This last week was the worst I can remember for the United States. Any other plans can wait; our national and international heartbreak must take precedence. I was so moved by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Opinion piece yesterday that I want to quote an excerpt here:
“Fifty years ago, Marvin Gaye sang in “Inner City Blues”: “Make me wanna holler / The way they do my life.” And today, despite the impassioned speeches of well-meaning leaders, white and black, they want to silence our voice, steal our breath.
So what you see when you see black protesters depends on whether you’re living in that burning building or watching it on TV with a bowl of corn chips in your lap waiting for “NCIS” to start.
What I want to see is not a rush to judgment, but a rush to justice.”
We’ve been immersing ourselves in some of the amazing books about “The Great Influenza of 1918,”
and hope to introduce some of our finds to you and your family during the month of June and beyond. Speaking for myself, I can’t bring myself to read the novels that have been written imagining pandemics in the 21st century. After all, we are living that particular horror story. But I am loving reading about the Great Influenza of a century ago. The parallels are stunning! I guarantee you will be hooked by these photos from the 1918 pandemic
. How did we as a culture forget: the necessity of quarantine; face masks; shut-down theaters, schools, professional sports; a rising death toll. . . I am reading adult non-fiction, which I’ll be blogging about, and also a lot of excellent literature for children and adults–both historical fiction and picture books, as well as non-fiction across the ages. So stay tuned! You might want to dig into an intriguing YA novel I just reviewed: In the Shadow of Blackbirds
We also plan to continue to post about ways to implement new reading-at-home routines with your families, as well as sharing strategies, and book suggestions. Check out our recent posts on social justice issues and a look into movements through history as well as current labor struggles. We are aiming for interactive ideas as well. We think you will appreciate the picture book story of an important Labor song: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?: THE STORY OF A SONG. We plan to share ideas from Howard Zinn’s educational website as well as Pete Morgan’s stories and information at Radical Tea Towels. Like everything else that’s happening as we live la vie pandemic, there are lots of surprises in store as we struggle to figure out each new day and the projects and readings that emerge. Stay safe and revisit us soon.