Poetry Friday: Some Poe for You

I loved to read Edgar Allen Poe when I was young.  We certainly didn’t have the choices of today so by fifth and sixth grade it was Edgar Allen Poe and Agatha Christie.  In honor of a spookie weekend ahead, I offer “The Raven”

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
  Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
   As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
  “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-
                Only this, and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
  And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
  For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
                Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
  Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
    “‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
  Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
                This it is, and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
  “Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
  That I scarce was sure I heard you”- here I opened wide the door;-
                Darkness there, and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
  Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
  This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”-
                Merely this, and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
   Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
    Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
  Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
                ‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”

The rest of the poem can be found HERE.

Poetry Friday is being held at The Writer’s Armchair with Toby Speed.  Thanks, Toby.

Happy Reading.



Nonfiction Monday: The Extraordinary Mark Twain According to Suzy

“This is a frank biographer and an honest one; she uses no sandpaper on me.” – Mark Twain on his daughter’s biography.

In The Extraordinary Mark Twain According to Suzy by Barbara Kerley, readers are treated to primary source passages from daughter, Suzy Twain’s own journal.  At 13, she was her dad’s secret biographer.  She worked on the biography from the spring of 1885 through the summer of 1886.

Suzy wanted to write  “a portrait of the funny, serious, absent-minded, cat-loving, billiard-playing, philosophical papa-the extraordinary Mark Twain.” Kerley has captured the voice of Suzy through extensive research of her journal and diary as well as some of the writings of Mark Twain.  The original biography from his daughter was one of Mark Twain’s treasured possessions.

How Kerley presents the story of Mark Twain’s daughter writing a biography is original.  The text features extensive quotes.  The artwork complements the text and has a style that takes us back in time a bit.  This book will be a great mentor text for writing biographies.

Kerley has provided extensive documentation, timeline, and sources.  There is terrific resource for young readers interested in writing their own biography.

This is a CYBILS nominated book, one of 110 titles in our category this year.

I am so late for Nonfiction Monday.  It was hosted by Sherri at Write About Now.  thanks, Sherri.

Happy Reading.


Poetry Friday: My First Memory (of Librarians)

I went searching for a poem tonight at Poets.org. 

 Love this from Nikki Giovanni:

My First Memory (of Librarians)

This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
       wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
       too short
              For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big

You can read the rest HERE.

Do you have a favorite first memory of librarians?

There’s more about Nikki Giovanni at her website.

Thanks goes to Andi who is hosting Poetry Friday at  a wrung sponge.

Happy Reading.


NonFiction Monday: Looking Closely in the Rain Forest

Frank Serafini has added another book to his “Look Closely in the…” series. This time it’s the rainforest.   His stunning photos open our imaginative brains to the possibilities of ideas by providing first a circular photo close-up with the answer and information on the following pages.

From red-eyed frogs, banana plants to zebra tarantulas, readers will get lost in trying to guess the close-ups.   The close-up pages include playful text to help the reader guess and imagine the possibilities:
“look very Closely.  What do you see? A pinata? A parachute? What could it be?”

Turn the page  and you will see a beautiful scarlet macaw.  Interesting details about this colorful bird is given; that it lives in the canopy of the rain forest, travel in pairs or groups and they can be noisy.

As a photographer, I appreciate the amount of work and time that was put into this book.  In the author’s note at the end of the book Serafini states that his goal is to get young people to attend to nature, appreciate what it has to offer, and think about protecting our environment.

In a time, when kids don’t go outside as much, this book is a great stepping stone to ask kids what they wonder about in nature in their own backyard.

Title: Looking Closely in the Rain Forest
Author: Frank Serafini
Illustrator: Frank Serafini
Date Published: 2010
Pages: 40
Reading Level: All Ages
Publisher: Kids Can Press
ISBN: 978-1553375432
Source of Book: Copy from the publisher

Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Picture Book of the Day.  Thanks, Anastasia.



Happy Reading.


A Night with Mo Willems in Portland, Oregon

I think this collage says it all.  It was such a fun evening. 


It was a packed house. Thankfully, my sweet husband got my pink signing band so we were twelfth in line.  Little one was getting awfully tired. 

Have you nominated a CYBILS yet?  Nominations are open until October 15. Go HERE. Please remember to read about the descriptions and remember one book nomination per genre.