What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

You Learning Something New...

every day, so the saying goes.
I have an aunt who hates to read fiction because she says that she wants a good she can learn something from reading.  We get into debates about this all of the time!  I have learned so much from fiction.  I read some non-fiction, sure, but I am much more heavy on the fiction.
It is rare that I read any book and don't find myself going on, researching more information by something that struck me as new or interesting or horrifying or unbelievable.
Frances O'Roark Dowell's books are always, always teaching me. Life lessons, like kindness and discovery and forgiveness and also a lot of "fact" lessons, too.  Shooting the Moon, for example, sent me off into exploring more about Vietnam War, Chicken Boy taught me about, well, obviously, chickens!
Anybody Shining was a look into the life of those who lived in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina  in the 1920s.  More specifically, I had never heard of settlement schools.  There is a lot to learn and think about in Anybody Shining.  As usual, Dowell does an incredible job of getting right into the head of a tween, with the worries of friendship and acceptance that are universal and timeless.  But this book also deals with bigger issues, like the helpful outsiders who come to save those who are "less fortunate" while not realizing how much they can learn from those whom they are trying to help.  This is neat book, different and yet comfortably familiar in that it features a mountain girl from almost one hundred years ago and makes her instantly relatable to us in the here and now.
I really loved it, but I had a hard time with the Appalachian dialect, though that is my ignorance, not a fault of the author.

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