amassing an army bold enough to reclaim their kingdom and free their people. Meanwhile, Indravarman rules with an iron fist, pitting even his most trusted men against each other and quashing any hint of rebellion.

Moving from a poor fisherman's family whose sons find the courage to take up arms against their oppressors, to a beautiful bride who becomes a prize of war, to an ambitious warrior whose allegiance is torn--Temple of a Thousand Faces is an unforgettable saga of love, betrayal, and survival at any cost.

TC Tidbit: The One Decent Picture Our Blogger Took

At BK Loren's latest stop at Tattered Cover:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Meet This Author Tomorrow Night!!!

Like most public defenders, Rachel Stein is an adrenaline junkie. Inspired by the case of a battered woman who stabbed her husband to death, she devotes herself tirelessly to the woman’s defense. It’s the kind of case every public defender was born for. The case could change the course of law, but it ends up changing the course of Rachel’s life instead.

A story of resourcefulness in a treacherously unstable world where bad things happen to good people, The Furthest City Light illuminates a journey of hope and revelation for a woman who cares too much.

Jackie says:
"This book is about Rachel, a public defender in Boulder, CO.  She's passionate about the law and about her clients, but never as much as her latest client, Emily, who stabbed her husband with scissors after years of abuse.  It's clear to Rachel that Emily is innocent, and that this case might just make the 1986 Colorado courts finally accept the concept of battered woman syndrome.  It is a long and passionate fight, a full half of the book.  The second half of the book deals with Rachel decompression after the trial, which involves heading for civil war torn Nicaragua to help rebuild in the Sandinista villages, following a different kind of justice.  This is a fascinating tale of a woman trying to find peace with herself and her world.  Deep emotion and vivid description make this a fantastic read and an impressive debut novel."

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 28, 2013, at 7:30 pm at our Historic Lodo Store, Jeanne Winer will be be reading from and signing her debut novel The Furthest City Light.

Can’t make it to the signing? Request an autographed copy here:

"Kira is a bold heroine with lofty goals, and readers will willingly follow her to the sequel, where things are sure to tilt again." --ALA Booklist

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence--it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means--and even more important, a reason--for our survival.

TC Tidbit: One Reviewer Says "Think “50 Shades of Grey” for the 30-something male."

Here are a few pictures from Chad Kultgen's latest visit to Tattered Cover

He started off making a prank call to a prayer line.
Then read some of his college writing, and then from his new book.

Though it doesn't look like it here, the audience was not just men--several women were there too.
A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"This novel was absolutely fantastic...I did not want to leave the world that Rita Leganski had created in this novel." --Miki

A magical debut novel from Rita Leganski, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is the tale of a mute boy whose gift of wondrous hearing reveals family secrets and forgotten voodoo lore, and exposes a murder that threatens the souls of those who love him.

Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn't make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows that Bonaventure's silence is filled with resonance—a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house on Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer.

Bonaventure's remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mère Letice, plagued by grief and a long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed.

You can read a bit of the book HERE.

Miki says:
"This novel was absolutely fantastic.  It took me quite some time to get over the fact that this book had ended.  I did not want to leave the world that Rita Leganski had created in this novel.  The story within these pages sucked me in from the first page and it almost hurt me to close the back cover at the end.  This was one of those novels that is so well written, I had to read parts out loud to release the beauty of the language into the world.  Not only is Bonaventure's world magical, but so is the writing of Leganski.  She wrote so beautifully, I had no choice but to run away with Bonaventure, William, Dancy, and the Wonderer.  

Dancy and William fell quickly in love.  They were blissfully happy and could not control their  longing for each other.  It wasn't long after their indiscretion, that Dancy became pregnant.  The two were quickly married and began a perfect life together.  That was until William was shot and killed on his birthday.

The grief that Dancy feels after William's death is so deep and numbing, it actually changes her unborn child, Bonaventure.  When Bonaventure is born, the family quickly realizes that he is very different.  He doesn't cry, he doesn't fuss, he doesn't make a sound.  Although some thought that this was a defect, Dancy knew her son was special.  Indeed he was.  Bonaventure didn't speak because he knew that he could learn more from the world if he just listened.  Soon the world was talking to Bonaventure.  He could hear his mothers guilt, his grandmother's grief, and even his father's ghost.

This superb hearing wasn't just a gift, it was a fate.  Bonaventure soon found that his hearing could help him heal his family.  With the help of a hoo doo woman who understands Bonaventure's gift, he begins to unravel dark family secrets and release the hold they have on his family.

This novel was so entrancing, I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Benjamin Button, Like Water For Chocolate, or Perfume.  I repeat, absolutely fantastic!"

"In the gothic tradition of Rebecca and The House of the Seven Gables, Wendy Webb's intoxicating mystery The Fate of Mercy Alban follows one family's effort to confront the secrets of its own sordid past as they haunt the last remaining members of the storied Alban clan. Hidden passages, portraits with moving eyes, and the conflicting mandates of wealth, power, and love weave together to create a story that will send chills down your spine. Read in a well-lit room!" —Katherine Howe, bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and The House of Velvet and Glass


Grace Alban has spent twenty years away from her childhood home, the stately Alban House on the shores of Lake Superior, for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother's unexpected death brings Grace and her teen-age daughter home, she finds more haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House than her own personal demons.

Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House, when a world-famous author took his own life and Grace's aunt disappeared without a trace. The night has been shrouded in secrecy by the powerful Alban family for all of these years, and Grace realizes her family secrets tangle and twist as darkly as the secret passages of Alban House.

Her mother was intending to tell the truth about that night to a reporter on the very day she died—could it have been murder? Or was she a victim of the supposed Alban curse? With the help of the disarmingly kind—and attractive—Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must uncover the truth about her home and its curse before she and her daughter become the next victims.

Wendy Webb, whose writing has been compared to that of Stephen King and Bram Stoker, has woven a suspenseful mystery that skillfully skirts the boundary between what is paranormal and what is psychological in The Fate of Mercy Alban.

Some pictures from the book's Pinterest board:

Meet the author tomorrow night!
On Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm at our Highlands Ranch store, Wendy Webb, the author of The Tale of Halcyon Crane—the 2011 winner of the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction, and an Indie Next Pick from the Independent Booksellers Association—will read from and sign her new novel The Fate of Mercy Alban.

Can’t make it to the signing? Request an autographed copy here:

TC Tidbit: Rights of the Reader

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dispatch From The Field: "I was enchanted by the characters’ voices," says Joe


These Things Happen takes place right now, even as we speak … it’s the tale of a modern family, set among Manhattan’s progressive, liberal elite, the adults all prominent in their professions, rearing their children to be the same, confident that nothing much can harm them, ever.

The story starts when Wesley Bowman 16, sharp and funny and defiantly individual, moves downtown from his book editor mother’s home on the Upper East Side home to live with his father and his partner for the fall term of school; Wesley, becoming a man, feels the time has come for him to more closely know (his words here) the “man from whom I did, actually, spring.” Kenny, who came out after his marriage to Wesley’s mom ended, is a much-honored gay-rights lawyer, a regular on Rachel Maddow, Charlie Rose, a frequent contributor to the Op-ed page of the New York Times.

But Wesley, when he moves in, finds his father distant and inaccessible; he has much more luck connecting with his father’s partner, George, a former actor/dancer who now runs a theater district restaurant. George is present, genuinely interested, fully at ease with himself; all the things Kenny is not. He and Wesley become like father and son, really, and not because George is in any way trying to supplant Kenny. It’s just that these things happen.

Then everything changes. When Wesley’s closest friend surprises him and everyone else when, after being elected class president, he comes out at the end of his acceptance speech. the two boys find themselves at the center of an act of violent, homophobic bullying (even though Wesley is straight). Within the family, tolerant facades crumble as George, suddenly, becomes suspect. Wesley’s mom values and cares for him, and has worked to have a relationship with him, as she suspects this will assure the presence of Kenny in Wesley’s life. But, now, with Wesley in the hospital being held for observation (“When did I,” she wonders, “turn into someone whose kid is held for observation?”) isn’t it her duty to wonder and worry about what might have been going on when her back was so progressively turned? Did she fail to keep her son safe? Does she, indeed, know him? Does she know George, so delightful and pleasing, an author of agreeable evenings? And, more worryingly, does this accomplished, insightful, deeply curious woman really, in the end, know herself?

These Things Happen is a sharp, laugh-out-loud funny, ultimately deeply moving story about the way we live now and the alertness and awareness we have to cultivate in order to do it. It’s about the assumptions we all unknowingly hold that we take in from the culture around us, no matter how free from “all that” we think we might be; the received convictions just beneath the surface that need only the right spark to catch fire. In this novel that fire burns its way through the stories all the characters tell themselves about themselves; no one is who they were at the start, and all must find the courage to truly, for the first time, face who they are.

Joe says:
"The definition of family is not set in stone. There are many factors that make up what a family is. For the characters in Richard Kramer’s engrossing debut novel, These Things Happen, their definition of family has been shaped by divorce, remarriage of the mother and the coming out of the father. Wesley has moved in with his father and his father’s partner, George, in their small, Manhattan Theater District apartment for a few months, so he can get to know his father better. His father is a man devoted to gay causes, sought-after by the media, and politicians, and other important people. He doesn’t go anywhere without his phone, and ends up being able to devote precious little time to his son. George, his partner, becomes the de-facto guardian of Wesley. George had a theater career when he was young, but now runs a restaurant just downstairs from their apartment. Wesley’s best friend, Theo, comes out as he gives his acceptance speech as class president, but that speech brings shattering results to the two friends.  Wesley’s mother says some things that even she didn’t know were true to her way of thinking, and Wesley, Theo, George, and Wesley’s father all most decide what it means to be family.

The story is told from the perspective of several characters, with each character’s perspective moving the story line along. In some books, this type of storytelling can be contrived, or inconsistent. Kramer, though, uses this device to its fullest extent, telling the story through the voices of its characters, all of whom have struggled (or currently are) with what it means to be family, to be successful, to live in New York… And though this is a very Manhattan-centric story, but the struggle the characters endure is universal. I was enchanted by the characters’ voices, especially those of Wesley, Theo, and George.

As an adult in his 40’s, I am the same age as most of the adult characters. But this is a multi-generational tale, and I remember the struggles of being a teenager (not only coming to terms with my sexuality, but beginning to come to terms with the even more massive and pressing concern: what am I going to do with my life?) Kramer does a great job of making both ages’ viewpoints accessible and through these voices, highlights how far along things have come… When George and Kenny (Wesley’s father) were teenagers, there was no social support for gay youth, things were still coded and hidden under fear of physical, legal, or social oppression. Not everything’s perfect yet, as the story deftly shows, but we’ve come a long, long way…

These Things Happen is a great book of what it means to be an American in the early 21st century. We have the power to solve what ails us, societally, and as I think Kramer shows us, that’s first to solve what ails us personally."

“An amazing achievement—a braiding of historical, political, and personal, each strand illuminating the other. Wonderful characters, elusive glimpses of wisdom, and a gripping story that accelerates to just the right ending.”—Arthur Phillips

In Jennifer duBois's mesmerizing and exquisitely rendered debut novel, a long-lost letter links two characters, each searching for meaning against long odds.

In St. Petersburg, Russia, world chess champion Aleksandr Bezetov begins a quixotic quest. With his renowned Cold War–era tournaments behind him, Aleksandr has turned to politics, launching a doomed--and potentially lethal--dissident presidential campaign against Vladimir Putin.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, thirty-year-old English lecturer Irina Ellison is on an improbable quest of her own. Certain she has inherited Huntington's disease—the same illness that ended her father's life—she struggles with a sense of purpose. When Irina finds an old, photocopied letter her father had written to the young Aleksandr Bezetov—asking how one proceeds in a lost cause—she decides to travel to Russia to find Bezetov and get an answer for her father, and for herself.

Spanning two continents and thirty years, and with uncommon perception and wit, A Partial History of Lost Causes explores the possibilities of courage, the endurance of memory, and the stubbornness and splendor of human will.

TC Tidbit: Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway On How To Write Fiction

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Foodies, You Don't Want To Miss This!!!!

Tomorrow, Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm at our Historic Lodo Store

Deb Perelman is a self-taught home cook and photographer; and the creator of, an award-winning blog with a focus on stepped-up home cooking through unfussy ingredients. Hazel & Dewey Modern Mercantile ( and The Humble Pie Store ( join us in presenting Perelman as she discusses and signs her bestselling new book The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook . We'll have goody bags provided by Hazel & Dewey and samples from the Humble Pie Store (while supplies last)

Free numbered tickets for a place in the booksigning line will be handed out beginning at 6:30 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the signing is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.

 Can’t make it to the signing? Request an autographed copy here:

Looking For A New Book Club Choice? Give This One A Try


Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, seventeen when he first kissed her under a sky filled with shooting stars, and thirty-three when they wed. Now in their late thirties, the deeply devoted couple has everything—except the baby they've always wanted.

When a tragic accident leaves Elle brain-dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear losing her, he knows his wife, a thoughtful and adventurous scientist, feared only one thing—a slow death. Just before Matt agrees to remove Elle from life support, the doctors discover that she is pregnant. Now what was once a clear-cut decision becomes an impossible choice. Matt knows how much this child would have meant to Elle. While there is no certainty her body can sustain the pregnancy, he is sure Elle would want the baby to have a chance. Linney, Matt's mother, believes her son is blind with denial. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive by artificial means, no matter what the situation.

Divided by the love they share, driven by principle, Matt and Linney fight for what each believes is right, and the result is a disagreement that escalates into a controversial legal battle, ultimately going beyond one family and one single life.

Told with sensitivity and compassion, The Promise of Stardust is an emotionally resonant and thought-provoking tale that raises profound questions about life and death, faith and medicine—and illuminates, with beauty and grace, the power of love to wound . . . and to heal.

Read an excerpt HERE.

TC Tidbit: Don't Forget To Be Awesome Is Obama's Advice

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's Time To Start Dreaming Of Gardens And Fresh Picked Wonderfulness

Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America s foremost organic gardeners and authorities. Barbara is the author of The Garden Primer, and Eliot wrote the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they are the face of the locavore movement, working through their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they've written the book on how to grow what you eat, and cook what you grow.

The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook is two books in one. It s a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Barbara, a master cook as well as master gardener, who shows how to maximize the fruits and vegetables of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries.

And it s a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops yes, even in your backyard. And, at the core, individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to fourteen essential culinary herbs.

Eating doesn't get any more local than your own backyard.

 Jackie says:
"I had to have this cookbook.  Had to.  While I am currently an urban apartment dweller, my heart and soul are those of a gardener and a foodie.  Some folks do fantasy football or create virtual farms on Facebook, but me, I read gardening and cookbooks like novels and create beautiful fantasies of the wondrous things I will grow and make someday.  And this book will keep me in lovely dreams at least until the farmers markets start up and I can begin to cook some of these tantalizing recipes."

"In 'Calling Me Home', Kibler has crafted a wholly original debut. . . . There’s no denying the pull of Kibler’s story." —Booklist


Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler is a soaring debut interweaving the story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in 1930s Kentucky with an unlikely modern-day friendship

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.

Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son’s irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.

Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper—in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.

You can read an excerpt HERE.

TC Tidbit: More Bookish Quotes

Friday, February 22, 2013

"This little book has crawled into my heart and now I will champion it until my dying day." --Jackie

Learning to read builds confidence and hope

 In this heartwarming story, author Rob Shindler tells how he offered his time, unflagging energy, and unconventional teaching techniques to help a boy with serious learning differences and adults suffering from low literacy levels. A father who wanted to help his son with his reading deficiencies, Rob discovered the way to that goal was through volunteering at the Literacy Center of Chicago. There, he learned firsthand how ridiculous the common misconceptions are about learning disabilities and adult illiteracy. The assortment of students he taught were ambitious people who were eloquent, driven, clever, and so funny they made him laugh out loud. Here, Rob shares his students’ pain and humiliations, frustrations and hopes. Hot Dogs & Hamburgers demonstrates that literacy issues reside in all neighborhoods and that its victims are committed to finding dignity and life’s possibilities through learning to read. Rob’s teaching experiences are so motivating and rewarding that once you’ve read his story, you’re likely to begin your own journey as a literacy tutor.

Jackie says:
"This little book has crawled into my heart and now I will champion it until my dying day.  This is the story of Rob Shindler, successful in just about everything except helping is son learn to read (he has a reading disorder).  Finally, he made an appointment to meet with the folks at Literacy Center of Chicago for advice.  He ended up going through the training as a literacy tutor, and began teaching his first class of wildly different adults who want to make their lives easier and better by learning to read.  They have different reasons for why they never learned, and different reasons for coming to the class, but the same goal.  He uses the insights from his class to form a plan with his son.  There are times when I wanted to jump up and cheer, and others that gave me teary eyes.  This is one of the most positive, make the world a better place, working together to solve problems kind of book I've ever read.  It is inspiring to anyone who loves books and reading, and you can't help but look up literacy programs in the area that might need your help once you've read it.  The methods this books portrays will be handy with your kids as well as you community.  Please, please, please read this book!" 

Something Old Is Now New, For The Next Generation


Four years before Where the Wild Things Are won the Caldecott Medal, Maurice Sendak produced some of his most spectacular artwork for The Moon Jumpers. Printing technology has greatly improved since this enchanting picture book was first released more than fifty years ago, and now, with new color separations, the reproduction of Maurice Sendak's artwork comes closer to his stunning originals than ever before. Sendak's wondrous starry skies and Janice May Udry's evocative text immediately transport us back to cool, moonlit nights and fill us with the universal warmth of childhood. The Moon Jumpers' timeless beauty and inspiration earned it a Caldecott Honor in 1960 and will surely gather a new generation of fans.

Browse through some pages HERE.