**spoiler alert** Alice Rice arrives on Sanibel Island for her family's annual vacation in February -- where she always celebrates her birthday amidst...more**spoiler alert** Alice Rice arrives on Sanibel Island for her family's annual vacation in February -- where she always celebrates her birthday amidst the extended family of a holiday camp. This year is her 10th birthday -- but it's intermittently spoiled by various incidents and mishaps.... Re the awakening of the awareness of age... Even her goal of finding the most rare shell, a junonia, is compromised (as one of the neighbor adults buys her one as if to trick her and pretend it came from the sea - though he immediately confesses). Re the pleasures that can be found amidst disappointments. Re the regret of thinking poorly of others. Learning to forgive and focus on the love, not on the imperfections of experience. [One "bloody hell", spoken by a 90-year-old man....](less)
**spoiler alert** An uncommon boy, born on Feb. 29th and now 8 years old, named Griffin Silk grieves for his absent mother and baby sister, though his...more**spoiler alert** An uncommon boy, born on Feb. 29th and now 8 years old, named Griffin Silk grieves for his absent mother and baby sister, though his loving father, grandmother, and older sisters are there in abundance. Due to his mother's absence, he can no longer be home-schooled and must attend the local public one. He is lucky to be befriended by Layla, who gives him the courage to share his grief with her -- grief over the baby sister who died in her cot during the night before she could reach the age of one when Silk children are officially named in the Naming Ceremony. Layla and Griffin arrange for the baby's Naming Ceremony to take place on her one-year birthday and invite Griffin's mother (in a hospital or institution somewhere) to attend. She arrives on the day, spurred back to her family again by Griffin's invitation (and a note from Layla). The name Griffin has heard whispered in the trees becomes his sister's name -- Tishkin. (Hard not to cry at the end...)
A short novel - with large spacing between the lines. Good for a read-aloud?
I had a family recently come looking for a book about cot death (as a baby cousin had died at two years old of the swine flu) -- and had no books to recommend. Here is one...(less)
Set in the 1930s, the story of a brother and sister who live by the sea in Scotland with their mother, her father whom they call Grumble, and their sa...moreSet in the 1930s, the story of a brother and sister who live by the sea in Scotland with their mother, her father whom they call Grumble, and their sailor father, who is often away for long periods. After a storm they find an object which turns out to be a kelpie or water-horse egg, and out of it hatches what is obviously meant to be the Loch Ness Monster as a baby. They secretly raise Crusoe (as they name it) -- which involves all kinds of problems as it gets bigger and bigger -- and they have to train him to stay hidden from other people. The book ends with a newspaper clipping dated 1933 referring to the sighting of a great monster in Loch Ness.