Friday, September 28, 2012

Poisonous Words

I've been lucky in that I've never had a problem with trolls on my blog, so please don't think I'm pointing fingers at any of you. However, the casual way that people use words to injure others in all forms of social media bothers me. A difference of opinion on religion or politics, sports, or even a book review on Goodreads makes it okay to attack someone, whether you know them or not.

I don't think so.

A story I read today made me wonder if part of the problem could simply be that people (other than the trolls) aren't aware of what they're doing. Being right or being funny (in that moment) takes precedence over the other person's feelings. In the story I read, Balpreet Kaur (the victim) responded with an explanation of her religious beliefs that garnered an apology. Understanding and goodwill prevailed. Kaur went on to state: "I do not think explaining myself and the way I am is a waste of energy because storytelling in itself is a way to fight the apathy in this world." Explaining leads to understanding. Both require more time and thought than it takes to mock or attack someone who is different than us, but fighting apathy and poison is worth the effort.

This isn't a problem that we can solve by turning off our computers. The poison spills over into our schools and our interactions with others. So, the next time you vehemently disagree with someone (whether you're interacting in person or over the internet), stop to ask yourself whether being right is more important than understanding where the other person is coming from.

I will make more of an effort. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Jenilyn Collings, I need your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone who entered. If you love fairy tales, you should read THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET. It's the best fairy tale related story that I've read all year (in several years). Happy reading! :o)

Monday, September 17, 2012


Long time readers of this blog won't be surprised that I've been looking forward to Shelley Moore Thomas's MG debut, THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET. I love her picture books. If you have little ones, I hope you've read her Good Knight books to them. In my opinion, they make the Top Three Easy Readers list (along with Mo Willems's Elephant and Piggie and Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge).

But you probably aren't here for my easy reader recommendations.

The Seven Tales of Trinket

Isn't the cover gorgeous? It reminds me of this portrait that Peter Paul Rubens painted of Helene Fourment and her children.

After her mother dies, an eleven-year-old Trinket takes her father's map and her best friend on a journey to find out why her father, a wandering bard, disappeared when she was six. This larger story is made up of seven smaller ones that Trinket collects (because she wants to be a bard, like her father). They are all beautiful, but my favorite two stories are The Harp of Bone and Hair and The Old Burned Man and the Hound. I love the idea of a magical lullaby, and there was something about Trinket's interaction with the little selkie boy in The Harp of Bone and Hair that tugged at my heart strings. I can't say why I loved the other story without the worst kind of spoilers, so you'll have to discover the nature of that tale on your own.

The writing is flawless, lyrical, and I thought it an interesting parallel that a storyteller would write a story about a girl becoming a storyteller. I highly recommend this one.

The trailer:

I am giving away a copy of THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET  and a seal trinket box. The trinket box reminded me of the sealskins that are featured in The Harp of Bone and Hair, and besides, it's pretty. This giveaway is only for US residents, and it will end this Wednesday, September 19th, at midnight (PDT).

If you're looking for more Marvelous Middle Grades, Shannon Whitney Messenger has the links.

If you'd like to know more about Shelley Moore Thomas and her books, you can check out  her website (where she is otherwise known as the StoryQueen).

Have a Marvelous Monday!