Some weekends ago I attended the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Springfield, MA. The conference was excellent, and I was fortunate to attend workshops by Marcia Amidon Lusted, Sudipta Bardham-Quallen, Kate Messner and Kami Kinard. In addition to great workshops and presentations, the conference has a series of raffles during the weekend. And I won! A writers group put together a basket to celebrate the debut novel Golden Boy written by Tara Sullivan, one of its members. Tara tells the story of Habo, a thirteen year old African boy who is an albino. Forced to leave his home with his family, Habo learns that he is being hunted because albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. Golden Boy is an engaging and important book and I feel lucky to both have won it and read it. It is being released this month so keep an eye out for it. For more information about Tara, check out her website at www.tarasullivanbooks.com
A strawberry that was in need of protection!
"Hey Farmer Small, I've been looking for you."
"I moved out."
"Why?" I asked. "You're hard to live with." he said.
"C'mon now, it hasn't been that bad!' I protested. "All relationships require some give and take."
"Fine." he said. "I moved out because of the give and take."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, It's only June and you don't give a darn that the chipmunks, bugs and weeds are taking over the garden!"
It's true that I have been a bit lax in my gardening duties. It's been a busy spring. But I wasn't going to take the grief that Farmer Small was giving me.
"Hey," I said. "For a small plastic man you have a big atttitude. "
"It's my big attitude that keeps the chipmunks and bugs away."
"Baloney! I saw a fox run across the yard with a chipmunk in his mouth the other night."
"And who do you think had the fox take out the chipmunk?" asked Farmer Small.
I thought about it. With connections like those, it's probably good for me and the garden that Farmer Small has moved out for the summer.