Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Moon By Night

I started my day out with a run. I don't measure exactly how long, but it was probably somewhere between three and four miles. I ended up running by Denny's, where the smell of bacon tortured me. When I ran through Pioneer Park (Alaskaland!!!), I dropped by and saw my sister, who works there.  The Chena River, after dropping somewhat, is higher than ever after last night's rain.On my cool-down walk, I pulled up the invasive weed, bird vetch, along my driveway. All in all, a nice way to start a day.

For my very first blogged book review, I'm starting with the first book I completed after school got out for the summer:  Madeleine L'Engle's "The Moon By Night."

Madeleine L'Engle is, as always, eminently readable. There is something about reading L'Engle that is like curling up with a blanket and a cup of cocoa. This book is a very pleasant read - the second in a series about the Austin family. Fourteen year old Vicky is the protagonist, and in this book, she and her family are spending the entire summer traveling across the U.S. and Canada. Older brother John, sister Suzy and little brother Rob are along for the trip. Two young men fall for Vicky along the way, one that her family likes and approves of, and one of whom they don't. Vicky, who has always felt like the plain and unremarkable one in her family, finally has a summer experience that makes her like who she is and, especially, who she is becoming.

I love the frequent usage of Psalm 121 throughout the story. Vicky suffers a crisis of faith, because the psalm tells her that God watches over her, and that the sun will not harm her by day, nor the moon by night. She thinks of Anne Frank's mother telling her that psalm, and how God didn't watch out for Anne Frank. Incidentally, this is my favorite psalm. I used to read it to Emma when she was little and would get scared about things. This book takes place during the Cold War and nuclear arms race, which figures heavily into Vicky's fears.

This book also gave me a new favorite quote - "Comparisons are odious."

Friday, June 27, 2014

Why I'm Here

As my name implies, I am a haiku-loving, ravenous book-reading, children's librarian. What I hope to share here are mostly book reviews, and occasionally, my impromptu and irreverent haikus. Because of my profession, I read a good number of children's and young adult books, but occasionally I foray into the world of grown-up literature.

This summer, I have set myself some reading goals that I shared with my students at the end of the school year. They were, as follows:

1. To read at least three Newbery Medal winning books that I haven't read before.
2. To read at least one non-fiction book.
3. To read at least one biography/memoir.
4. To read at least three adult books.
5. To read the first Percy Jackson series.

I am well on my way to completing these goals, but I do wonder if I'll have time to get to the Percy Jackson books. As a children's librarian, I try to read what the kids are reading, but I have never managed to read any of Riordan's books in their entirety. This seems like a failing on my part that I hope to correct, but it may not be in the cards this summer. Fortunately, with five kids of my own, these books live on my bookshelf here at home and I will have ample opportunity.

My opinion is my own; whether you agree or not, I encourage feedback!

Happy Reading!!!

Kristen Zayon
aka The Haiku Librarian