Monday, January 13, 2020

Book Review by Evelyn

                                   Book Review of Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer

My friend Evelyn is a second-grader, and she shared her review of Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer by Jane O'Connor and the illustrator is Robin Preiss Glasser.  This is the second book in a series.   It is for 6 to 10-year-olds. 
Nancy and her friends have difficulty when trying to help set up a friendship for someone.  Evelyn said the setting is usually at Bree's house and her favorite character is Annie because she seems nice.  Her least favorite character is Bree's mom because she seems a little mean.  Evelyn says if she could ask the illustrator, Mr. Glasser, any question, she would ask how he colors sooooo good! She recommends the book because it is very romantic.  (Meant in a little girl manner).

Thank you, Evelyn, for your review.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Christmas Bells Give Hope for New Year

                   Christmas Bells Give Hope for New Year

What will 2020 bring?  We do not know. But Longfellow says not to fear.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in 1807 and began school at the age of three.(I was barely walking on my own at that age.) He was reading classical literature by the age of six. and composing poems. ( If someone gave me a book I would like it for pictures and I only heard of Mother Goose and certainly couldn't write a poem. ) He was a professor at Bowdoin College at the age of nineteen.  ( Just starting college for me and the rest of us I dare say.) He was on a European tour when Mary, his wife died while having a miscarriage.   To ease his sadness he began writing. Seven years after Mary's death he married Frances (Fanny) Appleton.

They entertained Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Julia Ward Howe and other people of note in the literary field.  ( Wouldn't it be fun to meet his guests!)They had five children and Henry wrote  "Evangeline," "The Song of Hiawatha," and "The Courtship of Miles Standish."  He received honorary degrees at Oxford and Cambridge. ( Well, Goodness, he should)

One bleak day, Fanny sealed some letters with wax and a lit match fell onto her skirt.  The dress went up in flames.  Henry tried to put out the fire with his body but to no avail.  She died and his hands and face were horribly burned.  

Henry went into a deep depression.  His oldest son, Charley ran off to join the Union Army and was wounded within the year.

On Christmas Day in 1863  still mourning the death of his second wife and the  Civil War still raging, he heard the church bells ring.  He sat and wrote a poem entitled "Christmas  Bells".

In the third verse his sadness emerges with these words, "There is no peace on earth,'I said. 'For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.'"

Then in the last verse, he states very boldly, "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men."

About ten years later, John Calkin wrote the music for this poem and today we sing "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."

Longfellow faced 1864 with sadness, loss, and war still  he was able to proclaim God was in charge and there would be good will to men and the right will prevail.
As we face a new year may we too take heart in our knowledge that God is not dead nor doth he sleep.