Saturday, November 18, 2017

Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective

Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective

Juvenile herstory
Kate Carter was in quite a predicament. She'd never known her
mother. The printer father who had raised her had died, leaving her
alone in the world. The jobs open to women before the Civil War in
America--washing clothes, teaching--did not appeal to her. But there
was an ad in the newspaper that intrigued her. She would be willing
to reinvent herself to snag the job it described.
People then considered detective work to be suitable only for
men. The profession was considered to be too dangerous and demanding
for women. Kate, however, could see advantages accruing to her
gender. Girlfriends or wives of criminals who would not speak openly
to men might be more forthcoming with another woman.
As Kate Warne, she joined the fledgling Pinkerton Agemcy and
helped establish its reputation. She even saved President elect
Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt. Her success paved the
way for other woman detectives including Hattie Lawton who gathered
Confederate military intelligence during the Civil War.
Marissa Moss' Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective narrates Kate's
very first case--a bewildering crime involving the theft of $40,000
from the Adams Express Company. Without the missing money as proof,
there would be no way to convict the miscreant. Fortunately a jailed
suspect had a girlfriend ripe for befriending...
Moss has written over seventy children's books and won a bunch
of awards. With Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective she introduces
readers to a fascinating, little known chapter in American herstory.
Way to go, Marissa!
On a personal note, Gay Thanksgiving at UMaine was AWESOME!!! The
place was packed and the food was scrumptious! I went with my chum,
Olivia, and some of her friends. We had a wonderful time. Then
Friday I spent seven hours learning a lot at a sustainability event.
It was interactive--with people, not computers--and lively and well
worth attending.
A great big shout out goes out to the attendees of both events and the
folks who worked hard to make them happen.
Thursday I'll be giving thanks for living so close to UMaine with its
wonderful people and fascinating programs. I call it my dork
Disneyland.
jules hathaway


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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Scary Faces

Scary Faces

Halloween may inspire face painting. But imagination and
creativity never go out of season. Caro Child's Scary Faces And Other
Arty Face Paintings gives detailed instructions on how to face paint
and create amazing characters such as:
*a loyal sheepdog
*a glittery peacock
*a magical wizard
*a leaping dolphin (my favorite)
*a cut throat pirate and so many more.
Can you believe a solar storm?
Readers who master this fun skill cab find their services in
much demand at plays, parades, school fun days, and just about any
festivity they can imagine. What a fun way for artistic volunteering
and community involvement!
Luckily for parents, clean up instructions are also included.
On a personal note, I was flattered to get an invitation to audition
for a musical. My student friends wondered why I said no thanks until
I explained that if I tried to do too many things I wouldn't do any
well. My campus involvements are more important to me. And I can
always sing my heart out in choir.
A great big shout out goes out to the fabulous UMaine students who
make this such an easy decision.
jules hathaway


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Encyclopedia of the Forest

My Encyclopedia of the Forest

Juvenile nonfiction
"Forests are mysterious and beautiful places. Under the vaulted
ceiling of tall trees, you feel protected and sheltered."
Most of us have images of children's encyclopedias are: adult
encyclopedia mini mes with simpler words, shorter entries, and a lot
more pictures...alphabetically ordered and sometimes a tad on the dull
side. You can forget that expectation in regard to Alain
Pontoppidan's My Encyclopedia of the Forest. It takes young readers
on Bill Nye the Science Guy meets Magical Mystery Tour. Kids are
taken to see some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures and
places on Earth.
The chapter Into The Woods gives glimpses of the different kinds
of forests around the world. The great north features birch trees,
maple syrup, moose, and bears. Baobabs, humungous termite mounds,
acacia trees, and giraffes are found on the savanna. The Amazon rain
forest is home to red-eyed tree frogs, leaf-cutter ants, Indians,
macaws, and rubber trees.
Not surprisingly, my favorite is Woodland Animals. The
exquisite photography that is one of the real strengths of the whole
book is especially evident in this chapter. A poplar admiral
butterfly spreads its wings. Several kinds of mother birds feed their
downy young. A squirrel and a wood mouse peer out, ready to run at
any sign of danger. A lynx pads through deep snow on fur trimmed
paws. A stealthy fox surveys his domain.
I suspect many kids will enjoy the forest jobs chapter. They'll
get to meet researchers, ranger, and those oh so outdoorsy loggers.
The steps in the path from tree to end products is also very cool.
My Encyclopedia of the Forest is a wonderful acquisition for the
public, school, or family library.
On a personal note, last Sunday at Church of Universal Fellowship our
choir was belting our anthem out loud and proud. We had four rows of
singers and a very lively piece. It felt so good to be up there
making a joyful noise unto the Lord as the Bible instructs us to do.
Then yesterday I tried out the new dress I was thinking of wearing to
the in-laws on Thanksgiving. It's a long sleeve peacock blue lace
with solid sheath underneath number. When I wore it to campus people
were some impressed. So it passes muster.
A great big shout out goes out to my choir family with whom I make
beautiful music.
jules hathaway


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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Our Story Begins

Our Story Begins

Juvenile nonfiction
"I was born in New York City in July 1923. My earliest memories
are of drawing, drawing, drawing. After my earliest drawings, under
ten, I copied comics and art from magazines. To free myself from
copying, I began drawing from life, using my brothers and sisters as
models...These drawings are the source that nourished my growth as an
artist."
Ashley Bryan [quoted above], one of the artist/writers who has
done the most to bring authentic multiculturalism to juvenile lit, is
one of twenty-six children's book authors and illustrators featured in
Elissa Brent Weissman's Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors And
Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, And Occasionally Ridiculous Things
They Wrote And Drew As Kids. What a concept! So simple and yet so
elegant.
Kwame Alexander is brilliant at telling dynamic, complex stories
through free verse. He also empowers student writers through his Page
to Stage Writing Workshop and travels the world promoting literacy.
He shares his first real poem he write about his mom. Awwww! It took
him two days and lots of drafts to complete it to his satisfaction.
Linda Sue Park, a Newberry Medal winner, has written over two
dozen picture books and novels. She grew up writing poems and was
thrilled when her father gave her her first typewriter. She
contributes a poem inspired by the first time she ever saw the ocean.
The very prolific Phyllis Reynolds Naylor loved her parents'
evening family story times. As a child, she drew and illustrated
little books. This was during the Depression. With new paper an
unavailable luxury, she worked with used paper her mother brought home
from work. I suspect you'll enjoy her The Food Fairies, created on
Gospel Trumpet Company Stationary.
And there are twenty-two other equally fascination authors and
illustrators to read about. This would be a highly empowering book
for kids to see that their favorites started out a lot like them and
parents to see that the creators of books they enjoyed as youngsters
weren't always polished book cover presences.
Now, for you lucky blog followers I am going to add a twenty-
seventh. True, I have not had a single book published yet.
Inshallah, God willing, it's only a matter of time. So I will share
my first saved piece of writing, a tribute to a special companion. I
wrote this when I was ten.

Sheba
Sheba, prettiest of ocelots,
Has tawny fur in stripes and spots.
She's a sage little creature clothed in fur
With a lion's roar and a tigers purr.
If you search the world around
I doubt there ever will be found
Another Sheba.

And, yes, I did have a pet ocelot. Try not to be too jealous.
On a purrrrsonal note, last night we had the annual Orono Community
Garden dinner and awards. John, Shelley, and their puppy pal, Effie
Mae, hosted at their home. We had a scrumptious homemade soup supper
topped with a perfect pie. The people who attended were a just right
mix. A wood fire and great background music capped off an evening to
celebrate. I surprised John and Shelley (Effie Mae was none too
impressed) by giving them a best garden family award. I am once again
most sociable gardener. I received a planter with green shoots coming
up. I will keep it in the kitchen and hope Joey does not see it as
salad bar.
I am getting lots of positive feedback on my latest BDN opinion piece.
jules hathaway


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Friday, November 10, 2017

This Would Make A Good Story Someday

This Would Make A Good Story Someday

Juvenile fiction
"It's official. We are on board. Goodbye, Shipton, Em, Vi,
surf lessons, and our adorable cats, Amos and Boris, who are being fed
by Fiona Dunphy and will probably poop in our shoes to show how much
they miss us. Goodbye, space to get away from Mom and Mimi, who have
practically killed each other fighting about luggage...Or space to get
away from Ladybug, who has brought four stuffed animal cats and Bruce
the Roman centurion. Or space of any kind really."
If Sara, narrator of Dana Alison Levy's This Would Make A Good
Story Someday, sounds morose, she has every reason to be. She and her
best friends have big plans for the last month of summer vaca before
they start middle school. Now she won't be part of their self
improvement projects.
Mimi, one of Sara's mothers, has won a big national competition
for "serious writers to have time and space to create while immersing
themselves in the magic of viewing the country by train." Mimi gets
to take the family so Sarah is about spend that month in very close
quarters with:
*her two mothers
*her obnoxiously loud and cute little sister, Ladybug
*her older sister Laurel who seems to think of nothing but saving the
world,
and *Laurel's ecowarrior boyfriend, Root. As if that prospect is not
bad enough, Mimi, who has blogged about many of Sara's embarassing
moments, is taking notes and seeking quotes for a book she wants to
get published.
An unexpected complication reveals itself on the train. They
will be travelling with the other winner and his family: two
nonegenarian ladies and a strange boy everyone expects her to
instantly bond with because they're about the same age.
It sounds like a twenty-first ring of pre teen Hades or at least
purgatory. But between the East and West coasts a lot can change. A
girl can come to see things quite differently. So in between the
amusing mishaps there moments of sweetness and poignancy.
This Would Make A Good Story Someday is a great read for kids
with less than perfect families nearing middle school and anyone who
has had experiences with the potential to be amusing...
...someday.
On a personal note, I had a very nice surprise when I woke up this
morning. My latest opinion piece was in the Bangor Daily News in the
best spot on the op ed page: center with the cartoon. :) I had a lot
of fun writing it. It was inspired by the athletes trying to draw
attention to injustice by not standing for the national anthem. I
can't say the pledge of allegiance because America does not have
liberty and justice for all. I wrote about my growing disillusionment
with it going all the way back to elementary school when I encountered
the civil rights movement. I'm already getting good feedback on it.
A great big shout out goes out to my editor and the BDN readers.
jules hathaway


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Two Cat Tales

Two Cat Tales

Picture books
One day I was about to rush out of Orono Public Library,
fortified with two bags of fresh reading material, when our children's
librarian notified me of two new cat books I'd love to read...unless
it would be too many. Too books, especially ones featuring my
favorite animal? Can there be such a thing?
Jason Carter Eaton's The Catawampus Cat, while full of zip and
pizzaz, has a simple but profound lesson for kids and parents alike.
Into a town where everyone's doing the same old, same old
regular like clockwork...walks the catawampus cat all tilted to one
side. When the people tilted their heads and bodies to match, amazing
things happen.
*A woman finds her wedding ring that has been lost 20 years.
*A barber gives a client a new haircut she loves.
*A librarian takes the wrong book and swaps out her job for a life of
adventure...
Eventually when everyone in town is refocussed and happy there
is a celebration of the catawampus cat. You'll never guess what
happens next.
The moral of the book for kids and parents alike: a slight
change in perspective can make a world of difference. And you don't
have to walk slantwise and risk falling over. Ages ago I had moments
I felt frustrated living in a trailer because they look so much
alike. Then I would pretend to give a tour to a refugee from a
country at war who would really notice the running water, electricity,
full fridge and cupboards, healthy children... I never got all the way
through my home before realizing how much I have to be grateful for.
Alert readers of The Catawampus Cat will notice something
interesting in the illustrations. Embedded in nearly every one is a
realistic detail. In a street scene where people are watching the cat
a green car looks like it came out of a 50's magazine. The posters in
the school and library scenes really jump out at you. Why do you
think the illustrator included them?
There are no wrong answers.
Holly Hobbie's A Cat Named Swan starts off quite precariously.
A kitten born in an alley wakes up to find his mother and littermates
gone. He is all in a big, harsh world, contending with inclement
weather, big dogs, and wheeled vehicles.
One day he is captured and taken to the pound. Well at least
he's safe and well fed. But something even better is in store, a
forever family who brought him home and named him Swan.
"After many days had passed, he learned that the house was his
house, the yard was his yard. He learned that the people were his
people and he was theirs. He belonged to them and he belonged to
them. After many days had passed, he learned that the days would
continue to come and go in the same way."
That's about the happiest ever after any feline can get.
If you have kids clamoring or you find yourself yearning for a
family cat please don't immediately go for a purebred. At least take
a walk through a shelter or pound and see if one of the residents
catches your eye and heart. You may be literally saving a precious
life.
Joey is a random breed. We know who his mother was. The rest
of his lineage is a total mystery. For fourteen years he has been the
dearest companion I could wish for. As I write this he is sprawled
out on my legs, purring heartily, and gazing at me with unconditional
love.
On a purrrrrsonal note, UMaine had two fine events this week. There
was a two day blood drive with fine attendance. I donated and
volunteered. We got lovely long sleeve holiday shirts. Last night we
celebrated multicultural Thanksgiving with all kinds of nontraditional
good food. People who went had a wonderful time.
A great big shout out goes out to all who participated in those events.
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I'm A Girl

I'm A Girl

Picture book
"I'm supposed to be nice...
all sugar and spice...
but I'm sweet and sour!
not a little flower!"
The protagonist of Yasmeen Ismail's I'm A Girl delights in
riding fast, being spontaneous as in stripping to her undies and
jumping into a pool, learning, and playing loud music. There's only
one problem. Everyone she encounters mistakes her for a boy.
What's a girl to do?
Read the book and see.
With short sentences that can be read with plenty of expression
and vivid, dynamic pictures, this is a good selection for really young
kids who are starting to wrap their minds around what being a boy or
girl is all about.
On a personal note, I'm loving my life: family, cat, friends, school,
church, the groups I participate it, my library books, my cute
clothes... There's just one thing I'm not crazy about: daylight
savings time. It gets too dark too early. Everyone I talk to
agrees. I heard somewhere Massachusetts is not observing it this
year. I hope Maine joins in next year.
Wish me luck. I donate blood tomorrow, inshallah (God willing).
A great big shout out to the family members (including Joey cat) and
friends who add so much joy to my life.
jules hathaway




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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sail Away

Sail Away

Juvenile poetry
"To make words sing
Is a wonderful thing--
Because in a song
Words last so long."
If ever there was a poet who could make words sing, he was
Langston Hughes. One of the outstanding writers of the Harlem
Renaissance, he practiced his craft masterfully for nearly half a
century. Sail Away brings together a selection of his poems centered
around waters for a juvenile audience. They evoke a full range of
feelings and tempos and are meant to be read aloud.
My two favorites are the very wistful Water-Front Streets
"The spring is not so beautiful there--
But dream ships sail away
To where the spring is wondrous rare
And life is gay.

The spring is not so beautiful there
But lads put out to sea
Who carry beauties in their hearts
And dreams like me."
And the tender Moonlight Night: Carmel
"Tonight the waves march
In long ranks
Cutting their darkness
With their silver shanks,
Cutting the darkness
And kissing the moon
And beating the land's
Edge into a swoon."
If there is any living artist who deserves to illustrate the
poetry of Langston Hughes, he is Maine's own island dwelling, as in
ocean close, Ashley Bryan. I think he has earned every juvenile lit
award there is to be had. Rightly so. His collages, blending simple
shapes into complex patterns, are masterpieces of color and motion.
With Moonlight Night: Carmel, cresting waves reach up to a star filled
sky. The cautionary tale simply titled F shows a greedy fish about to
chomp down on a big green fly and the hook it disguises while a
smaller fish looks on aghast.
Sail Away is a must acquire for public and school libraries and
a wonderful addition to family collections.
On a personal note, today was Culturefest at UMaine. We had groups
from all kinds of organizations tabling. I was with Amnesty
International. We had this huge world map and a bunch of markers. We
invited people to write in their visions for a better world. Everyone
who stopped by participated. One 4-year-old carefully printed DOG.
There was lots of international food to buy. Many people wore
colorful international clothes. In fact after the tabling there was a
fashion show.
I had a wonderful yesterday too. Kat and I photographed a cool
beetle. Before our lunch Liv and I went shopping at Black Bear
Exchange. We found me 4 shirts including a cat one and three amazing
dresses. (Today I wore a fifties style sailor one and got scads of
compliments). Supper was pizza at International student coffee hour.
And I ended up at my Peace & Justice Center steering committee meeting.
A great big shout out goes out to all the people who were with me
through my two days of adventures.
jules hathaway





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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Seeds Of Change

Seeds Of Change

Juvenile biography/herstory
"'Feel,' her mother whispered.
Wangari spread her small hands over the tree's trunk. She
smoothed her fingers over the rough bark.
'This is mugumo,' her mother said. 'It is home to many. It
feeds many too.'
She snapped off a wild fig from a low branch, and gave it to her
daughter. Wangari ate the delicious fruit, just as geckos and
elephant did. High in the tree, birds chirped in their nests. The
branches bounced with jumping monkeys."
This morning I started drawing water for my bath and picked up
the next picture book on my sizeable stack. OMG! It's lucky for me
the tub didn't overflow and really cause a mess. Jen
Cullerton Johnson's Seeds Of Change, illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler,
is one of those extremely rare picture books that totally takes my
breath away. Story, voice, and illustrations combine into a creation
that grabbed me and didn't let go.
When Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, was a child
growing up in Kenya, her mother taught her to treasure trees. It was
believed that beloved ancestors rested in their shade.
Wangari was the her family's oldest daughter which meant she had
many chores. Few Kikuyu girls were able to even acquire functional
literacy. But when she expressed a drive to go to school, her parents
managed to pay fees and buy supplies. After elementary school
continuing her education required moving further from home: to
Nairobi for high school and all the way to America for college and
grad school.
Returning to Kenya to teach at the University of Nairobi,
Wangari was in for a rude awakening. Big foreign companies were
engaged in systematic deforestation. Soil no longer held in place by
tree roots was being lost. Hunger was stalking her people.
To find a solution to this problem, Wangari went back to her
roots. Literally. The greedy capitalists tried to stop her by having
her arrested. Fortunately this was one of the few instances in the
modern world where good won out. Wangari left jail even more
determined to spread the word.
If you want a story for yourself or your children that engenders
hope and strength, if you read no other book this year, read Seeds of
Change. It was published in 2010, so you may have to get it through
interlibrary loan.
The voice of the narrative evokes the ancient oral tradition.
The words and tempo invite lingering, not rushing.
"Wangari was sad to leave, but she knew that what her mother
said was true. Wherever Wangari went, so went her family, her
village, and her Kikuyu ways. She kissed her family and said good-bye
to the mugumo tree, remembering her promise always to protect it."
The pictures invite even more lingering. Each is like a mosaic
with a thick white lines around sections. The colors are bold and
bright, as merited by African subjects. And the details are
enchanting. As Wangari and her mother eat wild figs, above them in
the trees you see a nest of birds, an agile looking lizard, and two
mischievous monkeys. The river abounds with frogs, polliwogs, and
fish as a long legged bird scans the water for a meal.
Ashley Bryan has to share his all time best (human, not just
black) children's book illustrator ranking in Jules World with Sonia
Lynn Sadler. I checked out her website. I have decided that when I
have worked my way from graduate school, earned my masters, and am
working professionally to help college students achieve their
potential I will save up and buy something she has painted. Now that
is quite the incentive!
On a personal note, I had a wonderful experience today. My friend Liv
Ruhlin had organized a student activist organization panel. I was on
it to represent Active Minds. It's an organization working to remove
the stigma surrounding psychological challenges. Each panelist had
five minutes. We all spoke with passion and conviction. Then we
answered a bunch of really good questions. In the evening I went to
Active Minds and told everyone about the panel. People were so happy
that I represented us.
A great big shout out goes out to all who participated in the panel
and my Active Minds crew.
Jules Hathaway



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Stand Up And Sing!

Stand Up And Sing!

Juvenile nonfiction
"Pete Seeger plucks and strums his guitar. His warm, high voice
floats over the crowd. Heads begin to bob and toes to tap. Suddenly
Pete stops.
'Now, even if you have never heard this song before, you can
sing it with me,' he says.
He calls out the words. Gradually, quiet folks find their
courage, and the chorus of voices grows. Soon nearly everyone has
joined in, and Pete's voice is ringing out in harmony. His fast-
picking fingers fly over the strings as his boots bang out the rhythm.
'Everybody, sing it!' he cries.
When the music ends, people leap to their feet, clapping,
whooping, and whistling."
Susanna Reich feels she has a special affinity with Pete Seeger
for a number of reasons. Both grew up with music and political
activism in their homes. Both grew up in politically turbulent times:
he in the 1930s; she in the 1960's. She's had the great good fortune
of seeing him perform many times.
This passion for her subject gives her Stand Up and Sing! Pete
Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice a depth and intimacy
lacking in so many juvenile biographies.
Starting with the lively scenario quoted above, Reich vists the
phases of Seeger's life, showing us:
*the child who loved music and was fascinated by the communal life
style of Native Americans;
*the young adult who protested with his father, experienced Depression
hunger, and learned to play banjo;
*the singer who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era;
*the peace activist and folksinger;
*and the guy who found a unique way to bring attention to the plight
of the polluted Hudson River.
The narrative is beautifully enhanced by Adam Gustavson's
expressive, dynamic paintings. When Seeger and his father walk among
tenements, the laundry hung across the alley adds to the
authenticity. When Seeger is driving home from a concert with his
family and racists throw a rock at their car, shards of glass
practically fly off the page. When Seeger is shown learning banjo,
his face is wreathed in an inner contentment few people will ever
achieve in this lifetime.
If you grew up with Seeger's music, you have to read the book.
If you need evidence that one person can make a difference, you need
to read the book. If you have young children, grands, or other
special people in your life, you need to share the book with them.
Capiche?
On a personal note, haven't we been having an adventure here in
Maine? A little old wind storm slammed us, cutting the electricity to
more homes than the ice storm of '98. My home lost power for three
days. Some people still haven't gotten it back. Even UMaine was
closed 2 days. When it opened Wednesday the heat, light, and hot food
were such luxuries. You appreciate stuff most when you have to do
without it.
Great big shout outs go out to my fellow storm adventurers, good Joey
cat who kept me warm at home, and the line people who are putting in
the hours to get us all powered up again. Some even came from Canada.
jules hathaway


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sandy's Circus

Sandy's Circus

Juvenile biography
"There once was an artist named Alexander Calder.
Only he didn't call himself Alexander.
Everyone called him Sandy. He had been making his objects since
he was a kid..."
Tanya Lee Stone and her fiancée were driving in rural Connecticut
. Unexpectedly, among cow pastures, they saw a yard full of colorful
sculptures that they had to take a closer look at. They had been
created by Alexander Calder, the twentieth century sculptor who
invented mobiles. Stone was inspired to someday write about the
artist. Lucky for us, she followed through with Sandy's Circus.
From an early age, Alexander Calder, the son of a painter mother
and a sculptor father, had tools and knew how to use them. He made
his friends and sister gifts out of junk.
In 1926 he traveled where he was inspired to create a circus
that grew and grew and grew...
...and delighted crowds in France and America.
"Sandy delighted in crafting things that moved. He made new
kinds of art, hanging his shapes up, connecting pieces to each other
with wire, and letting the air drift and spunk them into motion. In
doing so, he turned ordinary objects into extraordinary art, and
invented the very first mobiles.
And it all started with Sandy's magical, moveable circus.
If you have a child who enjoys taking things apart and building
creations from "junk" or if you were once (and may still have
potential to be) that child, Sandy's Circus is a must read.
On a personal note, Saturday I went to the day long Wabnaki Reach
conference. It was to enlighten whites like me on the history of all
we've done to Maine's indiginous people and the relationship
comlexities that continue to this day. After that another atendee
told me she's a professor in the department I want to get my masters
in and she really hopes I get in. :-)
That can only be good.
Oh, yeah, I've decided what I'll be for Halloween. An angel. I have
a blue dress with wings and a pipe cleaner halo.
A great shout out goes out to you, my readers, with best wishes for a
safe and spooktacular Halloween.
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Friday, October 27, 2017

Falcons

Falcons

Juvenile nonfiction
Falcons are magnificent birds of prey. They reside all over the
world except for Antarctica. But they aren't the run of the mill
backyard bird. And they don't get all the press of the eagle.
Luckily Kate Riggs' Falcons gives readers an intimate look into their
lifestyle.
The pictures take the cake. My favorites are the black and
white gryfalcon flying through a snowscape and the mother falcon
standing guard over her nest of eyases (newborns). But of course
there are plenty of fascinating facts. Do you know a falcon can do
200 miles an hour when diving? No wonder prey animals don't see them
coming!
Falcons is in an Amazing Animals series. It covers creatures
from Alligators to Zebras. Maybe one of the volumes captures your
favorite critter.
On a personal note: OMG! I am walking on air! One of my student
friends told me she wants me to be matron of honor when she gets
married! That is SO SPECIAL! That is also why I am so determined to
get my masters and work in student services instead of settling for
something like retail. Why in the world would I work to live a
persona I'm not and be merely tolerated when there's a place I am
loved for my authentic self?
A great big shout out goes out to the students, staff, and faculty who
make me feel Velveteen Rabbit real?
jules hathaway



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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lemons

Lemons

Juvenile fiction
"Bigfoot.
It's the very first thing I see when we pull into town. A
gargantuan wooden statue of the hairy beast, stuck right smack in the
middle of the square, like he's the mayor or President Ford or someone
really important like that.
'Where are we, anyway?' I asked the social worker who came to
get me all the way down in San Francisco."
Lemonade (Lem) Liberty Witt, almost 11-year-old protagonist of
Melissa Savage's Lemon, is headed toward her new at least temporary
home. Her beloved mother has died of cancer. Now, even though her
teacher has offered to take her in, she is losing her school, friends,
and community. Rules have to be followed. And her mother's father
whom she has never met before has been located.
Willow Creek is nothing like San Francisco. It's much tinier
and more rural. Its claim to fame is that's the world's capital of a
hairy, legendary beast. In fact Lem's newly discovered grandfather is
the proprietor of a tourist oriented Bigfoot Paraphanalia store. The
more than slightly strange boy who hangs around her house is Tobin,
the official investigator of "Bigfoot Detectives Inc. Handling all
your Bigfoot needs since 1974" (Recall the story is set during the
Ford presidency).
Lem is sure she'll blow that Popsicle stand and go home the
first opportunity she gets. But Charlie tries really hard to meet her
needs. Tobin has some good qualities under his outward
obnoxiousness. And this is the community where her mother grew up and
people remember her as a child and teen.
Perhaps when the social worker returns the decision she must
make won't be the slam dunk she anticipates.
Kids and parents alike will enjoy this lively and sweet without
soppy narrative.
On a personal note, I think I've solved my glasses dilemma. I have to
get glasses to see boards or PowerPoints and not flunk grad school
which I'll start inshallah next year. I agree with the kids I
shouldn't get something pricey. Adult preppie/country club set is not
what I'm going for. But blah or something that will make me look
proper, conservative, boring, generic...I wouldn't be seen alive in.
I want something that makes me happy to wear and elicits comments like
wow and cool from the people who I hang with. It's a lot to ask of
glasses. So I wasn't exactly optimistic. But today I tried on a pair
of sunglasses with red plastic heart shaped frames and thought I
looked cute. I surveyed everyone I saw at UMaine and got all two
thumbs ups. So now I'm excited to get glasses that won't cost a
fortune.
A great big shout out goes out to everyone who participated in my
unscientific study.
jules hathaway


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Denizens Of The Deep

Denizens Of The Deep

Juvenile nonfiction
People who say that space is the last frontier forget that here
on Earth we have an equally mysterious realm, the oceans. There is
probably more of the unknown than of the known therein. We ignore
these mysteries at our own peril. We have only the vaguest idea what
human activity is doing to those watery regions basically all life on
Earth relies on. Luckily the Orono Public Library has acquired two
thought provoking books for younger readers.
"With writhing arms
and ghostly, lidless eyes
they glide;
some large as buses,
some weighing a ton.
So big, yet rarely seen."
Candace Fleming's Giant Squid is Bill Nye the Science Guy meets
Stephen King in free verse. Scenes from the life of this mammoth
creature are done justice by Eric Rohmann's dynamic, dark backgrounded
paintings. We are shown a 2" long (Can you believe it?) newly hatched
giant squid and warned that
"In the ocean
it is dangerous to be bite-sized."
You see just the tip of a snout with long sharp teeth emerging from
the top left corner.
On the next two page spread a hungry barracuda is closing in on
an ocean tidbit. It seems like out pint sized protagonist will become
fish food until...
The next two pages are clouded with camoflauging ink.
Giant squids are very reclusive and elusive.
"Incredibly, we have more close-up photos of the surface of
Mars--a planet millions of miles away--than we have of giant squid.
We know more about the behavior of dinosaurs--extinct for 65 million
years--than we do a creature that resides in almost all the world's
oceans and is one of the biggest animals on the planet. So elusive is
the giant squid that the first time scientists ever saw a living one
was in 2006..."
So how did they learn what we now know?
Read the book and see.
Especially following the popularity of the movie Jaws, people
often wish for shark free oceans. Whenever a triangle shaped fin is
spotted near people infested waters panic too often ensues. Less
dangerous seas? What could be wrong with that.
A whole lot, it turns out. Lily Williams' If Sharks Disappeared
gives us some idea of possible unintended consequences.
Trophic cascade is sort of like dominos. You know how you can
make a design of them and then nudge just one to make all go down? In
a similar way, when one species is removed from the web of nature
scads of others are negatively impacted.
Sharks are apex predators. They tend to eat more sickly, weak
members of prey populations. Without sharks prey populations would
grow exponentially, causing other predator species to overprocreate...
...and that's the beginning of a horror sequence that would
scare Mr. Stephen King.
Sharks are in danger. Readers are given ways to help save
them. If Sharks Disappeared is a great book for sustainability minded
kids and families.
On a personal note, I was finally able to get oral surgery done after
years of needing it. It was faster and easier than I expected and
after I didn't even need an aspirin.
A great big shout out goes out to my new dental practice.
jules hathaway


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Dissenting And Persisting

Dissenting And Persisting

Juvenile herstory
Girls and women throughout history have been told to go along to
get along. Rocking the boat was seen as a male perogative.
Fortunately things are changing. Two recent Orono Public Library
juvenile wing acquisitions celebrate females being anything but dainty
and demure.
Debbie Levy's I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
tells the life story of a Supreme Court Justice. In a time when boys
were expected to do great things and women were limited to being their
wives, Ginsburg's mother wanted more for her daughter and brought her
to the library to discover heroines and be inspired.
Ginsburg's mother died the day before her high school
graduation. She went to college at a time few women did. The anti
Jewish discrimination she had experienced and McCarthyism inspired her
to go on to law school where she could learn to fight for people's
rights. Marriage and motherhood didn't stand in her way any more than
the biases she still faced...
...and she kept on objecting to many beliefs such as "The
natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female
sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life."
Nothing timid or delicate about Ruth Bader Ginsburg!
Chelsea Clinton's She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed
The World gives readers introductions to a gutsy group of women who
refused to take no for an answer. It's a good mix of the famous and
not so well known. Each woman has a quote that helps to create an
image of her. Some of the feisty females portrayed are:
*strike organizer Clara Lemlich,
*Virginia Apgar who created the score That enables doctors to discover
newborns who need help to survive,
*and Maria Tallchief, a professional dancer who refused to hide or
renounce her Native American heritage.
I was very pleased to encounter my Shero, Margeret Chase Smith, who
had the guts to confront Joseph McCarthy and his Communist paranoia.
I will have to add her, "The right way is not always the popular and
easy way. Standing for the right when it is unpopular is a true test
of moral character", to my quote files.
My moral character gets tested a lot.
On a personal note, I really enjoyed volunteering at the Q conference
Friday and Saturday at UMaine. LGBTQ people and allies came from as
far away as Portland. I was pleased to see a lot of high school
students show up.
A great big shout out goes out to all participants, speakers, and
organizers.
jules hathaway



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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Moto and Me

Moto and Me

Juvenile nonfiction.
Suzi Eszterhas was living her dream. Since childhood she had
yearned to live in a tent in Africa. As an adult she was doing just
that, photographing animals and dwelling in their midst. Many of her
encounters were quite up close (and not always safe)--a leopard
slinking past her door, a deadly cobra on her desk.
"But the most exciting animal encounter I had was with a tiny,
helpless wildcat named Moto..."
Moto, a serval, was waiting with his siblings for his mother to
return from the hunt. Suddenly a wildfire started racing toward
them. Their mom arrived in time to rescue them. But when he was
separated from the rest tourists picked him up and looked for help.
By the time they encountered rangers there was no possibility of a
kitten mom reunion.
Moto, at two weeks of age, was incapable of surviving on his
own. He needed intensive mothering. Eszterhas was recruited to
foster him. She had to include all the things a mother serval would
do in her very busy work days. And Moto was no til death do we part
animal companion. His eventual destination was the wild. So she had
to figure out how to inculcate all the skills he would need to survive
on his own.
The narrative is fascinating. The pictures are truly aaw
inspiring. Moto and Me is a must read for all animal lovers, big and
small.
On a purrrsonal note, Joey cat is enjoying the start of a Maine
autumn. He has his food, water, sunny nap spots, windows, toys, love,
and attention. Wilson Center last night featured a yummy stir fry
supper and an insightful discussion about domestic abuse--food for
body, mind, and soul.
A great big shout goes out to people who help and advocate for people
who need to get out of abusive situations.
jules hathaway


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

21st Century Adventures

21st Century Adventures

Adult nonfiction
If you were like me as a child, reading Huck Finn made you want
to raft down a river. Lucky for my parents we weren't anywhere near
one. If you're like me as an adult your thirst for adventure hasn't
waned. Only the number of sentient beings counting on you to not take
too many risks has grown exponentially. If you're lucky that is. I
am happy to be tied down by a husband, three children, a tuxedo cat,
and scads of friends.
We are, however, free to travel in our minds and imaginations.
Recall last year we enjoyed and learned from the adventures of Bob
Greenfield in Dude Making A Difference? This year I discovered two
memoirs of dudes hitting the road and off road to really go the
distance.
"That's how I felt about Deadhorse. That we shouldn't be there.
That this place was meant to be still and silent, unbothered and
undeveloped. The giant drills, the mud spattered trucks, the rusty
oil barrels, the big diesel-run complex. It bore a special brand of
ugliness--the ugliness of a place existing in complete disharmony with
its surroundings. The oil was finite, and Deadhorse was temporary.
We'll make a mess of the area for a few decades, then leave the
corrugated mess to the cold and wind forever after. And we are not
real inhabitants--just suckerfish along for the ride, desperately
clinging to the belly of the great oil-filled beast."
Ken Ilgunas, author of Trespassing Across America, was in
Deadhorse, Alaska in 2011 when he had the above epiphany. He was a
dishwasher for oil workers in a place with "no churches, schools,
families, or anything that would make it resemble a normal American
town." As the weeks dragged out he'd become increasingly apathetic
until a trip to the ocean with a friend hit unexpected snags. To get
back to their camp they had to sneak through some off limits drilling
places.
The next year Ilgunas set off to hike the path of the then just
proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a project that, in his mind, perfectly
symbolized the twenty-first century. For the first time regular
citizens were opposing a fossil fuel installation in a battle of
industry vs. the environment...a battle that was far from decided when
he set off on a walk from Canada to Texas.
Ilgunas' story contains quite a few adventures. He had to
outrun a 1,000 pound moose with a 40 pound pack on his back. The
weather didn't always cooperate. Clean water was sometimes hard to
come by. People could be unpredictable, particularly when he was
trespassing on private property.
But some of the most interesting parts of the book are Ilgunas' musings.
"It seemed a terrible shame to meet my end in Iowa; I couldn't
imagine anywhere more disappointing to die. [reviewer's note: another
strong candidate for best opening sentence!] If I were a betting man
I'd have reckoned on the most dangerous thing in this state being
sheer boredom. Corn, beans, corn, beans...a cow...corn, beans...the
scenery hadn't changed for weeks, and I was slowly dissolving into
stimulation-deprived madness...my current predicament, then--
attempting to escape through cornfields from a gun-toting alcohol-
soaked rancher--was not something I expected."
That's the first paragraph of the prologue to Leon McCarron's
The Road Headed West. When you turn the page you see that the drunk,
armed, and potentially homicidal rancher was not the only danger
McCarron faced at that moment in time. Dead ahead was a tornado.
"...A group of trees swayed, snapped, and were swallowed like
twigs. Next, a small lean-to for livestock crumbled, and this too was
sucked in a heap of corrugated iron and bricks. A similar fate (with
only slightly less bleating) was promised to me if I kept going, now
just a mile away."
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!
The summer of 2008, the start of a global recession, was not the
most propitious time to be a newly minted college graduate. Those of
McCarron's peers who had landed any kind of job were far from their
chosen professions. Some went back to graduate school, hoping for an
economic turn around and racking up more debt. In contrast he chose
an innovative option--crossing the pond (from England) and biking
across America from Atlantic to Pacific and then down to Mexico.
McCarron's chariot of choice was a bike (named Lola after the
Kinks' song) with a trailer attached on the back. Food money was
carefully budgeted. Sleeping was in a tent. Invites to share a meal
or sleep in a home or other building were cherished.
McCarron quickly discovered that he was part of a loosely knit
fraternity of long distance cyclists. He alternated between solo
stretches and time spent with at least another human.
Basically he never knew what would lie around the next corner.
Neither do you. Therein lies the immense appeal of the book.
As much as I loved reading both books, the mostly solitary
nature of the author's journeys did not appeal to me in the least as a
personal option. I could see myself going out with a group to help
out in the aftermath of a disaster. In grad school I would like to
chaperone alternate spring break students. I do plan to visit
Victoria in Ghana. Only I'm gonna wimp out and take a plane. It's a
little too far to swim.
Adventure, however, does not always involve travel. According
to Oprah Winfrey, "The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live
the life of your dreams." I am persistently, insistently, and
consistently working toward acquiring my masters so I can work with
college students the rest of my life. Whenever I have a chance to
learn, to network, or to show what I'm made of I go for it.
On a personal note, on the day to day I'm living the life of my
dreams. I enjoy the class I'm taking. I'm very involved with the
students and their groups. Yesterday was the second day of coming out
week. We had a really good tea party centered around the issue of
coming out. But the highlight for me was when we got to build rainbow
bears and dress them in UMaine tee shirts. The bears are kitten fur
soft in cotton candy colors with little paw rainbows. I named mine
Two Spirit. Everyone was so happy creating and talking about our
bears. Being a part of it all was a dream come true.
A great big shout out goes out to the UMaine students who bring me so
much joy and hope.
jules hathaway



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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lesser Spotted Animals

Lesser Spotted Animals

Juvenile nonfiction
"Bison are banned--we've got the gargantuan gaur instead. And
who needs a grouchy gorilla when you can have the seldom seen
solenodon, with all its noxious slobber. No meek little house mouse
in this book either, just a merciless marsupial mouse that eats little
house mouses.
Discover all the amazing beasts you never knew you needed to
know about, because it's good-bye to the gnu and cheerio to the
cheetah, say hi to the hirola and nice to meet you to the numbat..."
In Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You've Never
Heard About Martin Brown contends that the celebs of the animal world
have been hogging the stage and book pages far too long. The other
equally cool creatures deserve their fifteen minutes of fame. Among
the ones he introduces readers to are:
*the sand cat (my favorite) which lives in dry desserts in places like
Africa and Asia. They can survive temps ranging from 23 to 131
degrees. They camoflauge themselves so well in the sand it's hard for
people to locate and study them;
*the long tailed dunnart, an Australian creature that looks like a
mouse but is related to the Tasmanian devil and kangaroo. They eat
other animals their size and smaller. Females live twice as long as
males;
*And the tropical forest dwelling dagger-toothed flower bat. They're
about the size of a flying mouse. Although they look like neck
nippers, they nosh on pollen, nectar, and fruit.
These lesser known critters are really fun to learn about. One
might be the inspiration for a truly creative Halloween costume.
On a personal note, yesterday my daughter, Amber, gave me the most
amazing birthday gift possible. She got it at the UMaine craft fair.
It's a hand made blank book I can use as a journal. She knows how I
love to journal. The cover cloth features felines of all tones,
patterns, eye colors... The ages are different colors and textures.
Although most are blank, some have lovely surprises. It's the most
enchanting journal I have ever seen--mine in which to write my
adventures and reflections.
A great big shout out goes out to Amber who gave me such a treasure
and the people who created it so carefully.
jules hathaway


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Wild Women And Water

Wild Women And Water

Juvenile herstory
Recently in the picture book section of the Orono Public Library
I found two books on women well ahead of their times. Their
passionate curiosities centered around the ocean. Needless to say I
dove right in. :-)
Zoologist Jess Keating's Shark Lady: The True Story of How
Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist takes a big
bite out of shark myths as well as portraying a crusading advocate for
those apex predators. Clark was born in 1922. She grew up
considering sharks beautiful and studying all she could about them.
"As she grew older, many were still telling Eugenie what to do.
Forget those sharks! Be a secretary! Be a housewife! Eugenie wanted
to study zoology, but some of her professors thought women weren't
smart enough to be scientists or brave enough to explore the oceans.
And they said sharks were mindless monsters."
Even after she earned her degree people still didn't take Clark
seriously. She didn't let that stand in her way. Readers will enjoy
learning about her amazing adventures and discoveries.
Robert Burleigh's Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea introduces
readers to Marie Tharp. In the 30's her family traveled with her
cartographer father. She became very curious about what the ocean
floor, then uncharted, looked like.
When Tharp graduated college perceptions of proper gender roles
stood in her way. She was even told she couldn't go on research
vessels because of the superstition that a woman on a ship would bring
bad luck.
Readers will enjoy learning how she achieved her ambitious
verging on impossible dream.
Who knows? There may be a future marine biologist or
oceanographer in need of a just right impetus.
On a personal note, Coming Out Week at UMaine started auspiciously.
We had great weather. Dean Dana and others gave dignified speeches.
The guy who was protesting was anything but dignified. He had this
whole list of sins going on at UMaine (perversion, adultery,
fornication, Satan worship...) and he kept screaming that everyone was
going to Hell. A crowd gathered to protest the hate and venom he was
spewing. Some of us tried to counter him with scripture as in only he
who is without sin may cast stones. He didn't listen--especially to
those of us who were not men. In his world we were supposed to be
home cooking and cleaning for men instead of daring to debate theology.
A great big shout out goes out to Dean Dana and the others who share
our pride in the beautiful rainbow flag and the students who spoke up
for what they believe in rather than being silent bystanders.
jules hathaway





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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Happenings In The Woods

Happenings In The Woods

Picture books
Recall back in June we enjoyed Tea With Lady Sapphire? Recently
while shelf reading in the children's wing of the Orono Public Library
I scored two of the previous photographic fantasies by Carl R. Sams II
and Jean Stoick. These gentle stories can enhance children's and
parents' appreciation of the natural world and its inhabitants.
A snowscape is the setting for Stranger in the Woods. A crew of
birds and other animals detect the presence of a stranger in their
midst and set out to investigate. The pictures are enchanting.
Eventually the crew discovers that the newcomer is not only benign,
but bearing gifts. A recipe for a snowman including food for winter
hungry critters is included.
Lost in the Woods brings us into the spring. The photographs
are breathtaking. One of my favorites is of a green eyed dragonfly
and a fuzzy caterpillar on the stalk of an opening purple flower. A
newborn fawn is sleeping alone in the woods. The forest denizens are
confused and concerned. Is the baby lost? Where is his mother?
No, this is not a case for Fawn Protective Services. There is a
very important and valid reason the mother doe is staying away from
her baby. It should provide a cautionary tale for well meaning but
naive adults who would take a young animal out of its habitat without
understanding the consequences of their actions.
On a personal note, It's a...
...book. Born 1:45 on Indiginous People's
Day (October 9) 2017. My first book length poetry manuscript is ready
for me to start looking for a publisher. It's the one of feminist
poetry.
A great big shout out goes out to everyone who believes in my writing.
jules hathaway


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Monday, October 9, 2017

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea

Adult biography
"Doaa could hear the men on the attacking boat laughing as they
hurled more pieces of wood at Doaa's boat. Those laughs were some of
the most horrifying sounds she had ever heard. She couldn't believe
they were enjoying themselves during their cruelty of trying to sink a
boat carrying little children. All around her were screams of terror
and people shouting desperate prayers.
The attacking boat finally reversed and pulled away from the
ship, and for a moment Doaa hoped that the onslaught was over, that
the men had merely wanted to frighten them. But seconds later, they
sped toward them again, and Doaa understood that they had no mercy and
had every intention of killing every man, woman, and child on board.
This time, when they rammed the side of Doaa's boat, the rickety
vessel took a sudden, violent nosedive into the sea."
Much of what Americans (at least in Central Maine) learn about
the desperate situation in Syria is tangential. We learn about its
diaspora's attempts to reach safety--the life and death litany. We
hear opinions on whether they are people caught in horrific situations
and deserving of sanctuary or potential terrorists who should be sent
back where they came from. But most of us know pitifully little about
their lived experience. Fortunately, Melissa Fleming, chief
spokesperson for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR), has written an impossible to put down book, A Hope More
Powerful Than The Sea: The Journey of Doaa Al Zamel, that should go
far toward remedying this deficit.
During Doaa's childhood the dictator Hadaz al-Asaad had been
replaced by his son, Basher al-Assad. There was tentative hope. Many
wanted more freedom of speech and association. There was also desire
for economic improvement.
Doaa was the third daughter in a large extended family. (The
sixth child would be the son women were pressured to have). She loved
helping his father at his barbershop. When her older sisters married
young (as was the custom) and people started to tell her she would be
next she was not interested in being a teen bride. She wanted to be
the first in her family to go to University.
By 2011 the reforms the people yearned for were not happening.
Syrians became aware of Arab Spring--neighboring countries
overthrowing their dictatorships. One night a group of boys in Daraa,
Doaa's town, painted anti regime grafitti on their school wall. Boys
were rounded up and taken to a detention center. Desperate fathers
were told, "My advice to you is that you forget you ever had these
children. Go back home and sleep with your wives and bring other
children into the world, and if you can't do that, then bring your
wives to us and we will do the job for you."
Citizen protests were met with violent police crackdowns.
Demonstrators were shot with tear gas and live ammo. Then one morning
tanks drone into Daraa. The army was seeking "terrorists" (anyone who
spoke against the regime). Boys and men were taken away. Houses were
searched several times each day. Doaa and her younger sisters made a
pact to commit suicide if they were raped by soldiers. Their family
was coming close to starvation.
And their ordeal had only begun.
I urge you, my friends, to read this book. Imagine yourself and
your loved ones in the plights it portrays. Then find out what you
can do to raise awareness among your friends and family and members of
the legislature. In my mind ignorance is not an option.
In the epilogue, Fleming reminds us of something too many
Americans seem to forget:
"The simple truth is that refugees would not risk their lives on
such a dangerous journey if they could thrive where they were.
Migrants fleeing grinding poverty would not be on those boats if they
could feed themselves and their children at home or in bordering host
countries. Nobody would resort to spending their life savings to hire
the notorious smugglers if they could apply to resettle in a safe
country legally. Until these problems are addressed, people will
continue to cross the sea, endangering their lives to seek asylum. No
person fleeing conflict or persecution should have to die trying to
reach safety."
On a personal note, today, at least in the more enlightened
municipalities like Portland, Bangor, and Orono, they are celebrating
Indiginous People's Day. I have not been able to celebrate Columbus
Day in good conscience for ages. I don't think the way we've treated
indiginous peoples and trashed the land they took such good care of is
anything to celebrate. I hope this transition is an indication we're
going to actually listen to them and heed their wisdom.
A great big shout out goes out to the amazing indiginous people in our
midst and those who listen to and help advocate for them.
jules hathaway


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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Unbound

Unbound

Juvenile literature in free verse
"When Mama tells me
I'm goin
to the Big House,
she makes me promise
to always be good,
to listen to the Missus
n never talk back,
to lower my eyes
n say, Yes, ma'am,
no, ma'am,
n not to speak
less spoken to first."
Grace is heartbroken when she's being sent up from the quarters
to the Big House where the planter and hid wife live. She's being
torn from her beloved family. She will be living in a little room off
the kitchen at the white people's beck and call.
Grace is a child who must learn an adult's share of hard truths
overnight. She'd better keep her ideas to herself. The missus, in
particular, is very mean. Even the slightest assertion of her humanity
could get Grace whipped sold at auction and taken far far away.
Imagine going into a scary living situation under that kind of pressure.
One evening Grace overhears a conversation between the master
and his wife. Finances have taken an unexpected turn for the worse.
They are debating on which slaves to sell and settle on her mother and
toddler half brothers. The master will take care of business the next
morning.
"Fear sits on my bones
heavy as a barrel of lard.
Waves of sickness
roll over me.

The auction block's
a putrid place,
Uncle Jim said.
Folks is pulled n poked
like they's a prize heifer.
You hear auction,
n you run,
he said.
Auction's nothing
but weeping mamas
n whimpering children."
Running is very perilous. Armed men with dogs trained to be
savage ride around looking for runaway slaves to turn in for money.
Savage punishments, often permanently maiming, are meted out to
returned runaways. But family members sold away at auction are almost
never seen again.
This story has an unusual twist. Rather than trying to escape
to the north, Grace and her family seek freedom in the Great Dismal
Swamp, a refuge for runaways. The lifestyle was a perilous one with
fierce wild beasts and hunger taking a constant toll. But a number of
people chose it over being owned as property.
Just recall that although this story is set in the past slavery
has not gone into the oblivion it deserves. In fact there are more
slaves today than back then. There are too many 21st century Graces
separated from families, overworked, abused, deprived of even the
basics, and unable to acquire the functional literacy that would hold
the key to a future. We must take any chance we have to bring this
ugly truth into the light of day.
On a personal note, I had quite the day today. I started out in the
Community Garden planting garlic and getting some winterizing out of
the way. My chore was to chop down the tangled and taller than me sun
gold vines in one of our greenhouses. I did save all the tomatoes.
The green ones will ripen on my windowsills and extend for me the
sweet taste of summer. John has promised to put in fall spinach and
that has me some excited. Then I went to Amber and Brian's early
Halloween party. Katie and Jacob came up from Portland. There was a
really fun crowd. And, of course, the food was divine. An afternoon
to remember. I wore my footed zebra pajamas I got at Belfast Goodwill
last week with Kat.
A great big shout out goes out to the community crew, Katie and Jacob
who drove down, and Amber and Brian, the hosts with the most.
jules hathaway



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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Handmade Christmas

Handmade Christmas

Crafts
Many of us love the idea of Christmas crafts...
...until push comes to shove and December 25 is rushing up on us
with the subtlety of a speeding freight train. That's why I decided
to review Handmade Christmas: over 35 step-by-step projects and
inspirational ideas for the festive season (The publisher is CICO
Books.) a little early. That way you'll get a chance to try out a few
of the projects before the holiday season gets hectic.
This book has a lot going for it. There is a wide variety of
creations ranging from decorations through gifts to food. A beginner
can tackle many of them. In fact some of them, such as the
gingerbread house and the snow globe bear a for kids designation.
Ornaments and delightfully simply stitched Christmas stockings can be
enjoyed year after year. The Advent calendar is versetile enough to
help kids count down to other special occassions such a the last day
of school or a vacation trip.
Without a doubt, my favorite (and the one I'm most likely to
try) is the marzipan Christmas figures. The penguins, reindeer, and
snowmen are too cute for words and well within the scope of my
abilities.
If you enjoy crafting I bet there is at least one project in the
book that you will find simply irrisistible. :)
On a personal note, we had a great Wednesday night at Wilson Center.
Russell came through with a great supper. We saw and discussed short
films about immigration and refugee issues. Everyone was involved in
the discussions. We very much value spaces where we can talk about
what's real and important. Otherwise I'm on an antibiotic to clear up
an infection before oral surgery and able to do maybe a fraction of
what I usually achieve. I'm glad October break is right around the
corner.
A great big shout out goes out to my Wilson Center family.
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Touch The Brightest Star

Touch The Brightest Star

Picture book
Two of the most delightful regular transitions in our world are
those from day to night and vice versa. Christie Matheson's Touch The
Brightest Star helps share this magic with our very youngest
children. Fireflies light up a darkening sky. Stars come out. An
awl swoops through the sky.
The book is interactive in the very best sense of the word.
Children move the action forward with gestures. But a person capable
of reading and turning pages is necessary.
What a precious story to share with a bathed, pajama clad, ready
for bed little one!
On a personal note, after struggling with a toothache for a week and
losing the ability to sleep and eat I finally gave in and found a
dentist. After an infection clears up (medicine) he will take care of
business. I just wish the United States would join the civilized
world and provide universal health care. There is something bizarre
and perverted with a "health care" system where stockholder profit is
the primary concern. When I had to take to bed so I could be strong
enough to go to class I wrote reviews which you'll get to read in the
future.
A great big shout out goes out to all the fine folks working to make
health care in the United States the human right it should be.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Sunday, October 1, 2017

First Snow

First Snow

Picture book
"Shhhh, listen...
do you hear something?
Pit, pit, pit against the window.
Glistening, floating in the night."
Do you still get overcome by a feeling of magic at a year's
first snow flakes? Do you wish to share this joy with the children in
your life? Well I do. I've finally found the perfect book: Bomi
Park's First Snow.
A little girl wakes up in the night just in time. After
dressing for the weather, she heads out. She shushes the puppy to
runs to accompany her, probably so potentially spoil sport parents
will sleep on. As they head toward the woods the landscape becomes
more and more enchanted until...
...read the book and see.
Park lives in South Korea. I love that across half the world we
share this special joy.
On a personal note, I had a really fun late birthday celebration with
my friend Kat. We were thrift shopping. We went to Belfast (on the
coast) so I could show her the Belfast Goodwill (my favorite). We
found cool stuff. My best buys were 1 piece footed zebra pajamas/
costume for me and a dozen jingle balls for Joey. Our cashier was so
happy when I told her where we'd come from. On the way back we got a
bunch of free stuff. Then we went to Orono. We found good stuff at
Orono Thrift. My best buy was a Chantilly Lane singing bear. Tres
elegante! Kat was happy to harvest kale and sungolds from Community
Garden. Better her than the gophers.
A great big shout out goes out to Kat with thanks for a fun excursion.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Friday, September 29, 2017

An Awesome Author Visit

An Awesome Author Visit

For a bona fide book geek like your humble reviewer, very few
thrills can top real life author visits. My sustainability class was
very fortunate this week because Dr. Miriam Nelson came to UMaine to
talk to us. After giving a lecture, she was gracious enough to stay
for a spur-of-the-moment small group discussion.
Dr. Nelson is the author of a series of health and fitness books
for strong women. (Note to self--over Christmas break read and review
at least one!) She has accomplished a great deal more than seems (at
least to me) humanly possible. (She is also one of the nicest people
you could hope to meet.) She currently is the director of the
Sustainability Institute and deputy chief sustainability officer at
University of New Hampshire.
Dr. Nelson's talk, The Sustainable Plate, was based on her
serving on the 2010 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She gave insight
(some of which was quite scary) into the procedures that agency uses
and the thwarted attempt to get sustainability into the 2015 guidelines.
The concept of food security centers around people having
sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. Sustainability adds a mandate
for stewardship. Food must be produced in ways that allow for best
practices decades and centuries in the future. This will require
current far-from-best practices to be scrutinized and changed a lot.
Current unsustainable food production practices are responsible for
80% of deforestation, 70% of fresh water use, and 30% of greenhouse
gases. They are also the greatest cause of biodiversity loss. This
is not exactly something to be proud of.
Including sustainability in the guidelines would have would have
been a good way because of the sheer volume of people who participate
in school lunches, WIC, and SNAP. For awhile it looked like this
could actually happen. Eighty percent of public comment was
favorable. There was an unprecedented amount of press coverage.
Campaigns like My Plate, My Planet were popular. Then food industry
people (I suspect many were from the industry that would have a beef
with cutting down on red meat consumption) began discrediting
scientists, questioning science, and defecting issues. So they won out.
Dr. Nelson believes that food has become too cheap. We do not
value it. We pay nowhere near the cost of producing it. Rather than a
food utopia, this has created a race to the bottom and a rapidly
widening gap between haves and have nots. The cost cutting side has
led to many dubious, unsafe, and very unsustainable practices.
Perhaps the cruelest cost is the human one. The hands on laborers--
migrant farmers, butchers on speeded up cutting-up-huge-animals lines,
waitpeople, cashiers--are too often underpaid and made to endure
hazardous working conditions. Wholesome food is more expensive than
expensive stuff. How can a parent who can barely afford a generic box
of macaroni and cheese to feed the family give a child an apple? Food
deserts are legion and in many more places than one would suspect.
Veazie, where I reside, is, for the most part, a prosperous
municipality. Food establishments consist of a Tradewinds convenience
store, a pricey restaurant, and a gluten free bakery. For people
without cars, feeding a family would require multiple lengthy weekly
trips involving bus transfers and pedestrian unfriendly destinations--
daunting enough for able bodied, solo travellers, never mind those
with wheelchairs, walkers, or several young children.
There were three things in particular that I found inspiring in
what Dr. Nelson had to say.
The first was that, unlike so many people who preach to the
relatively privileged choir (Buy from farmers' markets), she takes all
the people, including many most of us don't think about, into
consideration. Front line food workers must have decent pay and safe
working conditions. All people must have a liveable wage that gives
them and their families food security.
The second was that we must acknowledge the complexity of humans
(including ourselves) in regard to food. We rely on and value
cultural customs. We operate on emotion as well as cognition. (Oreos
are nutritional disasters, but I enjoy them because they elicit warm
memories of sharing them with my children). Not acknowledging this
complexity limits our ability to understand and communicate with
others with differing perspectives.
The third was that sustainability will be challenging, but not
impossible to achieve. Dr. Nelson gave us some examples of how some
universities are doing some amazing work to meet high sustainablity
standards. There is so much the rest of us can learn from them.
Making our food system sustainable is one of the most important
challenges of the 21st century. I urge you, dear readers, to join me
in doing our part. Let's all be food warriors!
On a personal note, I am loving being back in school. I believe with
all my heart, now that my wonderful children are on their own, this is
where I belong. I have a lot to learn and a lot to offer.
A great big shout out goes out to all who are working to make our
plates and world more sustainable.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Mother's Dream

A Mother's Dream

Picture book
David Packham Jr.'s A Mother's Dream is a dear, tender, set in
Maine story parents will love at least as much as children.
The day she and her husband bring their new baby girl from the
hospital a mother has a dream. She sees her as a dancer in a special
dress and is sure she has glimpsed her child's destiny. Despite her
husband's doubts she sews a very special dress.
Well you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice
and men (and women). A childhood illness that left young Jessie in
braces makes that career choice a no starter.
But the dress will be put to good use. You just have to read
the book to see what its fate will be.
On a personal note, yesterday saw quite a day! My friend Sandra baked
a lovely fluffy coconut cake, made a really cool big card for everyone
to sign, and gave me a really lovely pink journal that says
"Fearlessly Be Yourself" in a flowered treasure box that says "Live
Your Dream" and "Do What You Love". She said that was about grad
school. :)
That night was the last delivery of the year for community garden. We
made a really fine night of it. Our people were really happy with
their veggies and we had goodies to take home.
I think the common denominator here is how family goes well beyond
those linked by blood and legal documents. Family of the heart can
include those who really know you and love you, not who they think you
should be.
A great big shout out goes out to my writing class and community
garden clans.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ahoy There, Mates

Ahoy There, Mates

Picture books
Are your kids avid fans of pirate stories? Do they and you find
David Shannon's over the top illustrations highly amusing? Well have
I got some books for you?
In Melinda Long's How I Became A Pirate Jeremy Jacob is at the
beach with his clueless parents and baby sister. A crew of
directionally challenged pirates invites him to help them bury their
treasure. He's sure mom and dad won't mind him going with them as
long as he's back in time for soccer practice. (See what I mean about
clueless?) He finds some aspects of the pirate life style appealing.
But when a big storm catches the crew home begins to look pretty good.
Pirates Don't Change Diapers is a most delightful sequel. The
pirate gang drops by Jeremy Jacob's house. They need his help
relocating the treasure. JJ has been instructed to keep his baby
sister amused if she wakes up. Needless to say, the crew's rowdiness
rouses her in no time flat. At first they contend that pirates do not
babysit. But if they want to see their treasure again they're going
to have to change their tune.
If your kids enjoy pirate stories maybe they would enjoy hiding
a treasure and making a map. You're sneaking in those academic skills
and maybe even getting them outside. Bwa ha ha!
On a personal note, yesterday was my birthday picnic. The weather was
perfect. We had it at the new and gorgeous Orono Village Green which
is behind the library and took a lot of work and fundraising to
achieve. (Now it can accomodate, walkers, outdoor diners, and concert
goers. If you have the good fortune of going to Orono check it out).
Katie and Jacob came all the way from Portland. Amber, Brian, and
Eugene were there too. Katie had made the most delicious cupcakes;
red velvet with cream cheese frosting and crushed Heath bars. We had
a wonderful time being together as a family. That is the most
beautiful present I received.
A great big shout out goes out to my amazing family.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dear Ijeawele

Dear Ijeawele

Adult parenting/feminism
"When a couple of years ago a friend of mine from childhood,
who'd grown into a brilliant, strong, kind woman, asked me to tell her
how to raise her baby girl a feminist, my first thought was that I did
not know.
It felt like too huge a task."
Following a dinner and dance in honor of the visiting African
Scholars at UMaine I arrived home totally elated. This excitement and
a heavily muggy ambiance meant sleep was going to elude me at least
awhile. I reached for my go to remedy, the next book in my stack. By
great good fortune in the guise of coincidence it happened to be
written by a Nigerian woman.
Luckily Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reconsidered and decided the
task was manageable. Her Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in
Fifteen suggestions packs a wealth of wisdom into a deceptively slim
volume: sixty-three pages in all.
Each suggestion covers one aspect of feminist daughter raising.
The language is straightforward and the concepts are bold. Adichie is
not a fan of what she considers Feminism Light. The tone, though,
conveys the intimacy of a woman speaking to a treasured friend. This
particular voice is both compelling and touching.
This is a wonderful book to give a new mother. It's a good read
for people who interact with young girls in any capacity. When I
volunteer in the library, for example, I make sure to compliment the
story hour set in non gender biased ways.
On a personal note, I had the most amazing birthday. I saw so many
dear friends and heard from others. My friend Liv treated me to Sweet
Frog frozen yogurt. Eugene took me to Dennys for supper and gave me a
musical card and money. I talked to all three of my children on the
phone. Today is sunny enough for me to hang all the laundry outside.
So it's an at home work day. Tomorrow I get to leave church after the
choir sings our anthem to go to a family picnic to celebrate my
birthday. Katie and Jacob will come all the way from Portland! That
will be so much fun!
A great big shout out to the friends and family members who make my
life such a happy one.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Irrisistible

Irrisistible

YA/adult nonfiction
"A like on Facebook and Instagram strikes one of those notes, as
does the reward of completing a World of Warcraft mission, or seeing
one of your tweets shared by hundreds of Twitter users. The people
who create and refine tech, games, and interactive experiences are
very good at what they do. They run thousands of tests with millions
of users to learn which tweaks work and which ones don't--which
background colors, fonts, and audio tones maximize engagement and
minimize frustration. As an experience evolves, it becomes an
irrisistible, weaponized version of the experience it once was. In
2004, Facebook was fun; in 2016, it's addictive."
Awhile back my kids got on Facebook. At least in my neck of the
woods there was disagreement about whether parents should get their
own accounts. I read of parents who did so to monitor their offspring
like hawks--making sure they couldn't pull anything off. I personally
knew a few who said, I have a right to and if they don't like it,
tough. I had no reason to suspect my kids of being Internet
miscreants. Also, even though I suspected I was missing out on
something, it didn't seem worth the bother. I am so glad. I was
having trouble with lonliness. With my kids growing up I was missing
all the fun we'd had together without adult companionship to take its
place. I was isolated in conservative suburbia. If I'd found kindred
spirits in the virtual world (instead of burying myself in books) I
might very well have become hooked rather than seeking real world
friends. More recently a friend made me a page. In the two or three
years since I've peeked twice or three times. The first time it was
like a shiny new toy under the tree due to novelty. The next time it
was meh. Quickly it felt like a time suck. I'd developed a vibrant
real world social life that made its offerings seem pale in comparison.
In his Irrisistible: The Rise Of Addictive Technology And The
Business Of Keeping Us Hooked, Adam Alter gives the science behind my
epiphany and a number of other really cool observations. He uses an
intriguing blend of history, research, and personal narrative that is,
I gotta warn you, irrisistible once you turn to the first page. It's
extremely enlightening.
The part of the book I found most intriguing was Alter's
refution of the theory that some people are predisposed to behavioral
addiction (an inability to give up obsessive behaviors rather than
substances like drugs) and the rest of us are safe. One of the cases
he cites involves Vietnam vets. Not surprisingly, although the
soldiers arrived clean, the homesickness, stress, and easy
availability and strength of heroin made for a lot of addicts. A lot
of people cried foul when a researcher discovered 95% of the soldier
addicts kicking the habit as opposed to 5% who develop it in America.
What was going on? They were completely leaving the places and
situational triggers that started their habits instead of going from
jail or rehab into the same neighborhoods and relationships. The
emphasis on circumstances explains why in that gap between the joy of
parenting and finding a new joie de vivre I was uniquely vulnerable.
It also explains why many of our friends, despite frustration with the
amount of time behavioral addictions take up and the best of
intentions, find it difficult or impossible to cut down.
The most alarming part of the book for me was the implications
for the barely out of the womb generation. It has been proven time
and time again that babies and toddlers need real world interaction
with significant others and concrete objects. Manufacturers are
devising ways to get even the littlest people hooked on electronics.
And a lot of moms and dads plunk them down in order to pursue their
own addictions. We already have lots of kids and teens who are unable
or afraid to negotiate nonvirtual interactions. What are we setting
ourselves up for?
We don't live in a world where we can totally not use the
Internet. Even some of the most basic jobs, for example, require on
line applications. But Alter ends the book with ways in which we can
protect ourselves and our loved ones from the dangers and even make
use of some positive aspects. Even if you're not concerned about
anyone in your life, Irresistible provides an in depth look into how
our society morphed into what it is today. I plan to check out
Alter's earlier book: Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces
That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave.
I use my iPod touch to communicate via email with friends
(deleting most of what I get unread), look up information, and read a
few on line periodicals. When Facebook reminds me of a friend's
birthday I email or phone. Every few months I consider logging in (or
is it on) and don't bother. Friends send me info by alternate
routes. I'm out of the loop with extended family on my husband's
side, but as long as my kids keep in touch by email and phone I can
live with that.
In a sense books are addictive for me. I get a real rush out of
finding good ones. I don't go anywhere, not even in an elevator,
without at least one. But they don't prevent me from having a very
full and purposeful life. If anything, they give me more to discuss
with other bibliophiles, not to mention this blog. Plus all this
reading helps with my own writing. So it's beneficial at this point.
On a personal note, today is my happy birthday day!!! Joey cat has
sung me Happy Birthday. I've already started celebrating with friends
and will continue at least a few days. This afternoon I'm going to
Sweet Frog (a frozen yogurt place) with a friend. Sunday will be a
family birthday picnic. You, too, can celebrate. Treat today as the
special treasure it is. Cherish the special moments you might
otherwise rush by. Be present to your real world friends, family, and
animal companions. Use my birthday as a reason to give yourself a
sweet treat (unless it would send you into a diabetic coma!). Please
take some time away from social media to see what's being featured on
Mother Nature's infinity wide screen.
A great big shout out to the people and sweet cat companion who do so
much to make my life such a happy one.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Only Road

The Only Road

Juvenile and up fiction
"The police in the village had called Miguel's death an
unfortunate accidente. Of course they would say that. Money meant
more than morals and justice to the force; whoever paid the most had
the power, and the Alphas could pay a lot. It also didn't help that
the police chief's drug habit funded many of the gang's operations.
Jaime removed his sketchbook from its perpetual nook underneath
his arm and pressed it against his head so he couldn't see, wouldn't
have to remember Miguel like that. Why Miguel? Why did being brave
had to end so badly? What was the point of being good if it turned
out bad?"
I started reading Alexandra Diaz's The Only Road after a family
picnic. Katie and her Jacob had come up for a wedding. The day after
they joined up with Amber and Brian and Eugene and me for a picnic at
Webster Park. The weather was perfect. It was a treasure to be with
two of my kids and their significant others. So the first chapters of
the book were almost too much to take. They brought me into a world
of parents and children being separated, maybe never to see each other
alive again.
Jaime's cousin Miguel was beatten to death for refusing a gang.
The Alphas attend the funeral. They send word that they expect Jaime
(12) and Miguel's sister, Angela, to join them in a week.
There is not enough money for the whole family to pay a coyote
to help them escape. Plus the journey from Guatemala to the United
States is much too arduous for a grandmother and new baby. Jaime and
Angela's parents have no choice. They must send them off on a lengthy
journey into the unknown full of dangers. Gangs rob, beat, and kill.
People lose limbs or life trying to board moving trains. There is no
guarantee of even water. People die of thirst in the desert.
Officials as well as gang members rape girls. And the feared la Migra
(immigration officials) have the power to return them to their place
of origin to start from the very beginning.
We're talking about youngsters already traumatized by the brutal
murder of a beloved family member.
What's worst is that, even though the characters are fictional,
the narrative is the lived experience of so many innocent families
every day.
The text is poignant and powerful. I do not recommend it for
more sensitive or anxious kids. I do recommend it for its target
demographic and well beyond. I wish I could make it required reading
for the Build A Wall crowd.
The people who face such dire dangers to just survive are as
deserving of better as we and our children are. We must not turn a
deaf ear to the plight.
How would you feel if this was your family?
On a personal note, this morning I went to a program on walkability in
communities. (This includes the ability to bike and use public
transport--anything but private cars). We discussed the many benefits
as well as all that must be done to achieve this laudable goal. This
kind of work must be consistent, persistent, and insistent all over
America. We've been too much a nation of fossil fuel guzzling,
parking lot requiring, out of shape car drivers since early car
companies bought up and shut down the trolley lines.
A great big shout out goes out to all who participated in, presented
at, and planned this very worthwhile event.
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This Fight Is Our Fight

This Fight Is Our Fight

Adult nonfiction
"People who hire lobbyists and wield a lot of political clout
are often the same people who can pay for the finest private
preschools and the most exclusive prep schools for their own
children. Some of them don't get terribly alarmed when there are
forty-two kids in a sixth grade class and tiles are falling off the
walls in the kids' bathrooms, because those things don't happen at the
schools their children attend. And even if millions of kids have
fewer and fewer opportunities, they know their kids will be guarnateed
plenty of opportunities--all the opportunities money can buy. For
some people, the problems faced by everyone else's children seem very
far away."
In the above quote, excerpted from her This Fight Is Our Fight:
The Battle to Save America's Middle Class, Elizabeth Warren is
alluding to education. But her main point applies equally well to
just about every aspect of American life these days. The people who
make the rules don't have to live with the consequences. The people
who opine that the minimum wage should not be raised aren't the ones
struggling to raise families on it. The crowd whining about welfare
cheats don't experience the desperation of the growing number of
Americans who live at a poverty level usually associated with third
world countries. Polluted drinking water does not seem all that
urgent to those who can enjoy clean or sip the priciest of bottled
water.
For all Donald Trump's claims that he's making America great
(whatever that means) again, Warren asserts that he's dragging this
hostage nation in the exact wrong direction. She brings us back to a
time when although not perfect, this nation came a lot closer to
liberty and justice for all. It was right after the Great Depression
and World War II. America invested in schools, infrastructure,
research, colleges, and people. My father was able to go back to
school on the GI bill. Unions protected nonmembers as well as
members. There wasn't the obscene gap between earnings of workers and
bosses. Between 1935 and 1980 70% of income growth went to the bottom
90%; between 1980 and 2015 virtually all went to the top 10 %.
Now we're at a point where:
"•Nearly one in four Americans can't pay their bills on time.
•Nearly half of Americans would not be able to cover an unexpected
expense of $400.
•A lower proportion of Americans own their homes than at any time in
the past half century--63.5 percent.
•The typical man working full-time earns less today than his
counterpart did in 1972.
•Nearly one-third of the country's adult population--76 million
Americans--describe themselves as either 'struggling to get by' or
'just getting by.'"
Something to be proud of? Warren and I don't think so.
My parents raised Harriet and me in a country where kids could
very well do better that their moms and dads. Today most parents hope
and pray their kids won't slide too far down.
So what happened? The rich got greedy and clever. They got
lobbyists to work overtime peddling influence. They learned how to
grease palms in increasingly costly elections. America went from one
vote, one voice to money talks. Unions and other protective agencies
were attacked and stripped of power. Corporations and their lobbyist
shills got laws changed to favor them and screw everyone else. Under
the current presidency these ugly trends are on an even faster track.
The good news is that most people want to go back to justice and
fairness.
"• More than 70 percent of the American people believe that students
should have a chance at a debt free education.
•Nearly three-quarters of Americans support expanding Social Security.
•Two-thirds of all Americans support raising the federal minimum wage.
•Three-quarters of Americans want the federal government to increase
spending on infrastructure."
The bad news is we're the 21st century David. Goliath (big
bidness and corporate bedfellows) isn't willing to give an inch. In
fact he wants to screw us even more. We've got to find that slingshot
(I am not alluding here to a physical slingshot or any other weapon)
and put it to good use. In the words of Warren:
"The danger is real, and the time is short. But we understand
what we can do. We can build an America that works for all of us. We
know how; we just need to do it.
Our country's future is not determined by some law of physics.
It's not determined by some preordained path. It's not even
determined by Donald Trump. Our country's future is up to us. We can
let the great American promise die or we can fight back. Me? I'm
fighting back.
This fight is our fight."
Amen!!!!!!!
If you have any doubts about this book's relevance scan three
issues of your local newspaper. I am betting you will find at least
one story showing how important it is. In just today's edition I
found: an editorial on Capital Hill Republicans working to prevent the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from protecting consumers from
getting scammed and cheated by banks, lenders, and credit card
companies, opinion pieces on the stupidity of believing in trickle-
down tax cuts and the weakness of the US climate pledges, and a front
page story on the plight of rural schools caught in the double whammy
of poverty and property tax based school funding:
"I think that's the fundamental paradox in Maine. When you have
economic decline, you have a tax base that's eroded, which increases
in poverty, in need for all families and residents. Not just for young
people. And the ability to then take on the burden of school funding,
and the increased need for schools to get funding, becomes really
challenging. Even while the population has greater and greater needs
that have to be met."
If you care at all for a nation with liberty and justice read
the book mand join the battle. Future generations will thank you for
this.
On a personal note, Elizabeth Warren would have really enjoyed our
Ending Violence Together event in Bangor yesterday. The weather was
perfect. We had a great turn out. People were really into the tables
and the message behind the songs and speeches. I gave the last
speech. It was my op ed that was in the Bangor Daily News Monday. I
so enjoyed making eye contact and feeling the love as I spoke. After I
ad libbed by having people light imaginary candles and join me in
singing This Little Light Of Mine. It was such a perfect experience!
A great big shout out goes out to all who participated.
Only 3 more days til my birthday!
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod