Sorry to say goodbye to Summer Reading..

It has been a summer filled with incredible stories, having read and listened to middle school and YA novels.

I haven’t met my goal of 30 books, but I still have a week!

I think my favorite is Mackenzi Lee‘s: 29283884

The narrator, Christian Coulson, completely brings this character to life!

Other books that I look forward to sharing with my students are…


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but then…I couldn’t put it down. I always enjoy a good heist story, and this one includes kids with powers! What more could you want? I lost myself in the characters’ interesting, diverse backgrounds and realistic, yet fantastical setting.

The Inquisitor’s Tale. So far, this is my favorite for 4th grade & up. It is historical fiction, funny and magical-and GREAT WRITING. I miss the characters, so hopefully there will be a sequel. The Audible version was incredible!

The Diviners. This historical fiction fantasy is really scary & disturbing in places, so if you are easily creeped out…you might want to pass on this one! I loved the writing! I am currently reading the second book in the series, Lair of Dreams.

I will add more notes later on these middle and YA books!

I am excited to add them to my class library, and I am working to create interesting categories, inspired by this post by Amy Rasmussen

We are Magnificently Confused and Other Names for Bookshelves.


My goal this year is not only to read more but also to blog more! I don’t have a great track record with this!

Slice of Life # 14

Spliced into a motionless reel of cars,
I dream through a dusty window.
A soft green field-
Margined with yellow mustard blossoms-
Reaching towards a chorus of hills.
I imagine-
Life hidden beneath its grassy waving surface.

Above, alert,
A cooper’s hawk hovers,
Pumps its wings,
Perches onto a utility pole.
For one moment,
I witness this ancient negotiation,
The field and the hawk;
I am pulled away,
Awed by their silent agreement.

Slice of Life # 12

I like the word quagmire.
I can see it:
Muddy danger,
Looping around the q,
Threading through the u,
Sifting in and out of consonants and vowels,
Savoring its prey.
An inescapable predicament,
A spooling and spiraling swamp,
An unplanned interruption.
Not always welcome, it is an honest word.

Slice of Life # 9

M & G’s Burgers’ enticement: milkshakes,
Red and phosphorescent,
Snares my brain.
I pass it, relentlessly,
But this moment, distinct;
Conjures a ghost.
Sitting at Hidenwood Pharmacy’s gleaming counter,
Sharing milkshakes with my mother,
Entranced by jeweled condensation beads-
That meander down the meniscused metal cup,
Reflecting my wonder at all that is held here.

Slice of Life #8

Sitting on Stinson Beach,
Watching seagulls abscond with unguarded picnics,
I am still.
My daughter and I share ear buds,
Listening to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night.
Salted gusts, cool, beg us to burrow into the sunned sand.
Coppertone-perfumed blankets,warm,keep us safe.
Without warning or hesitation, she joins her brother for some soft serve.
I stay behind, narrative paused, guarding the evaporating moment.

Slice of Life #5

Too tired to write today.
Too annoyed.
Ack. Blech. Ick.
Procrastinating, excuse-ing.
Just a list:

What day is it?
Run to pee.
(70 degrees, luminous-I really should celebrate this, but…).
Look out window-too long.
Day slips.
Text from Charlie: Mom, Look at the moon!
Door slams.
Hi Mom from Nora.
Out-to pause,
Breathe in moon.
List-now gratitudes.
Why I write every day.

Slice of Life 4

I believe in the Dewey Decimal System,

that mysterious code,

that lives in a fathomless drawer,

on fanned, yellowed cards, perfumed and sweet.

That code, written on scraps of paper,

carried through catacombs of shiny bound books,

fingers strumming spines, lips mouthing numbers,

until time stops, and for one small strand, all is deciphered.

Slice of Life 3

Today, I neglected the voices wafting up and down the stairs,

the doors slamming behind some old, brown Converse,

the unsigned permission slip, the readied lunch bag,

the see-you-tonights and have-a-good-days.

Today, Lennie died, and most everyone agreed it was for the best.

George did it to be kind, some said, others said it was selfish.

Only one said it just wasn’t okay to take another’s life, no matter what.

Today, I shared sweet tarts and Starbursts, and coffee,

the messengers of gratitude and taking deep breaths.

Today, I thought about tomorrow before the sun had even pinked the sky.

Slice of Life 1

Walking into someone’s home for the first time, I don’t notice the usual eye catchers: the dreamy paintings, feathered sofas, infinite flat screens. My gaze darts to the obscure. Today, I see a dusted snow globe sitting behind a framed family photo, an orphaned Lego winking behind a curtain, piled newspapers waiting to be read. I think artifacts, and I want their stories. The snow globe. Who first shook the liquid memory, watching the flakes float down on summer’s vacation? The Lego. Was it lost, or did someone deliberately leave the hairless soldier in frozen incompleteness? The newspapers. Will they ever receive the well-deserved attention, or will they be inspired kindling for a reluctant fire? These questions distract me, inciting narratives and histories to curl around my thoughts. Today, on a routine stretch of highway, I notice a small encampment beneath a highway overpass. Two tents, a well-swept dusty circle, sinking-seated folding lawn chairs. I think artifacts. I want their stories, and because I can’t really know them, I create my own, gratefully giving significance to these overlooked, discarded relics.