Miss Bowzer owned and operated the restaurant. She dragged a stool up to the stove for me, continued smoking and making waffles, and listened to my tale of woe. She made about a million waffles while I sat there. She had to make about a million every day because at The Girl on the Red Swing they served everything on a waffle. Not just the kind of food that went with waffles—not just ham and eggs on a waffle or strawberries on a waffle. No, at The Girl on the Red Swing if you ordered a steak it came on a waffle, if you ordered fish and chips it came on a waffle, if you ordered waffles they came on a waffle.
Being a nerd, which is to say going too far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know.
Starting Your Own Business for Dummies was on top.
“That doesn’t mean I think you’re stupid or anything, you know,” Josh said as he handed me the books.
“Yeah, I know,” I said, though I liked that he was the kind of person who’d check to make sure.
-The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech
Granny Torrelli is always making good food, giving good advice, and telling good stories about her childhood in Italy. So when Rosie gets into a fight with her best friend, Bailey, she knows Granny Torrelli will make things better one way or another.
My granny Torrelli says when you are angry with someone, so angry you are thinking hateful things, so angry maybe you want to punch them, then you should think of the good things about them, and the nice things they’ve said, and why you liked them in the first place.
Books about food are some of my favorites. I blame being raised on Food Network, but, let’s be honest, you don’t have to know how to proof dough, mix up icing, or candy lemon peels to enjoy a story about sweets.
Here are a few books that revolve around sweet treats that you should definitely check out:
- Baker’s Magic by Diane Zahler
- Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
- A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
- The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz
Links will take you to Goodreads.
For more tasty reads, check out the #MGCarousel challenge for May!
When you care about other people, it takes the spotlight off your own drama.
-Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Question of the Day: What book/author can you count on for a smile?
Mom couldn’t wait for me to read A Snicker of Magic. She had dozens of sticky note tabs, shaped like kittens, peeking through the pages. Lots of quotes and lines that she’d be typing up later for her own blog post. She had to collect her kitties before I could take my turn. I understood why she loved it within the first few pages. Beautiful words, wise observations, plenty of truth. I fell in love for myself with a story about good deeds, magical ice cream, and a place that felt like home.
I couldn’t wait to read The Key to Extraordinary. Mom had first dibs, of course. I wondered if this second story from Natalie Lloyd would be everything I loved about the first. It was even better. Ghosts, destiny, combat boots, dancing on stars, peach and lavender muffins… it quickly climbed to Favorite Book status.
Today is the release day for The Problim Children. A book birthday, if you will. I’m waiting for the mail to come and deliver my fresh new copy. Based on the illustration of a quirky old house on the cover, I already know I’m going to love it. If you need me, I’ll be sitting on the front step until the mail comes. I have first dibs this time.
Stay a charming word in a friend’s vocabulary.
-Amos Bronson Alcott
I may not have completed my Goodreads goal of 50 titles this year, but I did a decent job with just under 35 books, mostly from the Middle Grade shelf. I won’t bore you with copy/pasted summaries of every book I read (you can hit up my Reading Challenge page for that if you like, though) but I will share some of my highlights.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
“For a Hero cannot triumph all the time. Sometimes he will be defeated, and how he faces that defeat is a test of his character.”
I finally completed the How to Train Your Dragon series this year. What starts out as a short and silly lower Middle Grade series quickly becomes a fast-paced adventure with a hero who can’t seem to do anything right, a naughty little dragon, and a tribe of Hooligans that will keep even the most reluctant reader turning pages eagerly. My favorite detail is the abundance of illustrations that decorate nearly every page. They’re informal, sketchy, and perfect for setting off a child’s imagination. Just be prepared for a little dragon dung humor in the first couple of books.