Categories
Children

Sarah, Plain and Tall and that time I went all FANGIRL on Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah, Plain and Tall and that time I went all
FANGIRL on  Patricia MacLachlan

“Did mama sing every day?” asked Caleb. “Every-single-day?” He sat close to the fire, his chin in his hand.  It was dusk, and the dogs lay beside him on the warm hearthstones.

Somehow in my reading lifetime I missed Sarah, Plain and Tall; I recently re-discovered this gem and can see why it is so beloved.  After Papa is left a widower with small children at home, he puts an ad in the newspaper for a wife.  What he gets is Sarah.  Sarah is a perfect match for Papa and the children and the delightful tale of their growing relationships gently unfolds during the story.

No matter how much I enjoyed the story (and the possibility of reading the sequels) I cannot help thinking that there is no ethnic diversity in the story.  But not nonexistent.  The author very slyly imposes a feminist approach to Sarah’s character.  Sarah is smart and physically strong and is able to perform many tasks around the farm that are traditionally male and forces the family to understand that these abilities are part of her character.  Naturally, Papa has trouble adjusting to this type of woman. These-strong minded female character traits are important for young readers to be exposed to.  This viewpoint provides diversity with Sarah is a role model.

There is so much going on with this book I don’t know where to begin. Mail order brides were a thing back long ago so let’s not judge that. Imagine how hard it must be for this young woman to join a family and make it her own? She’s got to be a very special person. Not really diversity but I don’t know a child out there who doesn’t love SPT. Nowadays, most children can relate to having a stepmother, stepfather or some sort of blended family.

And feminism? It seems like a quaint word today, doesn’t it? With rare exceptions, most women today speak their mind and can do what they want without permission from a husband.  I can tell you this though, many years ago I was lucky enough to spend tea time with Patricia MacLachlan during a BEA event. I’m sure I must have written about it. Just as you’d expect, she’s a doll. So sweet and there is diversity in her family and she loves children of all races, colors, etc. I acted like a complete FANGIRL and gushed all over her. No shame. She even kissed me on the cheek! Did I mention she liked my blog? I wept like a goob.

 

 

Categories
Books Conferences

#BEA and New York City Here I Come!

I’m so happy to announce that I’m attending BEA this year! What’s BEA you ask?  BEA, or Book Expo America, is the biggest, most ginormously fun book conference on the planet!

BEA

BEA is THE conference to attend in the book industry; everyone and anyone who likes books is there.  So you’ll have book bloggers, book sellers, librarians, authors, book publishers, book illustrators, coffee (goes with books), reporters, and more from all over the world to discuss books.  I went last year and had the time of my life.  As you’ll see from the collage below, there isn’t anything I didn’t do, except sleep much!

BEA12Collage

I’d like to thank Thien-Kim of I’m Not the Nanny and Rachee of Say it Rah Shay for tolerating me last year.  Kim and Rachee and I are in the From Left To Write, an online book club so we knew each other going into the trip. Rachee and I are in the Philly area and I stalk see her as much as I can.   Fun fact #1: Rachee is a real live librarian who works in a library!  Fun fact #2: I’m a certified librarian, but I work in a bookstore!

So anyway, you can see from the collage that the three of us met everyone, took every book, and met every challenge that was presented to us!

I expect this year to be no different: I’ve got a full agenda lined up and I hope to meet some new book blogging friends, learn about some new books, and maybe make some new connections.

My dance card is filling up so if you want to get next to me while I’m in New York, leave a message down below, I love making new friends!

Categories
Conferences

#BEA Recap

Book Expo America was tons and tons of fun.  As I’ve said before, I laid Gotham to waste.  There was so much to see and do during the day that it hardly seemed fair that there were also fun parties to attend at night! If you’ve been following my Tweets or my FB page, you’ll know that I had the PLEASURE of stalking meeting a few of my fave authors.

I’ve compiled a collage of some of the authors and characters I met while at BEA.

PammyPam

Not sure who is who? There’s

  • John Green (Looking for Alaska)
  • Patricia MacLachlan (Sarah Plain and Tall)
  • Chris Colfer (of Glee fame: new book coming out in July)
  • Capt Underpants
  • Olivia
  • Actor and author Bob Balaban (Creature from the seventh Grade: coming out in Sept )
  • Jerry Pinkney (Caldecott award winning illustrator!)
  • Anouk Markovits (I am Forbidden)

And that’s just a few of the snaps that make sense! I can’t wait for BEA 13!!