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review 2019-01-23 11:26
Shadows and Light, Michael Gray
Shadows and Light - David McLaughlin,Mi... Shadows and Light - David McLaughlin,Michael Gray

This slim volume makes accessible the photographic work of Bath and the surrounding area by one Rev. Lockey, taken circa 1850s. This is obviously a valuable service to amateur historians but it also shows Lockey to have had a keen eye for a good image - and not always the obvious one, either. Some of them show views of buildings that, whilst still existing, are not readily accessible to the public now. Others show scenes that have since evolved beyond all recognition. Some show a common Bath phenomenon; scenes that are readily recognisable from unchanged buildings but with streets that indicate the era they were made in. Here, it's unpaved roads, gas lamps and horse-drawn vehicles.


Lockey demonstrates that techniques common from the more recent eras of film photography started early: He painted negatives and took stereoscope pairs, for instance. (Exposure times were too long to capture fleeting cloud formations, so he would paint clouds in!) Stereoscopes, which allowed a 3-D effect, were a huge fad in the Victorian era.


The book makes good, large reproductions of the images - this is no mean feat, considering the technical challenges involved with dealing with very old prints and negatives at a time when digitisation was not a practical option.


Here's another gratuitous Bath pic: The Obelisk (one of three in the city) in Victoria Park. Since the version in the book was taken: lots of tree growth; paved roads; some-one stole a cannon!


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review 2019-01-23 04:21
The Poet X
The Poet X - Rosa Elizabeth Acevedo Marin

This was a beautiful book. I bought it for my daughter for Christmas, but then listened to the audiobook from the library because I wanted to hear the author read it (and I didn't want to swipe my daughter's Christmas present before she had a chance to read it. Really, I swear.) I got to work early the other day and was glad nobody was around to see me crying towards the end — this is tough to listen to at times as a Mom, and yes, I know I have no business reading YA books but I do anyway. And, when it's perfect like this one, I completely forget I'm a Mom, and I am yelling in my car, "STOP! Don't do that, you're gonna regret that," and I realize I am yelling at the Mom and I am sixteen all over again.

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review 2019-01-23 03:40
Ms. Harris' Overview of Bridge to Terabitha
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabitha is a wonderful book that opens up a new realm to students imagination. This book is about a young boy who becomes close friends with a girl who challenges him to discover who he really is. This book has some language that may have to be discussed with students and parents before reading. Suggested to read as a whole group. Bridge to Terabitha is a 4.6 reading level. An activity for students to participate in is to write "what if's" in Jess's perspective. "What if" Jess did not follow his art passion? "What if" Jess showed up at the right time? Etc. Warning: This book makes me cry.

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review 2019-01-23 03:30
Ms. Harris' Overview of Miss Nelson is Missing
Miss Nelson Is Missing! - Harry Allard,James Marshall

Miss Nelson is Missing is a fun book for teachers and students. It is a book full of mystery and laughter. This book is rated at a 2.7 (2nd grave, 7th month) reading level. This is personally one of my favorite books that I remember reading when I was younger. This book will allow students to engage in conversation and may help the teacher out a little (you will just HAVE to read to find out what I mean). A great activity for this reading is to have the students go on a "hunt". 

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review 2019-01-23 00:06
Tales of a Cosmic Possum by Sheila Ingle
Tales of a Cosmic Possum - Sheila Ingle

Sheila Ingle’s husband John was brought up in Ingle Holler in Union, South Carolina, with eight other Ingle families. They worked together in the mills, shared their gardens, attended church, and enjoyed the playing and singing of the songs from the Grand Ole Opry. When five of the brothers went off to war, those who couldn’t fight took care of their families. The Ingles stuck together, just like they were taught in the Appalachian hills of Erwin, Tennessee. Love of God, love of family, and love of country were modeled in each home. In fact, one year Make Ingle put his sons and grandsons together to build Hillside Baptist Church. Adults kept up with the newspapers and the radios; world happenings were important. Any type of sickness brought a barrage of soup and cornbread, because children still had to eat. On those twenty acres, the children played in the creek, cowboys and Indians, and hide-and-seek. They built their own wagons and sleds to race down the hill on the dry, hickory leaves. All the boys learned to shoot a .22 caliber, and John’s mother Lois could light a match with her shots. Living in Ingle Holler was home, where each one was accepted.





In Tales of Cosmic Possum, author Sheila Ingle writes a celebratory biography of the Ingle family, her husband's people. The branch of the family tree we as readers get to know originated in Erwin, Tennessee but later relocated to Union, South Carolina on a piece of land that came to be known as Ingle Holler. In this holler, family members could grow up expecting a true Appalachian upbringing. As the years pass over the course of the book, readers are introduced to generations of cotton mill workers -- many dropping out of school by the 3rd grade to join the rest of the family in the mills --  humble and hard-working folk dedicated to their families, regardless of how much or how little they had. Scattered throughout these tales are also neat little historical notes (ie. the reference to Peter Pan peanut butter being sold in tin cans in the 1930s -- I didn't know the brand even dated back that far!)



Sometimes it was difficult to remember back to those early years 37 years ago. The skinny auburn-haired girl, afraid of the dark and her own shadow, had matured into a woman who was a right good spinner and fit as a fiddle. Her third grade education had not held her back.


"Julie", chapter discussing the grandmother of Sheila Ingle's husband, John



Though considered one continuous non-fiction piece, the chapters are set up to showcase one particular member of the Ingle family (per chapter) and a story unique to them. But the stories are so moving, so richly infused with life & spirit, the reader quickly gets immersed in the lives of these people long gone. Sheila Ingle's writing is so inviting, offers such a sense of inclusion to readers, that this work of biography moves more like a collection of interconnected short stories. I guess, in a sense, they are! The very last chapter focuses on Sheila Ingle's mother-in-law.


Relevant black and white photos are included in some of the chapters to enhance the scenes described. There are also several pages of additional photos of family members at the back of the book. 


Collectively, the chapters span the years between early 1900s - 1950s, chapters full of heartwarming stories of neighbor helping neighbor, even when it seems like you have nothing to offer. Sheila Ingle, through the stories of her husband's family, illustrates that though one may have meager physical possessions on hand, you may be surprised to realize that, in fact, there is nearly always something within your ability or means that can be of use to someone in need. These are the types of books we need more of in this day and age! 


*Note to animal lovers though: Early on in the book, during Fannie's story, there is description of Fannie witnessing the hanging -- literal hanging -- execution of a circus elephant who trampled its handler to death after being startled. The imagery, as you can imagine, is pretty disturbing.


FTC Disclaimer: Ambassador International kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.

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