All posts tagged: reading

MALCOLM MITCHELL’S FABULOUS CHILDREN’S BOOK–MY VERY FAVORITE BOOK IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, plus reading struggles, being a literacy crusader, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Have you ever struggled to find the perfect book? I know I have! And I’m a ‘reader.’ How about a child in your life? I’m betting so. This darling children’s book–with bold, bright illustrations–by football champion Malcolm Mitchell is sure to delight.  ~BOOKS ON MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ CHILDREN’S LITERACY  Henley hates to read. When Henley is supposed to be reading before bed, he builds a castle with his sheets. Henley hates reading so much, he took a wagon full of books to the town swimming pool to find out how well they could swim. MY VERY FAVORITE BOOK IN THE WORLD (Scholastic, December 29) is super-adorable–the words, the illustrations–all of it, is so heartfelt and moving. It’s about being a kid who hates to read, but all of his classmates seem to thrive with a book in hand. It’s based on the real-life experience of football star Malcolm Mitchell, who says, “When I was a kid, reading was my biggest challenge. It was the thing that scared me most, because it …

2020 FICTION FAVORITES As CURATED BY YOUR HOST, LESLIE LINDSAY

By Leslie Lindsay  My top fiction reads for 2020. Agree or disagree. Give them. Gift them. Keep one for yourself. Photo by Claire Morgan on Pexels.com ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ 2020 FICTION ROUND-UP 2020 has been an unprecedented year. A pandemic. A very charged election year. Equality and violence. Natural disaster. Personal ones, too. I am beyond grateful to be by your side every week, sharing these fabulous books with you. Because I think reading is healing. It helps us cross bridges and become more sympathetic. We can live another person’s life or experiences for a short period of time. That, in turn, makes us more multidimensional, more relatable. Reading is not just about words on a page. It’s not just about the story we ingest at that moment, but the residue, the residual it leaves in its wake. A year ago, I had no idea COVID-19 would upend our lives as we knew it. I had no idea bookstores would close. I had no sense that debut authors and bestseller authors would …

Kendra Atleework talks about personal loss & shared loss, homesickness, what it means to leave a place & return, loving her high desert home, and so much more in her memoir MIRACLE COUNTRY

By Leslie Lindsay  A rare and powerful memoir combing aspects of travel, history, environmental writing with autobiography and told in luminous prose. ~MEMOIR MONDAY| ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ On the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas, a tiny town known as Swall Meadows resides. A bit farther south, a larger (but still small) town of Bishop lies cradled in the hands of Owens Valley California. This is the primary setting of MIRACLE COUNTRY (Algonquin Books, July 14) by debut author Kendra Atleework. I was initially drawn to MIRACLE COUNTRY because I have a ‘thing’ with land and geography, how it shapes one’s worldview, art, and essence.Having recently visited a high desert myself, I was intrigued and enthralled with this grittier, rustic side of life–from raging wildfires to blizzards and gale-force winds, this area witnesses it all. MIRACLE COUNTRY blends autobiography with environmental writing along with history. Here, we learn about the origins of L.A. (Owens Valley being just a few hours away), and how the Los Angeles Aqueduct was developed to usher water to the sprawling metropolis, rich with …

Write On, Wednesday: The Symptoms of Resistance

By Leslie Lindsay I have a serious bout of Resistance. Do you know what I am talking about? Here are the symptoms: I want to work on my novel-in-progress, but I don’t think I can do through the steps of opening up the Word Document. Instead, I look at everything but the novel-in-progress. Publisher’s Lunch surely will have some new book that gets me excited enough to start writing. Oh wait–I’ll just order that new book. Then I’ll drift over to my Facebook Page and add some asinine comment. Oh, but there’s email to respond to! Does that count towards my word count? Let’s summarize this symptom: distration that appears like work. Self-doubt. “I can’t do this. It’s hard. I don’t wanna…hey, maybe I’ll pet the dog for awhile.” That’s self-doubt and distraction. Combo platter. No one will care about my book. I’ll never get an agent. Even if I do, I’ll be that rare case in which the agent can never sell it to a publisher. Years will go by with an unsold manuscript. …

Fiction Friday: Better Late than Never

By Leslie Lindsay It’s Friday about one more hour here in the central part of the US and I best get my promised Fiction Friday post out.  If you’re on the West Coast, then I guess I am not so tardy… This one is something I’ve been working on lately to add a little dark edge to my novel-in-progress.  Let me know your thoughts when you get a second…a star, a comment, a like, a re-post to Twitter or Facebook is always a good way to let me know if you liked it. Enjoy…   “I used to imagine it sometimes, what would happen if I just didn’t come home.  The thought always came to me when I was feeling particularly unworthy, lacking confidence, seeking attention.  God, I hated how that sounded; like I was an attention-seeking borderline threatening to run off or take my own life.  I could never do that, not really anyway.  The thought was always more about sharing my pain with others, letting them know just how miserable I felt deep down.  My …

The Teacher is Talking: Pre-Literacy Skills–Simple, Fun & Easy

By Leslie Lindsay  (image source: webclipart.about.com) Looking for some ways to sneak in early, pre-literacy skills while going about your typical routine.  Well, who isn’t?!  Here are some tips and ideas you can modify to meet  your child’s devolopmental age.  Remember, there are many ways to teach literacy skills, with multiple theories and schools of thought.  Finding one that works for you is a personal decision.  However, the tips that follow are fairly universal. [Tips from: http://www.enannysource.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/03/pre-reading-skills-nannies-can-work-on-with-kids/%5D  Matching Matching skills are among the earliest that little ones can master on their path to reading, as it helps them to understand how to connect words with concepts. Matching pictures with spoken sounds, then matching pictures to others that are thematically related, is a key aspect of learning to read. Matching shapes, patterns and letters eventually evolves into the ability to match and recognize the patterns of printed words, phrases and sentences. Using homemade or store-bought flashcards, playing matching games, and working on the concept of matching through explorative play are all effective ways of building that foundation. …

Fiction Friday: How Mommy Learned to Write

By Leslie Lindsay  We love to read at our house.  A lot.  In fact, as I sit here at my desk I am surrounded by six books of nearly six different genres.  Not to mention the two book cases directly behind and to my right filled with volumes of more titles.  Where did this love of reading come from?  Hard to say–but my guess is I learned to enjoy reading from my childhood.  Dad read to me every evening, and mom was always reading something for her own pleasure or education.  And now, as a parent, I do the same thing with my children.  In fact, just the other evening I read this darling children’s book, Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills. (He has another book, too: How Rocket Learned to Read, also very cute).  So when my 6 year old curled up onto my lap and said, “Mommy, read me a story,” I pulled the metaphorical blanket of nostalgia around us and reached for Rocket Writes a Story.  It begins as many tales do–with …

Say that Again?! Green Eggs and Ham with a side of Apraxia

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: http://www.lacrosselibrary.org/index.asp) [This post previously ran over the summer.  Here it is again in case you missed it.]  I don’t know about you, but I love books.  I love kids.  And when one combines the love for children and literature, what often results is the abundance of words. And perhaps the proud moment of announcing, “Hey—she can read!” a year of two ahead of schedule.  But not if you have a child with apraxia.* And so we read.  As parents we read parenting books about late-talking children.  We read about speech development and ways to stimulate our child.  We read books to Kate.  Simple board books by Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton that had the happy cadence of alliteration and rhyme.  We pointed out illustrations in the book, “Oh, look-y here…can you see the birdie?  Can you say bird?”  We engaged in dialogic reading with our daughter, “What do think will happen next?”  And nothing.  Sure, she understood everything we said, even the hard words.  We could tell because she would be …

The Teacher is Talking: College Towns

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dartmouth_College_campus_2007-10-20_09.JPG)  I truly have a love for this time of year–the crisp fall days, the freshly sharpened pencils, eager students–and a love for college towns.  Take away the college and you have a small town with not much ambience.  I know, I’ve lived in one–two, even (Columbia, MO and Northfield, MN).  With a college at the heart of the town, you get a whole new vibe, transforming a sleepy little town into an oasis of food, music, academia, culture, and more.  It’s fun and it’s always moving forward.  So, why not introduce your children to the benefits of a college town (kudos if you already live in one)?   In fact, September is national “Save-for-College” month.  I recall my dad taking me to the campus where he got his undergrad degree.  I was awe-inspired with the size, the number of buidlings, and the science department.  The skeleton model dangled from a stainless steel pole, it’s mouth ajar in a bit of a creepy smile.  The smells, the labs…the possibility!  (Maybe this was …

In My Brain Today: Hanging with the Hound

By Leslie Lindsay I really wish I had more to report today.  Blame it on the heat, because my brain is just not funtioning like I think it should.  Not that it’s particularly brillant brain in the first place, but the heat is really dulling it down.  The dishes are sitting in the sink a little longer than I’d like to admit.  The laundry has gone unfolded as it just sits in a heap inside the dryer.  (I don’t even want to turn the thing on to fluff up the garmets inside…more heat!).  And I really haven’t wanted to cook, either.  In fact, one night this past week I am sad to say, we had cereal for supper–although the kids thought that was great fun.  Today, it’s too hot to even go to the pool.  Instead, we are going to the library to finally sign up for the summer reading program, and then get hair cuts.  Because, who needs long hair when it’s 5 million degrees out?! (image retrieved from http://www.fanpop.com on 7.05.12) All I want to …