Monday, August 9, 2021

2021 Movies


1 movie in 2021
2020 - 5 movies (Pandemic!)
2019 - 26 movies
2018 - 51 movies
2017 - 49 movies
2016 - 62 movies
2015 - 37 movies
2014 - 46 movies
2013 - 48 movies
2012 - 37 movies
2011 - 54 movies

*6*  Awesome
5  Loved it
4  Liked it
3  It was okay
2  Not great
1  Nope

Stillwater (8/8/2021) Matt Damon was wonderful (5)

WOW movies of 2021 

REALLY GOOD movies of 2021 (4.5 & 5)  
Stillwater (8/8/2021) Matt Damon was wonderful (5)

GOOD/FUN movies of 2021 (3 - 3.5 - 4)

WASTE-OF-TIME MOVIES OF 2021  

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Movie - Stillwater

R (2:19)
Wide release 7/30/2021
Viewed 8/8/2021 at Regal Harrisburg
IMBd: 6.9/10
RT Critic: 74   Audience:  72
Critic's Consensus:  Stillwater isn't perfect, but its thoughtful approach to intelligent themes -- and strong performances from its leads -- give this timely drama a steadily building power. 
Cag:   5/Loved it 
Directed by Tom McCarthy
setting:  mostly Marseilles, France

Actors: Matt Damon, Camille Cottin, Abigail Breslin

My comments:  First movie-in-a-theater in a year and a half!! Super exciting!  And this was a good choice. Very interesting piece of storytelling.  Equally the story of a father doing anything to keep his daughter happy and a character study of the part that Matt Damon plays. It's about the characters and their relationships, what drives them, what makes them do the things they've done in their lives.  Can we be predisposed to be a fuck up?  I think that's the actual theme of the movie, which I really liked a lot.  Matt Damon was really wonderful (side note:  it looked like he put on a few pounds for this part).  What I saw of the setting, Marseilles, was nothing like what I have e er pictured Marseilles to be like.  I loved the way he learned to speak French and I loved the relationship between him and the nine-year-old girl, Maya.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Unemployed roughneck Bill Baker (Academy Award® winner Matt Damon) travels from Oklahoma to Marseilles to visit his estranged daughter Allison (Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin). Imprisoned for a murder she claims she did not commit. Allison seizes on a new tip that could exonerate her and presses Bill to engage her legal team But Bill eager to prove his worth and regain his daughters trust, takes matters into his own hands. He is quickly stymied by language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system until he meets French actress Virginie (Camille Cottin), mother to eight-year-old Maya (Lilou Siauvaud). Together, these unlikely allies embark on a journey of discovery, truth, love and liberation.

Friday, August 6, 2021

84. Sweet Talk by Cara Bastone

listened on Audible
narrated by Lidia Dornet and Chris Brinkley
Unabridged audio (5:42)
2021
around 200 pgs?  Audible only
Adult RomCom
Finished  8/6/2021
Goodreads rating: 4.12 - 2126 ratings
My rating: 5
Setting: Contemporary Brooklyn & Queens) NY

My comments: I listened to the audible of this book, and I can't imagine reading it.  This was sooo good!  Wonderfully narrated.  Since the basis of the protagonist's relationship in the story is by voice messaging, listening to the voice messages, read by the two wonderful narrators was superb.  A great romance that skips a lot of the usual tropes and has a mind of its own.  I loved it.  A lot.  Totally clean and feel good.  One of my top five all-time romances.  Yep, I'm going to do it, maybe it's just the mood I'm in, but I've got to give this one a five!  A gentle, many, artistic male and a feisty, not-scared-of-much female, yippee!  PS. - they didn't need to add the unnecessary epilogue...

Goodreads synopsis:  Stay up all night with this funny, surprising romantic comedy from Audie Award-nominee Cara Bastone — scripted exclusively for audio!

        It’s officially booty o’clock, I’m alone again in my kitchen choking down a slice of terrible chocolate cake…and I’m pretty sure I just got drunk texted by the man I have a ginormous crush on.

        I’ve been daydreaming about Eliot Hoffman’s dimples for two months, and even though I’m sure this was a mistake on his end, it doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity on mine. It’s the middle of the night, and I just wanna talk to him. So I text him back.

        And then somehow we keep talking…ALL NIGHT. We’re both insomniacs, so talking all night soon turns into talking EVERY night.

        And talking about nothing soon turns into talking about something.

        And here we go from in-depth analysis of reality TV to my relationship with my family to his amazing artwork. There’s no topic we don’t cover…

        Except for who I really am. It’s the only question of his I won’t answer.

        As my crush turns into an avalanche of Eliot, I think of him all the time now. But if he knew who I was, the entire house of cards we’ve built this relationship on would come toppling down. I want him to be mine, but we might never be more than just a sweet dream….

Thursday, August 5, 2021

"Yellow Glove" (and other stuff) by Naomi Shihab Nye from her 2020 collection Everything Comes Next


What can a yellow glove mean in a world of cars and 
governments?

I was small, like everyone.  Life was a string of precautions:  Don't
kiss the squirrel before you bury him, suck candy, pop balloons,
drop watermelons, watch TV.  When the new gloves appeared one
Christmas, I heard it trailing me.  Don't lose the yellow gloves.

I was small, there was too much to remember.  One day, waving at a
stream -- the ice had cracked, winter chipping down, soon we would
sail boats and roll into ditches -- I let a glove go.  Into the stream,
sucked under the street.  Since when did streets have mouths?  I
walked home on a desperate road.  Gloves cost money.  We didn't
have much.  I would tell no one.  I would wear the yellow glove that
was left and keep the other hand in a pocket.  I knew my mother's 
eyes had tears they had not cried yet.  I didn't want to be the one to
make them flow.  It was the prayer I spoke secretly, folding socks,
lining up donkeys in windowsills, to be good, a promise made to the
roaches who scouted my closet at night, if you don't get in my bed, I
will be good.  And they listened.  I had a lot to fulfill.

The months rolled down like towels out of a machine.  I sang 
and drew and fattened the cat.  Don't scream, don't lie, don't
cheat, don't fight  -- you could hear it anywhere.  A pebble could
show you how to be smooth, tell the truth.  A field could show
 how to sleep without walls.  A stream could remember how
to drift and change -- next June I was stirring the stream like 
a soup, telling my brother dinner would be ready if he'd only
hurry up with the bread, when I saw it.   The yellow glove draped
on a twig.  A muddy survivor.  A quiet flag.

Where had it been in the three gone months?  I could wash 
it, fold it in my winter drawer with its sister, no one in that
world would ever know.  There were miracles on Harvey Street.
 Children walked home in yellow light.  Trees were reborn and
gloves traveled far, but returned.  A thousand miles later, what
can a yellow glove mean in a world of bankbooks and stereos?

Part of the difference between floating and going down.

        Found in Everything Comes Next, Collected and New Poems, 2020


  • There's another "essay", four pages long, later in the book entitled, "Museum."  I love it!  I think it's too long to type here, though.  So glad I own the book, but I know I'd read it more if it were on my blog...Maybe I'll type it in another day.
  • "The Traveling Onion" (found elsewhere on this blog and one of my favorite poems) is included in this collection.  YAY!
The following two poems come from the middle/second section of the book entitled, "THE HOLY LAND THAT ISN'T"

Before You Can

My Jewish friends are kind and gentle.
Not one of them would harm another person
even if they didn't know that person.

My Arab friends are kind and gentle.
Not one of them would harm another person
even if they didn't know that person.
They might press you to drink 45 small cups
of coffee or tea, but that would be all.

My Jewish friends have never taken my house,
my land, herded me into a cell, tortured me,
cut down my tree, never once.
My Arab friends have never built a bomb.

We respect each other as equals.
We look somewhat alike.
We laugh similarly.
We have never said the other should not exist.

So where is the problem exactly?
Let's be specific.  Who and where and what
is the problem exactly?  You have to know
before you can fix it.

Everything in Our World Did Not Seem to Fit

Once they started invading us, taking our houses
and trees, drawing lines, pushing us into tiny places.
It wasn't a bargain or deal or even a real war.
To this day they pretend it was.
Bu it was something else.
We were sorry what happened to them but
we had nothing to do with it.
You don't think what a little plot of land means
till someone takes it and you can't go back.
Your feet still want to walk there.
Now you are drifting worse
than homeless dust, very lost feeling.
I cried even to think of our hallway,
cool stone passage inside the door.
Nothing would fit for year.
They came with guns, uniforms, declarations.
Life magazine said,
"It was surprising to find some Arabs still in their houses."
Surprising?  Where else would we be?
Up on the hillsides?
Conversing with mint and sheep, digging in dirt?
Why was someone else's need for a home
greater than our own need for our own homes
we were already living in?  No one has ever been able
to explain this sufficiently.  But they find
a lot of other things to talk about.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Picture Book - 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental

Illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
Endpapers:  N/A - HUGE BOOK
2006 Harry N. Abrams, translated from French
44 huge, thick pages
Illustrations in Black, white, blue, and orange
Goodreads rating:   4.11 - 914 ratings
My rating:  5!

1st line/s:  "On New Year's Day, at nine o'clock in the morning, a delivery man rang our doorbell."

My comments:  Loved this book.  But, it's HUGE.  Not sure how I'm going to read it aloud! One penguin arrives each and every day for 365 straight days.  Lots of arithmetic and a few vocabulary words for younger readers (anonymous, three-digit-number, ecologist), one page where you hunt among the penguins for the only one with blue feet, and even a great poem:
    Penguins, penguins everywhere,
    Black and white and in my hair,
    Two or three would be quite nice,
    But hundreds more, let's think twice!
    Bathroom, bedroom, closet, kitchen --
    I've had enough, it's time to ditch 'em!
Goodreads:  From the amazing success of the documentary March of the Penguins to the popular penguins in Madagascar to this fall’s upcoming penguin-themed movie Happy Feet, penguins are everywhere! That’s especially true for the family in 365 Penguins, who find a penguin mysteriously delivered to their door every day for a year. At first they’re cute, but with every passing day, the penguins pile up—along with the family’s problems. Feeding, cleaning, and housing the penguins becomes a monumental task. They’re noisy and smelly, and they always hog the bathroom! And who on earth is sending these kwaking critters? In a large format, and with lots of opportunity for counting, 365 Penguins is sure to become a perennial wintertime favorite.

August Goodreads Postcard & Question of the Month


Question: With the variety of eReaders, and the ability to read books on your phone, capturing quotes from your reading is easier than ever! That's what our writing topic is for our postcards this month...

How often do you mark quotes in the books you read? How do you handle this in dead-tree books -- do you underline? post-it notes? something else? Do you do anything with your quotes after you've finished the book? Ever go back to read old quotes? Do you have an all time favorite quote? How many quotes do you have from your current read?

My answer:
I don't very often take note of  quotes that I like because lately most of my reading has been done with audio books.  I do have a bit of a weird habit, though.  I have two favorite words that I keep track of every time I come upon one of them.  I notate the sentence and book title.  What are the words?  CACOPHONY and PARCHED.  I'm getting quite fond of FLUMMOXED, too, and am considering adding it to my repertoire.

Penguin Lesson Plan


My favorite animal:  PENGUINS
        (Have kids think about what their favorite animal might be.  Have them write it down on a slip of paper and drop into a bowl.  Tell them I'll draw a slip from the bowl and next month I'll spend a day talking about the favorite animal that I drew.)

Teaching a week about PENGUINS in the library.

1 -  I'll read a penguin poem.

2 - I'll share my penguin postcard and stuffed animal collections.  I'll show them a bucket of fiction and nonfiction books, and we'll talk about the differences.

3 -  I'll read aloud a nonfiction book about penguins.  Kids will retell facts/interesting stuff they remember from the reading.

4 - Read aloud a fiction book.  
               (When talking about fiction, make sure to discuss ANTHROPOMORPHISM, especially with older grades.)

Here's a great FREE blog that includes lesson ideas, games, and lots of videos:  http://embracinghome.com/penguin-lesson-plans-facts/

childfun.com/themes/animals/penguins
marcias-lesson-links.com/penguincapers.html

YouTubes:
Kids Academy:  Penguins for Kids (4:22)
SciShoKids!:  Meet 3 Peculiar Penguins
All Things Animal:  Animals for Kids:  Penguins (6:39)

Word search puzzle:  Antarctic, bird, southern, hemisphere, swim, waddle, don't fly, eat fish, South Pole, Emperor, Rockhopper, Gentoo, King, Macaroni, African,, Little

What do you call a group of penguins?
    a RAFT of penguins when they're in the water
    a WADDLE of penguins if they're on land

SPS books:

E ABR Pelonius Penguin
E BRE  A Wish for Wings That Work
E JEF Lost and Found
E JEF Up and Down
E LES Tacky the Penguin
E LES Three Cheers for Tacky
E MIN If You Were a Penguin (Pre-K, super simple) facts at end, 2009 PA One Book, Every Young Child
E ODO Pinkie Leaves Home
E PAC (Baskets) The Christmas Penguin
E WOO The Little Penguin

FE MSB #8 PB Penguin Puzzle (Magic Schoolbus)
FE OSB MTH #40 Eve of the Emperor

F ATW Mr. Popper's Penguins
F STR PB Is That an Angry Penguin in Your Gym Bag?

E 080 FDP #3 Penguins
E 590.1 AHS #8 PB Penguin in the Snow
E 598 ALS PB Penguins
E 598 POT HHS Penguin Moves Out of the Antarctic
E 598 WWW Why Why Why Can't Penguins Fly
E 793.KAF Surf's Up

E 598.1 NGS #25 Penguins & Polar Bears
E 598.47 Penguins - 100 Things

598.37 JAC March of the Penguins
598.4 ALL Penguin in the Snow (a 2nd copy?)
599.2 HAN Penguins

Other books that sound good:
I Can Read: Little Penguin's New Friend - 2019, Laura Driscoll
Perfectly Polite Penguins - 2019, Georgiana Deutsch
Penguin's Big Adventure - 2015 Yoon series
Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! - 2018, Tamura
Spike, The Penguin with Rainbow Hair - 2021, Cullen & Ellis (paper) 
365 Penguins - Fromental & Jolivet ( apparently funny & lots of math) ordered
A Penguin Story - Portis
Penguin in Peril  - Helen Hancocks
The Emperor's Egg - Martin Jenkins
Flight School 0 Lita Judge
Penguins - Gail Gibbons  ordered
Penguin Problems - Jory John & Lane Smith - apparently has incorrect information (GoodReads reviews) that can be tackled in class!


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

80. 365 Days to Alaska by Cathy Carr

read the book, borrowed from the library
2021
272 pgs.
Mid Grade CRF
Finished  7/27/2021
Goodreads rating: 4.29 - 243 ratings
My rating: 5
Setting: Contemporary CT, with a small part at the beginning in the wilderness/boonies of AK

First line/s:  "Rigel put the tip of the hunting knife into the hare's belly and made a careful slit." 

My comments: After spending her entire life in the middle-of-nowhere "bush" in Alaska, 11 year-old Rigel - pronounced RYE/JILL, is forced to move to Connecticut with her mom and two sister, five and 14 years old, leaving her dad, Bear, in Alaska.  She doesn't want to go, she's never left her home in the middle of nowhere and really, really loves it there.  So this story is the story of the following year in Connecticut, all the changes she has to adapt to, bullies and no friends and not enough nature and coming to love a crow she names Blueberry.  And of course she ends up making wonderful friends, finding the nature she needs, and adapting.  We get to know the diverse personalities of her  wonderful family member, too.  This is a wonderful story with lots and lots to sink your teeth into.

Goodreads synopsis:  A thoughtful middle-grade debut about a girl from off-the-grid Alaska adjusting to suburban life
        Eleven-year-old Rigel Harman loves her life in off-the-grid Alaska. She hunts rabbits, takes correspondence classes through the mail, and plays dominoes with her family in their two-room cabin. She doesn’t mind not having electricity or running water—instead, she’s got tall trees, fresh streams, and endless sky.
        But then her parents divorce, and Rigel and her sisters have to move with their mom to the Connecticut suburbs to live with a grandmother they’ve never met. Rigel hates it in Connecticut. It’s noisy, and crowded, and there’s no real nature. Her only hope is a secret pact that she made with her father: If she can stick it out in Connecticut for one year, he’ll bring her back home.
        At first, surviving the year feels impossible. Middle school is nothing like the wilderness, and she doesn’t connect with anyone . . . until she befriends a crow living behind her school. And if this wild creature has made a life for itself in the suburbs, then, just maybe, Rigel can too.
365 Days to Alaska is a wise and funny debut novel about finding beauty, hope, and connection in the world no matter where you are—even Connecticut.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

79. The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm

Read the book, from SPS library
2021
235 pgs.
Mid Grade SciFi
Finished  7/25/21
Goodreads rating: 4.15 - 1010 ratings
My rating: 5
Setting: Mars

First line/s: "The trip to Mars was the hardest thing they'd ever experienced.  That's what the grown-ups said."

My comments: I was so sad when this book came to an end.  It was exceptional.  Five kids and six adults live in the American compound inside a lava tunnel on Mars.  There are four other similar colonies close by:  France, Finland, Russia, and China, but for years they have been alienated.  Then all the American adults get deathly ill.  The kids don't, and after some bravery on the part of the protagonis, Bell, things begin to change.  A really wonderful story.

Goodreads synopsis:  A kid raised on Mars learns that he can't be held back by the fears of the grown-ups around him.
          Bell has spent his whole life - all eleven years of it - on Mars. But he's still just a regular kid - he loves cats, any kind of cake, and is curious about the secrets the adults in the US colony are keeping. Like, why don't have contact with anyone on the other Mars colonies? Why are they so isolated? When a virus breaks out and the grown-ups all fall ill, Bell and the other children are the only ones who can help. It's up to Bell - a regular kid in a very different world - to uncover the truth and save his family ... and possibly unite an entire planet.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

78. Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

Book borrowed from CCLS
2021, Dial Book for Young Readers
188 pgs.
Mid Gr CRF
Finished 7/24/2021
Goodreads rating: 4.30 - 371 ratings
My rating: 4.5
Setting: contemporary rural Vermont

First line/s: "It's strange living in our old house now that Uncle Roderick is dead."

My comments: It's very difficult to review this book without spoilers, but I feel it's very important to read it without knowing exactly what is going to happen.  It's written beautifully. From the beginning I knew I wouldn't be able to put it into my new school's library, being a Catholic School and all the problems that Catholics seem to have with anything LGBTQ.  I need this job, so I won't fight that externally, only internally.  And now, spoilers are coming, so if you have not read this book and even have the tiniest notion you might, do not read further.  Bug, the protagonist, goes through an incredible transformation of identity in the summer s/he turns 13 and is getting ready for middle school.  Bug has been born with female "parts," and has been raised as a girl.  He discovers the reason that he never really sees himself when he looks in the mirror, just a copy of himself.  He discovers so much more than that as well...that he is transgender and immediately begins referring to himself as HE instead of she.  Everyone in his life is so understanding, no one bullies him or makes him feel in any way awkward or uncomfortable, neither kids he's grown up with or administrators in the new-to-him middle school.  How I would like to very much believe this would be the reality for kids like him!  In one of the reviews I read about this book, Betsy Bird says that she thinks that some kids are just getting tired of books and movies full of bullying and meanness (my words/translation).  I sure hope she's right!  The afterword by the author is very enlightening, I'm guessing this story - or a big part of it - is autobiographical.  

Goodreads synopsis:  A haunting ghost story about navigating grief, growing up, and growing into a new gender identity
          It's the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug's best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn't particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there's something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug's eerie old house in rural Vermont...and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they're trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light--Bug is transgender.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Picture Book - Watercress by Andrea Wang

Illustrated by Jason Chin
Endpapers:  Dark Aqua
found at Bosler
2021 Neal Porter Books, Holiday House
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:   4.61 - 1131 ratings
My rating:  4.5
1st line/s:  "We are all in the old Pontiac, the red paint faded by years of glinting Ohio sun, pelting rain, and biting snow."

My comments:  Being a child of immigrants, and poor, the little girl protagonist of this story  doesn't want to stop by the side of the road to forage in the muck for watercress that remind her parents of their growing up in China.  And later she doesn't want to eat it.  But in a simple though perfectly worded story, Andrea Wang, shows the little girl a huge amount of history, memories, and sorrow from the mom's life in China.  A gentle story with a whopping take-away.


Goodreads:  Gathering watercress by the side of the road brings a girl closer to her family's Chinese Heritage.
          Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl's parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail covered watercress as they can.
          At first, she's embarrassed. Why can't her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family's time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress.
          Andrea Wang tells a moving autobiographical story of a child of immigrants discovering and connecting with her heritage, illustrated by award winning author and artist Jason Chin, working in an entirely new style, inspired by Chinese painting techniques. An author's note in the back shares Andrea's childhood experience with her parents.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

77. I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill

listened on Chirp
narrated by Stacey Glemboski - great job
Unabridged audio (6:11
2017
220 pgs.
Adult RomCom
Finished  7/21/21
Goodreads rating: 4.0 - 2817 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: Contemporary Irvine, CA, eastern small-town IA, and Phoenix

First line/s: "The guys were all in the living room."

My comments:  Great narrator, I love the way she is able to do a male voice without changing her natural voice very much, but making it work perfectly.  I loved the story.  It was a feel good, very cute, fun-feeling story.  Not high steam at all.  It had plenty of meat and was actually somewhat believable...maybe because I wanted it to be that way, lol.  Two great protagonists with lots of other interesting characters.  Very much enjoyed it.

GoodReads Synopsis:   A little white lie. A little white wedding. A pair of roommates in over their heads.
        Days before she's set to move across the country and start a prestigious graduate program, a con artist leaves Emmy with no where to live and less than zero dollars in her bank account. But her day doesn't seem quite so bad compared to Beckett's--his fiancĂ©e called off their wedding just days before they tie the knot. Now he's single and ineligible for his place in married student housing.
        So what are a girl without a home and a guy without a wife supposed to do? A quickie wedding in Vegas will solve both their problems. It's a business arrangement, and no one even needs to know. They'll just get an annulment in a few months. What could go wrong?
        Only Beckett forgot to mention his new apartment is a one-bedroom. And neither of them counted on their new friends at Middlesex University thinking they're a great couple.
        The platonic newlywed game might be harder to play than Emmy thought. Especially when it starts to feel less than platonic.
        I Temporarily Do is a Stand-Alone Romantic Comedy.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Picture Book - Laxmi's Mooch by Shelly Anand

Illustrated by Nabi H. Ali
Endpapers:  Pale simple drawings on solid orange that explain nine Hindi words used in the story
found at Ellsworth Public Library
2021, Kokila/Penguin Random House
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:   4.42 - 820 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Illustrations:  big, bold, brightly colored
Text:  Just 1 -2 sentences per page.
1st line/s:  "Hi!  I'm Laxmi.  Come here.  Closer.  You see that?  That's my mooch."

My comments:  After a young Indian-American gets noticed for the tiny dark hairs on her upper lips (mustache = mooch), she has a talk with her parents and is made to realize that this is a normal - and good - thing.  References are made to Frida Kahlo.  Then she returns to school and has kids examine their own upper lips - and on those that are completely hairless she draws on a mooch for them.
    Acceptance for all!  Everyone's different!

Goodreads:  A joyful, body-positive picture book about a young Indian American girl's journey to accept her body hair and celebrate her heritage after being teased about her mustache.
          Laxmi never paid much attention to the tiny hairs above her lip. But one day while playing farm animals at recess, her friends point out that her whiskers would make her the perfect cat. She starts to notice body hair all over--on her arms, legs, and even between her eyebrows.
        With her parents' help, Laxmi learns that hair isn't just for heads, but that it grows everywhere, regardless of gender. Featuring affirming text by Shelly Anand and exuberant, endearing illustrations by Nabi H. Ali, Laxmi's Mooch is a celebration of our bodies and our body hair, in whichever way they grow.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

76. Debris Line by Matthew FitzSimmons

#4 Gibson Vaughn
listened on KindUnlAUDIO
narrated by James Patrick Cronin
Unabridged audio (9:44)
2018
320 pgs.
Adult Mystery
Finished  7/15/21 (returning from Maine, in CT, in the car)
Goodreads rating: 4.22 - 3384 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting:  contemporary coast of Portugal

First line/s: "Joao Luna steered the Alexandria south and west into open waters."

My comments: Adventure and edge-of-your-seat kind of wondering wht will happen next....though a little slow in places.  Set entirely in Portugal.  You get to know Gibson Vaughn's three cohorts a bit better.  I'm getting to like Hendrix more and more, he has a weird sense of humor that's fun.  Jenn, I'm not so sure about.  She's left Sergio, the soccer player, because she knows their relationship won't last.  I really do think that Gibson has a crush on her, but I'm not sure that she reciprocates it even in the slightest.  There's at least one more story written about them at this time, so will definitely see what might happen there.

Goodreads synopsis:   The stakes are higher than ever as the Wall Street Journal bestselling series continues.
        Lying low on the sun-kissed coast of Portugal is a far cry from twenty-four-hour lockdown in a CIA black-site prison. But even in paradise, Gibson Vaughn is a long way from being home free. With the feds hot on his heels, he and his crew of fellow fugitives know they can’t hide in a sunny beach town forever. And before they go on the run again, their generous host—a wealthy drug smuggler—expects to be paid for his hospitality. And paid double.
His price? A nearly impossible operation that Gibson and his gang must pull off to retrieve a king’s ransom in hijacked narcotics. Even if they make it out alive, they’ll have to face the wrath of a ruthless Mexican cartel that plays dirty…and is used to winning. But when Gibson discovers there’s far more than drugs at stake, the heist becomes a daring mission of rescue and mercy—and righteous vengeance.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Picture Book - Kamala and Maya's Big Idea by Meena Harris

Illustrated by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez
found at Ellsworth Public Library
read on 7/14/2021
2020, Balzer & Bray
32 pgs.
Endpapers:  solid royal blue
illustrations:  bold colors, edge to edge, not too much text
Goodreads rating:   4.03 - 1011 ratings
My rating:  4
Afterward/explanation with photos

1st line/s:  " 'You know what should be out there?' Kamala asked her sister, Maya."

My comments:  Two sisters (Kamala Harris and her sister Maya) create, plan and organize a way to make a playground in the empty apartment courtyard where they live, even after gettin several "no"s .  Working together, almost anything can be accomplished. 

Goodreads:  One day, Kamala and Maya had an idea. A big idea: they would turn their empty apartment courtyard into a playground!
          This is the uplifting tale of how the author’s aunt and mother first learned to persevere in the face of disappointment and turned a dream into reality. This is a story of children’s ability to make a difference and of a community coming together to transform their neighborhood.