Happy New Years Eve! Alee and I came up with this one on Skype (in fact we are chatting as I type). This time we are giving you three female writing powerhouses in the young adult world. Let us know in the comments who you would marry date and dump.
Merry Christmas friends! Whether today means presents and fir trees, Chinese food and movies, or a day off work – I hope everyone is having a fantastic Tuesday. You may or may not believe. He may or may not bring you presents. But I’m sure you have an opinion of the cherry-cheeked man in a red suit. Which Santa from pop culture would you marry, date and dump. I’ve listed some of my personal favorites below, but feel free to choose your own options.
First off, even though it feels somewhat obvious to say it, our thoughts are with the families in Newton. I work in a preschool, and the news from Friday is still hard to believe. If there is a correct or politically correct response to this tragedy, I don’t know what it is. I will say that while I have no ability to know if stricter gun control or a higher investment in mental health issues could have prevented these horrible events, I do believe that both are good things that have the ability to prevent future losses.
The internet reaction has been emotional and varied. Two posts in particular caught my intention. I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother – from the perspective of a mother of a mentally ill son, and You Are Not His Mother – a response post that points out there is still so much we don’t know and the danger of attributing criminality to all who are mentally ill. I found both pretty thought provoking and valid. I also found this quote, by Mister Rogers, strangely comforting against this weekend’s overwhelming feeling that there will probably always be evil and cruelty and moments of despair present in this world.
In happier news from around the internet:
- Here is scientific proof that reading is good for you.
- The New York Times reviews its first self-published book, you can read the review here.
- Things that happen in holiday movies that never happen in real life. Anyone else still waiting for Colin Firth to show up at their door?
Have a good and safe week everyone, and happy holidays!
This week we are entering the world of Beatrix Potter, because we frankly don’t do enough anthropomorphizing of fictional animals on this blog. Let us know who you would marry, date, and dump in the comments sections below. Double points if you let us know why!
“It was a dark and stormy night.” Since the first time I read this first sentence of A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle I wondered if this statement was already a cliché when the book was first published or a sign of her brilliance. While the phrase written more than a hundred years yearly, by Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton (thank you wikipedia!), and thus was not a piece of original writing. This, however, does not mean that the opening isn’t both cliché and brilliant.
How I feel about this sentence, is pretty much how I feel about the book. More than anything I appreciate the layers. From the three mysterious, dare I say Macbeth-like women, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which to the all-powerful IT, who can only be defeated by love – there are examples of pretty heavy-handed metaphor throughout the novel. But the narrative goes deeper than these surface metaphors. The book is full of intricate science concepts, like the tesseract fourth dimension.
The characters, especially Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace are relatable and complex both in their own personalities and in the ways they love each other. They contain the same levels, as the first sentence. What could be more clichéd then the jock that wants people to know the real him or the brainy girl with braces who just wants to fit in.
It is these levels, I think, that keep people ready but also keep people talking about the books even after 50 years! People like Leonard Marcus who recently wrote Listening for Madeleine or Hope Larson who illustrated a full-length graphic version of the novel (see below).
As much as you can distill why you love a favorite childhood book, I think the intelligence of the characters is what continues to draw me to the series. The characters are extremely smart in different ways, but for the most part that doesn’t translate to good grades. It can be isolating and confusing, and leads them into situations beyond their years. Also Calvin O’Keefe is pretty much my number one literary crush of all time, even surpassing Mr. Darcy in my heart of hearts.
Lots of people have read a Wrinkle in Time. Also, the second book in the series, A Wind in the Door, is a book I like even more. If you haven’t I suggest you give it a try – it really does have something for everyone. And until next time – tesser well!