The Crossover

The Crossover centers around Josh and his twin, Jordan AKA JB, who are two middle schoolers who play basketball, just like their dad.  The family dynamics are spelled out easily, and the interaction between (mainly) the three of them is heartfelt and wonderful.  At its heart, this novel is about a family.  But, yes, it's about basketball too, and relationships, and coming of age.

First Pages: Little House in the Big Woods

“Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.

The great, dark trees of the Big Woods stood all around th ehouse, and beyond them were other trees and beyond them were more trees. As far as man could go to the north in a day, or a week, or a whole month, there was nothing but woods. There were no houses. There were no roads. There were no people. There were only trees and the wild animals who had their homes among them.”

~ Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Theater

There was some point in my life when I couldn't stand musicals, didn't understand why the actors would burst out into song, seemingly out of nowhere.

Much like my eventual love of Shakespeare though I had been skeptical (and I saw ALL the RSC Shakespeare production shows the summer of 1994), I grew back to love musical theater.

Doctors as Teachers

Earlier this month, the world lost an amazing doctor.  The thing is that it's not only a loss for the children's hospital that he tirelessly advocated for and for the patients and families he took care of, it's a huge loss for the doctors he was training.

Kat Writes a Song

In Kat Writes a Song by Greg Foley, Kat works hard to create a song, and then she second-guesses herself.  We've all been there. Thinking we're creating something fantastic, especially as a writer, and then we start to let the doubts creep in.  What I admire about Foley's story is that he shows Kat persevering through the creative process, and then sharing her joy.

Seb and the Sun

In Seb and the Sun, we follow Seb and Walrus through their very specific coastal town and community.  And as we follow this close-knit community, Seb realizes that something is missing and he knows exactly how to go find it.  Gigot contrasts the brightness and darkness in her illustrations, creating a beautiful reflection of each other.

First Pages: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

"Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids. They were sent to the house of an old Professor who lived in the heart of the country, ten miles from the nearest railway station and two miles from the nearest post office. He had no wife and he lived in a very large house with a housekeeper called Mrs. Macready and three servants."

~The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Different Like Coco

It may be news to you but I've always been a bit obsessed with fashion designers.  I learned to sew when I was a kid and I loved to fiddle with my clothes or make them my own when I was a teen.  Just little things here and there.  And while I still love to make things, I don't have a talent for pattern making.

Hufflepuff Letterman Jacket Upcycling

My mom has slowly been giving me things from my childhood room over the years.  I have no idea what to do with my spelling and academic trophies, but I did know that when she handed over my letterman jacket from varsity cheer, I was reluctant to donate it.

Then I had an immediate epiphany.  Though I went to an all-girls school, I cheered for the all-boys school counterpart....and their colors were HUFFLEPUFF HOUSE COLORS.  Well, I happen to know a very loyal Hufflepuff in my house, Little Lion!

Niko Draws a Feeling

Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka is about learning to look at the world with different eyes, or at least accepting that others may see the world in different ways than you do.  I parallel Niko with some of my patients who express themselves differently—maybe they have autism, maybe they have a different artist's eye than I do, maybe they don't speak yet (or at all). But they may have specific ways of communicating with others.