This new book, by very popular Canadian author Eric Walters, for young people is set in Haiti in January 2010. Of course readers know that there is going to be a major earthquake on the 12th, and are wondering how the narrator and his family will fare. Unhappy 15 year old Josh, his younger sister and father are on a Church mission at an orphanage outside of Port au Prince. The family is shaken by the recent death of their mother and the father’s decision to move to a new neighbourhood. Josh’s faith in God is also shaken, as he wonders how God could have allowed his wonderful mother to die so suddenly. He is not too angry to begin to appreciate the strength of the Haitian orphans and workers and the American Pastor in charge.
Walters does an excellent job of setting the scene in Haiti, the countryside, the chaos of Port au Prince, the heat, the lack of conveniences and the innate kindness of Haitians. When the earth itself shakes, Josh shows his strength of character and humanity. The only quibble I have is that Walters has everyone speaking French, where in reality only the small wealthy minority learns French and the language of the poor majority is Kreyol.
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It wasn’t the book’s title that drew me in. It may have been the pictures or the book’s similarity to the Harry Potter series, or maybe, the fact that it was a relatively short book. One thing I know … the author (Neil Gaiman) does a really good job of catching your attention right from the beginning. The combination of pictures and wording kept me in suspense.
The main character is raised from infancy by those who rest at the Graveyard where he is safe under their protection until, one day, he ventures out to do something for a friend. This book is full of suspense, action and some bittersweet love. This is one book I’m glad I didn’t judge by its cover! I highly recommend it for young adults as well as adults!
Comments are welcome!
I began having difficulty reading street signs so I thought I needed a change of glasses. My ophthamologist told me I had a disease called wet macular degeneration, that causes one to slowly lose one’s vision. Today, five years later, I have lost core vision, but still have my peripheral vision. I can no longer read, drive, do repairs, or even see the value of small coins. A friend told me about audiobooks available at the library. At Coquitlam Public Library’s Poirier branch, I met Teresa, the Community Services Librarian, who explained how the library assists the partially blind. Libraries provide a large number of printed books that have been read onto CDs. They also have a number of portable CD players one can use prior to buying a unit.
I have listened to over twently books. Of these, one stands out so much I listened to it twice because it is so profound. The title is Tuesdays with Morrie written by Mitch Albom. An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lessons. Everyone should read this book.
Transcribed by Teresa, Community Services Librarian
Have you recently listened to this or any other audiobooks? Feel free to comment.
Most of us remember the themes and backgrounds to the cartoons of our Saturday morning and weekday afternoon youth. We’ve been trained to expect to hear the Merrie Melodies theme (“Merrily We Roll Along” for you music trivia buffs) when we see red concentric circles and a bull’s eye and the zoom in of the Warner Brothers shield, or the melancholy six notes announcing the arrival of Casper the Friendly Ghost.
The Cartoon Music Book, edited by Daniel Goldmark and Yuval Taylor, contains articles about and by the major Hollywood film and TV animation music composers. Carl Stalling, who wrote and arranged the very eclectic Warner Brothers cartoon scores, is interviewed. There is also an article on the groundbreaking Disney classical music opus Fantasia. The use of motifs by Harveytoons scorist Winston Sharples is analysed as are the connections between avant-garde and cartoon music in Scott Bradley’s Tom and Jerry themes for MGM and in music critic John Corbett’s article on the eclecticism of cartoon themes.
Analytical without being dry, The Cartoon Music Book is definitely a fun “now you know type of book.”
Nope, that’s not all folks … comments are welcome!
Too many people believe that all they can do to improve the quality of life in their community, province, or country is to vote once in a while … if that. Many young adults have even given up on the vote.
Amanda Sussman (via your library!) gives you a handy and tested guide for proving otherwise. You can influence government more than you think, and government is more interested in hearing from you than you may believe.
The examples in Sussman’s guide focus on the national level, and at achieving change from ‘inside’ by influencing decision-making, that is, policy formation. But most of the activities in this book are useful at all levels of government and for more ‘on-the-ground’ interventions aimed at changing the results of decisions that have already been made.
You should eventually supplement this book with other good readings – Elizabeth May’s (2006) How to Save the World in Your Spare Time (361.2097 MAY), and classics like Saul Alinsky’s (1971) Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, and Gene Sharp’s (2005) Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential.
If you’re still not convinced that you can make a meaningful difference, read a new book by Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson (2010) called Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity can Change the World. Then take a deep breath, act on your beliefs, and jump in there! You’ll surprise yourself.
Comments are welcome.