19 April 2015

Snow in April.

My tulips in the front of my yard FINALLY decided to bloom on a nice, warm Monday afternoon.  On Tuesday they were blown away by a major muddy wind and rainstorm.  By Wednesday they were covered by nearly a foot of snow.  By Saturday the snow had melted and my bent over tulips were creaking their stems for survival.  Insanity!!

Here is the beginning of the snow on Tuesday.

Here is the end of the storm on Wednesday afternoon.

Book Review

Every Day by David Levithan

So I continue to read in the realm of juvenile fiction.  Since reading "The Fault In Our Stars" last summer, I seem to have used the majority of my reading time in this genre?  Why?  
  • It's light, quick, and easy to read.
  • The stories I've picked out grab my attention and interest.
  • They really are well-written, quirky, and witty.
  • I just haven't found a good non-fiction book recently that has allowed me to get past the first chapter.  I'll keep looking.  It's probably time for some higher intellect.

The story of Every Day is a little weird. In fact, it is almost too weird for me.  I just about put it down at the beginning, but then I was intrigued enough that I wanted to know how it could ever possibly end.  

The story is about this thing-person-nonhuman named A.  I envisioned him as a "he" so I'll refer to him as such, but I guess you could call him "she," too.  A has been transferring from one body to the next his entire life.  He takes over the body of a person his own age for exactly 24 hours and at the stroke of midnight is whisked away to a new person.  The person later has a vague recollection of the events of the previous day and A, up until this point, tries to disrupt their lives as little as possible.  During this portion of his life, he is a 16-year old high school student.  He can be male or female and of any ethnic origin or culture.  He can be part of a functional or dysfunctional family.  He can be healthy, or sick, or even addicted.  He never knows where he will be the next morning, though he stays in a fairly small geographic circle.

The plot of the story begins when he meets and falls in love with Rhiannon (honestly, that name bugged me and nearly made me put the book down, but I continued).  He tells her his story and they begin this completely illogical relationship which can only occur by him hijacking someone's body every day, ditching school, and meeting up with her at a central library or coffee shop.  The story is totally far out there, but was written in such a way that I kept going.  Could this actually work?  Could A ever get his own body and be a regular person?  I kept reading, because I couldn't predict an ending.

Eventually I got to the end.  I was disappointed.  Without spoiling the ending for everyone, it's possible that I was just disappointed because I don't have a big enough imagination to interpret the ending.  I just didn't get it.

Here's what I did like about the book.  It reminded me of a book I once read called Star Teachers of Children in Poverty by Martin Haberman.  How do these two books relate?  They don't really.  The teacher book is about how teachers can have a positive impact on students who don't come to school with a very positive background.  The Levithan book felt like reading a day-in-the life of any kid who could be in my classroom and I learned a lot from reading dialogue (or lack thereof) between kids and their families and seeing the vast differences between one 16 year old and another.  I know a little bit about lots of my students and their background, but this book gave me an opportunity to see what things at home might be like for some of my students.  I think I liked that most about the book.

I would recommend the book to you if the premise seems interesting.  I am going to try another one by this author (or maybe find a good World War II book just waiting to be read).