Sunday, January 25, 2015

Trees and Thieves and Twinkie Pie


It's thieves and trees this week. And a bit of Twinkie Pie.

Trees. 

Alexis York Lumbard retells an old Native American legend in Pine and Winter Sparrow. Sparrow is hurt and cannot fly off with his family for the winter. He tries to find shelter in an oak tree, a maple tree, an elm tree, an aspen tree, but all of these trees send him on his way with a cruel reproach. It is Pine who reaches out to Sparrow and offers him refuge. "If you don't mind my sticky branches and needle-sharp leaves, then all that I am and all that I have is yours." The Creator notes, "Those of you who have so much shared nothing. But the one who had so little shared everything." To reward Pine for his kindness to Sparrow, the Creator makes Pine evergreen. Oh my. I loved this little story of the willingness of a flawed creature to give despite its flaws. And with trees as main characters.

Trees and Thieves. 

The Olive Tree by Elsa Marston tells the story of an olive tree that divides families. It stands in the yard of a family in the Middle East who has fled during the war, but its olives fall into the yard of the neighbor next door. When the olive tree owners return, the neighbors are disappointed to hear the owners angrily declare that collecting the olives is stealing. The olives lay on the ground. The owners and the neighbors are estranged. Then lightning hits the tree and destroys it, and the families are somehow reconciled in its loss. Beautiful story.
Trees and Thieves. 

The Promise by Nicola Davies also features trees, this time in the role of agents of redemption. A young girl in a gray and desperate city steals the purse of an old woman. The old woman gives up her purse after making the girl promise to "plant them all." The girl discovers that inside the purse are lots of acorns, and something inside her changes. The girl begins to plant the acorns all over the gray and desperate city and the city changes. As the city changes, the people in the city change. A beautiful little story of the power of nature to heal.
Thieves. 

No trees in Smith by Leon Garfield, but there were plenty of thieves. Our main character, Smith, a twelve-year-old boy, lives in the gritty streets of old London and makes his money by stealing. He picks a man’s pockets and is then horrified to witness the man’s murder on the street, killed for something Smith just stole from him. And now Smith becomes the target for the murderers.

Garfield masterfully takes us to eighteenth century London, into the poverty of this boy and the affluence of a kind benefactor, the random and frequent unexpected wickedness along with the random and frequent unexpected kindnesses.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the scene where Smith is forced to take a bath by his benefactor, the first of his life, and he must first remove bits and pieces of all the clothes he has ever worn, frayed, ragged, filthy.

Smith is a book full of little moments like this. A little treasure.



No Thieves. No Trees. 

I'm in the middle of The Truth About Twinkie Pie (no trees or thieves, so far) which arrived this week from the publisher. It's a gentle little story of a twelve-year-old girl, Double-G (real name: Galileo Galilei...yes, her mother named her after that fellow in the hopes that she, too, would grow up to be a scientist) who attempts to shift from following the agenda of others to pursuing her own agenda. Much of the story's charm lies in the collection of oddball recipes from GiGi's dead mother featured at the end of each chapter, related in her charming mother's voice, recipes no one would really want to make but which can't help being quite captivating. I don't quite know how it's going to work out yet, but I can't wait to read on.






How about you? Any trees in your reading week? Thieves? Good recommendations are always appreciated.





The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 

25 comments:

  1. No trees here as it's winter...okay, well, no verdant trees anyway.

    Thieves? Well, cat naps robbing my time. Books? Aren't robbing me of time. I wish they would more. :)

    It is interesting how suddenly certain themes creep up in books, isn't it?

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  2. Yes. Why trees? And, heavenly days, why thieves?

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  3. I love the covers of the first two books -- but I have a thing for trees. Maybe I need to get a tree book into my reading to help me survive the winter!

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  4. I haven't encountered any thieves this week, but I suspect trees existed in some form in the books I read. Love the theme.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy your week.

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  5. I'm always happy when I read in themes. Especially unexpected ones.

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  6. I love children's books. Should read more of them.

    Harvee
    Book Dilettante

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  7. Your reading looks fun. Much more fun than mine. No trees here.

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  8. Gorgeous looking reads. I have seen The Olive Tree before and it is lovely!

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  9. I think we should all read more tree stories.

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  10. No trees or thieves in my reading this past week, but I could go for a twinkie pie! :) All of your books sound really good, especially The Olive Tree. I posted a review yesterday of a book I would recommend - Lillian On Life by Alison Jean Lester, a debut author.

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  11. no trees nor thieves but Greek gods and goddesses. I reviewed "Out of Practice Aphrodite" by S.E. Babin and it was the most fun book I have read in a long while. Mixture of crime, humour and chick-lit.... and lots of coffee :-) http://beehalton.com/2015/01/out-of-practice-aphrodite-by-se-babin.html

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    1. I'll go for coffee, too. Let's see if I can add this one to my wish list, too.

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  12. I've heard about SMITH and vaguely remember even borrowing it from the library, but didn't get to read it. And lucky you getting your hands on TWINKIE PIE early! Can't wait for when I do, too :)

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    1. Yes, happy about Twinkie Pie. Almost to the end now. Very good read.

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  13. Interesting books this week! I like that they all have a tree or thieves theme. The twinkie pie book looks interesting as well. Have a great week!

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  14. I miss reading children's books now that my kids are grown. I can't wait to have grandkids to read to! I'm still reading to my 17 year old. We decided we didn't have much time left together, so we would make a point to read together. What a joy it is! We're reading The Hiding Place together right now.

    For some reason I don't think about picking up children's books with out a child to read to!

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  15. Don't let that stop you. I haven't had children at home for many years.

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  16. Definitely trees in all of mine this week -
    Ash groves in London Dawn a WWII family saga book 3 by Murray Pura [The Danforths of Lancashire]
    incredible stories through the years and great theological discussions when young grandchildren want to become pilots.
    Christmas trees in Finding Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn
    Garden trees and groves in The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Greene
    and park trees in The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky - great highlights of 1912 era England in all its changing society .

    All recommended :) HapPy reading Deb!

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  17. No trees, at least not so's I noticed but one of mine did have a thief as the main character's best friend.

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  18. You have a lot of fun books shared today. :)

    Brooke at http://www.brookeblogs.com

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  19. Love the post...all bare trees here. Lots of snow on them. :)

    I hope we don't have any thieves.

    ENJOY your reading week, and thanks for sharing. They all look quite good.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

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  20. What a lovely story about the Winter Sparrow and Pine. Hadn't heard it before. No trees for me this week, and no thieves either I think :)
    The Pegster Reads

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