Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Hold fast by Blue Balliett
This book epitomizes why I love my job and why I love reading children's books and why I feel so lucky to have access to brilliant authors like Blue Balliett.
I have shared this experience previously but once again I sat down on Sunday intending to read a few pages of Hold Fast before getting on with other tasks. Needless to say the tasks are still waiting. I read through the afternoon, the early evening, late into the night, over breakfast and again the next night. In short I devoured this wonderful book.
You can read the reviews below to find more about the plot I am just going to share two quotes from this book. The family in this book consists of the father called Dashel, Mum called Summer and their children Early - so named because she was born when her parents were still in high school and her brother Jubilation or Jubie for short.
"Early learned form her dad that a dictionary is a powerful and underestimated kind of book. First of all it has the shortest stories in the world, and thousands of them: stories with sounds, changing shapes, history and mystery. Open anywhere and you'll find layers of meanings. Choices. And when you put a word in your Word Book, you can pick what you want from the definition, like picking flowers from a garden."
"Imagine if you couldn't head home when you left your office tonight or if your kids couldn't head home after a day at school. No matter what age you are, you need a place to rest where you feel like you belong. A place to have friends and be with family, a place to feel safe and private, a place to make plans, a place to dream. A place to put down some roots, or as my dad used to say "A place to go and grow."
Here is a detailed review from the New York Times. Here are some teaching notes. Finally here is a brilliant audio interview with Blue Balliett. This is a twenty minute program but I really recommend you find time to listen.
I have read and loved every single book by Blue Balliett - make sure you borrow one from a library as soon as you can - you will not be disappointed.