Nancy's Notes - May 7, 2009
Our staff took turns attending the Kids First conference last week. The conference is held every other year and sponsored by the State Library of Iowa. Presenatations are made by various children's authors and there are several break-out sessions from which to chose. It is always good to visit with your peers and get some fresh ideas. I'm now fired up to go visit the pre-school classes and try out some new storytelling ideas.
Ted Dekker's "Kiss" has a little something for everyone with a mixture of suspense, romance, and scandal. The story begins when Lhauna wakes up in the hospital missing six months of her memory. In the room is her boyfriend, uncle and abusive step-mother. All of them blame her for the car accident which left her near death and her brother with brain damage. She believes the medication is doing strange things to her memory. When she starts remembering things she's never known, Lhauna believes she is going crazy and is unsure who she can trust.
Janette Oke has been a favorite of inspirational fiction for many years. She has joined forces with Davis Bunn, another popular author, to write "Centurion's Wife". The story takes place in the Mediterranean. Leah lives in a palace with a courtyard which houses tiled baths and impressive columns. In different circumstances she would have found the surroundings beautiful. In reality she was there because she had no choice. Her home lay to the northwest where she yearned to give comfort to her lonely mother. Although Leah was born to wealth and position, here she was little more than a slave. Feelings of bitterness filled her days.
Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt series is very popular with readers. The newest installment is "The Lost Quilter". Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson treasures an antique quilt called by three names: Birds in the Air, after its pattern; the Runaway Quilt, after the woman who sewed it; and the Elm Creek Quilt, after the place to which its' maker longed to return. That quilter was Joanna, a fugitive slave who traveled by the Underground Railroad to reach a safe haven in 1859 at Elm Creek Farm. Though Joanna's freedom was short-lived when she was forcibly returned by a slave catcher to Josiah Chester's plantation in Virginia, she left her son with the Bergstrom family. Hans and Anneke Bergstrom, along with maiden aunt Gerda, raised the boy as their own. The secret of his identity died with their generation. Now Sylivia, drawing upon Gerda's diary and Joann'a quilt, tries to connect Joann's past to present day Elm Creek Manor.
Come in and find something good to read: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m. or Thursday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.