Monday, March 30, 2009

Piggy Boots

I've heard of "pig in a blanket" but this little porker has other ideas. Cinders as a piglet didn't like getting her feet dirty. Her owners outfitted her with children's boots. She was one happy pig.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Soldier's Heart, April 19 Meeting

Soldier's Heart tells the story about 15 year-old Charley Goddard from Minnesota who joins the First Minnesota Volunteers in 1861 to fight the "Rebels" and prove he is a man. Charley's dreams of adventure, excitement and glory are quickly throttled by the brutal, bloody reality of fighting at Bull Run and Gettysburg. He quickly matures into manhood but it is not the manhood he envisioned. This is a short book, yet its quick pace and vivid details of battle contribute to the sense of authenticity. The horror of battle is real. The lingering sadness of soldier's heart (shell shock) is also real.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Captain's Dog, March 15 Meeting

Dogs, history, Lewis & Clark, canoeing, hunting, fishing, camping and swatting skeeters--The Captain's Dog bursts with all this cool stuff. The doggy point of view is a unique and entertaining way to present this important historical event. Author Roland Smith does a good job of fleshing out excerpts of Lewis' journal with Seaman's doggy recollection of a united team of superbly-led men braving uncharted territory, starvation, disease, numbing cold, doubts, disappointment and depression to find the fabled Northwest Passage. There is an interesting aside weaved into the story featuring White Feather, a mysterious crow that appears at odd moments only to Seaman. This reminds me of the equally mysterious ravens in Will Hobbs' Far North. There are some funny moments such as Seaman marking his territory (it's a guy thing) and his encounter with a cat that is bigger than any cat he has ever seen ("It's not natural!").

Far North Discussed At Feb 15 Meeting

What a great story. A bush pilot and his plane plunge over a thundering waterfall stranding two teenage boys and an old Dene Indian in Canada's desolate Northwest Territories. It's only because of the old Indian and his old Indian ways that the two boys learn how to cope with 60 below zero temperatures, near starvation and some mysterious ravens. The boys learn respect for the old ways and the old people who desperately desire to pass on their ancient wisdom.