In January 2019, I began these occasional posts about feeling ALIVE.
My husband Vern, who’s now a retired academic, and I maintained our quiet writing schedule through the pandemic. Family and writing probably helped me stay sane. Thanks to my dear friend Father Murray Bodo, before I go to my desk in the morning, I read for reflection. I ponder. I thank God for my many gifts—family, health, friends, books, ideas. Each of these gifts helps me feel alive. What about you? What helped you working and smiling during the pandemic? I should begin pondering what I learned.
“Libby and her Great Aunt Lobo are learning the Pledge of Allegiance at the same time—but for different reasons. Lobo is practicing it in order to become a citizen of the United States. She is proud of her Mexican heritage but is also grateful to be in America. In school, Libby has been chosen to lead her class in saying the pledge. Lobo and Libby decide to practice together at home and talk about what it means to both of them. The pencil and digitally painted illustrations have a watercolor softness that shows the deep warmth and closeness between niece and aunt. The characters are endearing, rendered primarily in shades of blue. The story will help young children become more thoughtful about this common daily recitation. Sprinkled with Spanish words, this gentle book explores what it means to be an American from the perspective of both a child and new citizen.”—School Library Journal
Studies have shown that for kids, summer reading helps prevent loss of academic skills–but summer is also a time for reading FUN for kids, teens and adults! Consider adding these poetry collections to your summer reading lists:
For Children Bookjoy, Wordjoy
Words and books can take us on wonderful adventures and bring us joy! This collection celebrates both and inspires creative wordplay.
For Teens My Own True Name
“Interlaced with Mexican phrases and cultural symbols, these powerful selections, representing more than 15 years of work, address bicultural life and the meaning of family…”—Booklist
For Adults Adobe Odes
“Mora weaves a gentle tapestry of poetry that reminds readers to stop rushing and embrace the wonder surrounding them.”—Voice of Youth Advocates
Iowa Seventh Grade Literacy Teacher Steve Vanderhei sent a message that made Pat’s day:
My name is Steve Vanderhei and I am a 7th grade literacy teacher in Marion, Iowa. This year I put together a March Madness Poetry Tournament. It was a success, although it was the first time I did something like this. I have lots of ideas of how to make it even better next year.
I wanted you to know that in my 3rd block your poem ‘Same Song’ won. The championship game was ‘Same Song’ vs. ‘Why Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog’ by Taylor Mali.
‘Same Song ‘ won 13 to 9.
Some of the other poems that ‘Same Song’ beat along its path to the Block 3 Championship were:
‘The Snow Man’ by Wallace Steven
‘Fire and Ice’ by Robert Frost
‘Sick’ by Shel Silverstein
‘Sonnet 18’ by William Shakespeare
I thought you might like hearing about the success of your poem and that your poem connected with my 7th graders.