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Little Willow [userpic]

Earth Day Every Day!

April 22nd, 2018 (07:00 am)
thirsty

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Topper score music

Celebrate Earth Day every day! Here are just a few ways you can help protect this planet of ours and inspire others to do the same.

Every single time you go to throw something away, take a moment to consider how you could recycle, reduce, or reuse that item. Don't just toss things in the trash.

Be creative! Use that empty oatmeal canister to store fruit or jewelry or socks - but not all at the same time - or make it into a drum!

Recycle everything that you can - newspapers, plastic bottles, tin cans, everything. Check containers to see if they can be recycled and either take them to a local recycling center or, if you have separate trash bins for recyclables and greenery, use them properly and encourage your family and neighbors to do the same.

Bring your own canvas bags to the grocery store and other shops.

Buy locally grown and/or organic foods. After a meal, give those uneaten bread crusts to the creatures outside. I know, I know, you don't want to attract raccoons and such into your yard, but maybe you can feed the ducks at the pond or offer those crumbs to the critters at a local park. If possible, make a compost pile. I admittedly don't have a compost pile, but I buy day-old bread and feed wild squirrels almost every week when it's good weather. (The folks at Seven-Imp know all about this!)

Eat at home and you'll save time and money, spend more time with your loved ones, and consume healthier foods. If you have to eat at work or school, pack your food in a reusable lunchbag or lunchbox, and include reusable utensils, plates, and containers.

Get a reusable beverage container and keep it with you. Summer's coming, so it's time to hydrate even more than usual! (Those of you that know me well won't be surprised to learn that one of my reusable bottles, that which goes to and from theatres, auditions, and rehearsals with me, is decorated with Tinker Bell.)

When making purchases of any kind, look for items made of recycled and/or organic materials. Try not to buy things with excessive, wasteful packaging. Consider what it is that you're getting. Do you really need things to be individually wrapped?

Before you print something out, think about whether or not you really need to print it. If not, DON'T. Save that ink and that paper. When you do have to use paper, always use both sides, then recycle it when you're done with it.

Walk whenever you can, wherever you can.

Use public transportation whenever you can.

Carpool to and from work, school, and other places.

Exercise daily. Make an effort to MOVE MORE. Take a walk at lunch and/or before or after work, especially if you have a job where you sit all day. WALK. WALK. WALK. Also run, or run-walk, or hike. Ride a bicycle, a tricycle, a skateboard, a scooter - whatever works for you and runs solely on the power of your own two feet (and arms, and heart, and lungs...) Make it part of your daily exercise routine. If you include friends or family members, you're more likely to meet your goals because you will be challenging and encouraging each other. Whether you are with friends or by yourself, make sure that you have the proper safety equipment (helmet, kneepads, armpads, etc) - plus that trusty reusable drinking container filled with fresh, cool water, and good-for-you snacks, like dried fruit or granola bars! If you're going on a big hike or biking an offbeat trail or something like that by yourself, please, please make sure someone knows where you are, because I get really worried when I picture you doing that alone.

After you read this post, GET UP AND WALK AROUND YOUR HOUSE. (I mean walking around inside, but if you actually go outside and walk around the perimeter of your house, give yourself kudos, and give me photographic evidence, videotaped proof, or something.)

For those of you unfamiliar with Earth Day, I'll give you a brief history: The United Nations celebrates Earth Day annually on the March equinox, inspired by activist John McConnell in 1969. In 1970, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day as an environmental "teach-in," and it is celebrated annually on April 22nd in the United States and other countries.

Again I say: Earth Day every day!

Related Posts:

The Julie books by Megan McDonald - I highly recommend that you read Julie and the Eagles in your classroom or library and at home with your family!

Readergirlz: Community Challenge: Go Eco - From June 2007

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Left-Handed Sugar by Jane Hirshfield

April 20th, 2018 (06:00 am)
contemplative

Current Mood: contemplative
Current Song: Woodstock by Brooke Fraser

In nature, molecules are chiral - they turn in one direction
or the other. Naturally then, someone wondered: might sugar, built to
mirror itself, be sweet, but pass through the body unnoticed? A
dieters’ gold mine. I don’t know why the experiment failed, or
how. I think of the loneliness of that man-made substance, like a
ghost in a ‘50s movie you could pass your hand through, or some
suitor always rejected despite the sparkle of his cubic zirconia
ring. Yet this sugar is real, and somewhere exists. It looks
for a left-handed tongue.

- Left-Handed Sugar by Jane Hirshfield

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Dark Matter and Dark Energy by Alicia Ostriker

April 13th, 2018 (06:00 am)
content

Current Mood: content
Current Song: Faithful by Brooke Fraser

My husband says dark matter is a reality
not just some theory invented by adolescent computers
he can prove it exists and is everywhere

forming invisible haloes around everything
and somehow because of gravity
holding everything loosely together

the way a child wants to escape its parents
and doesn't want to - what's that -
we don't know what it is but we know it is real

the way our mothers and fathers fondly
angrily followed fixed orbits around
each other like mice on a track

the way every human and every atom
rushes through space wrapped in its invisible
halo, this big shadow - that's dark dark matter

sweetheart, while the galaxies
in the wealth of their ferocious protective bubbles
stare at each other

unable to cease
proudly
receding

- Dark Matter and Dark Energy by Alicia Ostriker

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Books to Read (Forthcoming Releases)

April 8th, 2018 (07:00 am)
thoughtful

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Without a Trace theme song

April 2018
Atomic Frenchie by Tom Sniegoski and Tom McWeeney
Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

June 2018
Not the Girls You're Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

July 2018
Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen

September 2018
A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
Sadie by Courtney Summers

October 2018
Blackbird comic by Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

November 2018
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Half-Hazard by Kristen Tracy

Sometime in 2018
Dear Miss Sweetie by Stacey Lee
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Sometime in 2019
Magic Camper by Courtney Sheinmel and Bianca Turetsky ‏
The Survival List by Courtney Sheinmel

Summer 2019
We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: The Awful Truth by Beau Taplin

April 6th, 2018 (06:00 am)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: Know U Anymore by BoTalks ft. Sarah Hyland

One day, whether
you are 14, 28 or 65

you will stumble upon
someone who will start a fire
in you that cannot die.

However, the saddest,
most awful truth
you will ever come to find,

is they are not always
with whom we spend our lives.

- The Awful Truth by Beau Taplin

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Tough Issues for Teens

April 2nd, 2018 (09:00 am)
hopeful

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Just Enough by Aslyn

One afternoon in the bookstore, a young woman in her late teens approached me and said, "Excuse me. Can you help me? I want some books like . . . " She named a few teen fiction titles that dealt with drug abuse and anorexia. She looked slightly uncomfortable but mostly excited. I told her that I could recommend many good books. Within minutes, she was sitting on the floor in the teen fiction section, a plastic basket full to the brim with books, with additional titles in her hand and next to her knees and her feet.

We had a great discussion. I was happy on any levels: happy that she felt comfortable enough to come to me, happy that she was open-minded, happy that I got some realistic, well-written books in her hand. This urged me to make a list of books dealing tough issues - eating disorders, loss and grieving, addiction, abuse, and so forth.

Due to subject matter, many of these books are recommended for older teens as well as adults, be they parents, teachers, librarians, or simply avid readers.

I've read every title on this list, and have given each book a rating according to the United States movie rating guide - G, PG, PG-13, or R - based on content, and a number of stars - four being the best - based on quality (my personal opinion).

PARENTAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT - Physical or emotional abuse, alcoholism, etc.
Read more...Collapse )

ABUSE BY OTHERS - physical or emotional abuse; date or acquaintance rape; accusations, secrets and lies
Read more...Collapse )

TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - be they romantic relationships or rumors or no romance, but a definite abuse of power
Read more...Collapse )

POSITIVE & PLATONIC TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - teachers positively influencing and educating their pupils
Read more...Collapse )

PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIPS - reconnecting with or distancing oneself from absentee parents, dealing with restrictions and expectations
Read more...Collapse )

LONG-LOST SIBLINGS - reconnecting with siblings, or meeting them for the first time
Read more...Collapse )

ORIENTATION AND/OR GENDER ROLES
Read more...Collapse )

VIOLENCE AT SCHOOL
Read more...Collapse )

EATING DISORDERS
Read more...Collapse )

PHYSICAL DISORDERS/INJURIES/SPECIAL NEEDS - protagonist, siblings, friends
Read more...Collapse )

BODY CHANGES - growing up and dealing with natural physical changes (as opposed to health, weight, or body image issues; disorders/injuries are in a separate list above this one)
Read more...Collapse )

TEENAGE PREGNANCY - may also deal with adoption and/or abortion
Read more...Collapse )

TEENAGE ALCOHOLISM
Read more...Collapse )

MENTAL ILLNESS OF A PARENT, RELATIVE, OR PEER
Read more...Collapse )

DEPRESSION
Read more...Collapse )

RECOVERY/SUPPORT GROUPS
Read more...Collapse )

CUTTING
Read more...Collapse )

STEALING
Read more...Collapse )

DIVORCE, SEPARATION, AND/OR STEPFAMILIES - parents dating, getting remarried, etc
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR PHYSICAL ILLNESS OF A PARENT
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF A SIBLING
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF A FRIEND OR PEER
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF A GRANDPARENT
Read more...Collapse )

LOSS OR ILLNESS OF ANOTHER CLOSE RELATIVE AND/OR ADULT
Read more...Collapse )

PROTAGONIST WITH AN ILLNESS
Read more...Collapse )

DRUG ADDICTION
Read more...Collapse )

CAR ACCIDENTS (and similar accidents)
Read more...Collapse )

INCARCERATION OF A RELATIVE
Read more...Collapse )

ADOPTION - Also foster care, group homes, and counseling
Read more...Collapse )

KIDNAPPING
Read more...Collapse )

CULTURAL IDENTITY
Read more...Collapse )

SUICIDE OR SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
Read more...Collapse )

ACADEMICS - cheating, excelling, or otherwise dealing with academic pressure
Read more...Collapse )

SOCIAL STATUS - at school or otherwise with peers; popularity, bullying, et al.
Read more...Collapse )

PEER PRESSURE
Read more...Collapse )

RELIGION
Read more...Collapse )

POLITICS
Read more...Collapse )

ACTIVISM
Read more...Collapse )

INTERNET SAFETY - and/or cyberbullying
Read more...Collapse )

SEEKING SHELTER - family shelters, homelessness, runaways
Read more...Collapse )

I hope that this list helps readers of all ages find books they may be too shy to openly discuss with a bookseller or librarian. I want those readers to know they may leave a comment here and tell me which books they have found valuable. Most of all, I want them to know they can talk to their friends or adults they know in order to get the answers and help they may need.

If you would like for me to add more titles about a certain subject, or if you want more information about any of the books on the list, please leave a comment.

Special thanks to those who have shown their support of this list by offering me links, comments, and compliments, such as Jen Robinson, Bookseller Chick, Robin Brande, Sassymonkey at BlogHer, Daisy Whitney, Caroline, Bookstore People, and Jennifer R. Hubbard.

Little Willow [userpic]

Best Books of March 2018

March 31st, 2018 (06:00 pm)
grateful

Current Mood: grateful
Current Song: Silhouette by Aquilo

March: 9 books and scripts read

After reading 51 stories last month, I dialed it back a bit this month. Standout reads included two works by Christopher Golden: his Runaways novel, an original story based on the comic book, which is now a live-action series on Hulu; and Blood of the Four, an epic fantasy novel, the latest collaboration between Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon. I'll post a more detailed review of Blood of the Four when time permits. For now, I'll share my favorite lines from the Runaways novel:

...They weren't worth it.
But her childhood? The beautiful thing her life had been in the time before the truth?
That was worth crying over.


and:

Karolina glanced at her friends - Nico and Chase, Molly and Gert and Old Lace. Her family. [...] The sight [of Molly] ignited a spark of love in Karolina's heart for this girl, this sister the harsh world had given her.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: This Page Ripped Out and Rolled into a Ball by Brendan Constantine

March 30th, 2018 (06:00 am)
lonely

Current Mood: lonely
Current Song: Know U Anymore by BoTalks ft. Sarah Hyland

A rose by any other name   could be Miguel   or Tiffany   Could be
David or Vashti   Why not Aya   which means beautiful flower   but
also verse and miracle   and a bird   that flies away quickly   You see
where this is going   That is   you could look at a rose   and call it
You See Where This Is Going   or I Knew This Would Happen   or even
Why Wasn’t I Told   I’m told of a man   who does portraits for money
on the beach   He paints them with one arm   the other he left behind
in a war   and so he tucks a rose into his cuff   always yellow   and people
stare at it   pinned to his shoulder   while he works   Call the rose
Panos   because I think that’s his name   or call it   A Chair By The Sea
Point from the window   to the garden   and say   Look   a bed
of Painter’s Hands   And this is a good place   to remember the rose
already has many names   because   language is old and can’t agree
with itself   In Albania you say Trëndafil   In Somalia say Kacay
In American poetry   it’s the flower you must never name   And now
you see where this is going   out the window   across water
to a rose shaped island   that can’t exist but   you’re counting on
to be there   unmapped   unmentioned till now   The green place
you imagine hiding   when the world finds out   you’re not
who you’ve said


- This Page Ripped Out and Rolled into a Ball by Brendan Constantine

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Respect by Melissa Studdard

March 23rd, 2018 (06:00 am)
awake

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Know U Anymore by BoTalks ft. Sarah Hyland

Because her body is winter inside a cave
because someone built
fire there and forgot to put it out
because bedtime is a castle
she's building inside herself
with a moat
and portcullis
and buckets full of mist
because when you let go
the reins
horses
tumble over cliffs and turn
into moths before hitting bottom
because their hooves leave streaks of midnight
in the sky
because stuffed rabbits
are better at keeping secrets
than stopping hands
because when the world got
shoved up inside her
she held it tight like a kegel ball
and wondered
at the struggle Atlas had
carrying such a tiny thing
on his back

- Respect by Melissa Studdard

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Theories of Time and Space by Natasha Trethewey

March 16th, 2018 (06:00 am)
thoughtful

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Know U Anymore by BoTalks ft. Sarah Hyland

You can get there from here, though
there's no going home.

Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:

head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off

another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion - dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches

in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand

dumped on a mangrove swamp-buried
terrain of the past. Bring only

what you must carry - tome of memory,
its random blank pages. On the dock

where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:

the photograph - who you were -
will be waiting when you return.

- Theories of Time and Space by Natasha Trethewey

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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