Monday, September 22, 2014

Lust in the Library

Dusty Books
Its placement in the sixth shelf of Psychology and Mental Development, 157.391** knew very well that few sought its information.  Dust, in its layers, marked it as one book doomed to be culled and recycled.

Suddenly, 157.391 started traveling.  One young woman checked it out, kept it unread for days, and slipped a discreet note between pages 146 and 147.  Soon 157.391 was refiled to its former spot, where dust had been removed.

Again, only days later, a slightly older man checked it out, repeating the woman’s pattern, only placing another discreet note between pages 258 and 259.  What is happening here? It wondered, experiencing a thrill unto fore known.

Back and forth.  Back and forth.  And then one day…

157.391 was filed in the wrong spot, and not by the librarian.  No, the young woman filed it, hidden in the shadows behind 854 HI***, The Story Road by Gertrude Hildreth.  What the…. It wondered, anxiety building quickly as days  went by.

Pages 364 and 365  possessed nary a note.  The pages were adhered as one.  No, not with glue, but with blood, now dried and brown. Other pages had been soaked with blood with a dagger pressed down into them.

Oh, well.  It was fun while it lasted. 

** and*** may or may not be in a library.  The 100 section is for psychology and philosophy.  The 800 is for stories, etc.  There is a book called  The Story Road published in 1947. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bargain Book Diving

Quality teaching depends on the teacher and her books.  Oh, not the math, etc., although they are certainly important and need the good teacher.  No, the books!

I had been teaching for years in the elementary zone, first grade through fourth grade.  My personal library filled a dozen boxes or more when I moved from classroom to classroom.

But then it was time to teach middle school.  I looked forward to the challenge, but I had no library, no books to share. It was a scary time for me.

Every year (it seemed) a roving discount bookstore would appear in an empty big store building.  So many treasures, but I had never sought the appropriate books for older children.

I found a handful of books that were Newberry** and/or Caldecott*** award winners.  
Do you have more?  The owner led me to the store room where cardboard bin-dumpster-sized boxes.  He handed me a step stool and pointed to an industrial flatbed cart.

I dived in, finding books, and tossing good candidates to my nine-year old daughter.  I would not allow her to do the diving, for fear of an avalanche.  Book after book were tossed to her from me, now almost invisible in the boxes, all nine of them.  

Soon I had class sets of awesome books and amazing individual books.

I was ready.
Moon Over Manifest book cover.jpg
Source: Wikipedia

Johnny Tremain
Source: Barnes and Noble
Elijah of BuxtonRothmc cover.jpg
Barnes and Noble
Theses two books segue nicely.  

**Caldecott Awards are the highest awards given to children books.
***Newbery  Awards are also highest awards given to books with exceptional illustrations and writing. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday Words: Sam Snail

His folks had forced Sam Snail to attend the class on snail safety, where posters covered the room:

“An Informed Snail is a Safe Snail!”

“It’s not dandruff, you idiot!  It’s salt!”

Source: Wikipedia

“A stupid snail becomes escargot!”
Mr. Goo
Mr. Goo, the oldest snail in the community, scanned the adolescent snails with his antennae.  “Listen up, you slimy slugs!”

The snails convulsed with laughter---the slug joke was an old one. Then all became quiet as the spectres of snails long gone before filled the room.

They whispered, “Grass is good.  Sidewalks are bad….” 

Then Mr. Goo shouted, “If you are ever besieged by a bunch of birds, then kiss your shells good-bye.”

Intervals of laughter and silence of doom broke up the rest of the day.  Finally, class was dismissed.
List of Bizarre Championships: Snail racing - Start of the race
snail racing competition
Mr. Goo watched them in silence, Poor dumb Molluscan GastropodsHalf of them won’t even make it home.

Delores provides participants of the "Wednesday Words" with a variety of six words with which to play:  write prose, short fiction, non-fiction, poetry...Each week there is always a challenge.  To access participants, click on the train tracks in the right side-bar!