On Boy Books and Girl Books

Someone else is saying this and I’m over joyed!

Pernille Ripp

White, Black, Yellow, Lime,  Free Image

I get asked for a lot of book recommendations, I think it comes with the territory when you share the love of books.  And while I love pairing books with potential readers, I have also noticed a pattern that causes me to pause, that should cause all of us to pause.

I get asked for a lot of books featuring male lead characters for male readers.

When I ask why the need for a male lead, I am often told that “they” just don’t think a boy will read a “girl book.”  That a boy will not like a book about feelings.  That a boy only wants books that have action.  That have other boys in it.  That feature characters that look just like them or at the very least think like them.

As if every single boy thinks alike.

When written like this it is easy to see the…

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via Daily Prompt: Lecture 


As a child my parents lectured me, they often told me to listen to their words. As a student my teachers lectured me, they often said that they had already explained how to complete the assignment. The lectures never seemed to end. If I was good, I was lectured about what I did right and how I should continue doing whatever it was I did. If I was bad, the lecture got louder, so much so that others could hear. It was always full of questions; who did I think I was, what did I think I was doing, why would I even think to try whatever it was. The words are a blur to me now, no meaning was left behind.

I am the adult now, I am the mother, the teacher, leader. I find myself giving the lecture, ranting about whatever was done or not done. When I reflect, I remember those other lectures and I wonder, what will be remembered of my lectures. Will they be a blur, probably. I don’t want to be remembered that way. So I lecture myself, in my head. Let my actions speak for me, keep my voice soft, let others follow by example. Will my lectures to myself become a blur?

Everyday I choose to stop the lecture! Lead by example! Actions speak louder than words! I will not be my own blur.




Conjure the smile on my face so it covers up the pain. I should be happy. My life is one that many envy.

Conjure the tears away, so no one sees. What reason do I have to cry? No one really knows.

Conjure a peaceful place so I can be alone with my thoughts. I feel so overwhelmed with my thoughts and worries. Home, children, husband, parents, it just doesn’t end. I need to find time for myself. Time to take care of myself and just breather even.

Conjure the bravery to face the fears of the world around me. It is exhausting, continually putting on a show. Just listen to the news and you’ll hear the fears of my life. I worry for myself, my sons, my husband even. The tides of politics are turning away from us. Hatred is being conjured from places beyond our circle of influence. Maybe one day someone can conjure all of this away.


Simplicity, its a ‘simple’ idea really. So I’ll try to simplify my life. Make everything as simple as possible. Why complicate matters? Don’t overthink, don’t make mountains out of molehills. Just keep it easy. Make it as clear as crystal. Identify each step, one at a time and then put one foot in front of the other. Don’t worry about falling, you might not. Don’t worry about the past or fret over the future. Just keep moving forward. It’s simple really. Just think of your math lesson and simplify the numbers. Not into math? Okay, turn to English. Simplify the paragraph, focus on just one thought. That simplicity makes it elegant, doesn’t it? Not English either. Okay, how about science. Keep the experiment simple. Simplify your variables and only test one at a time. Control it. There, life…simplified. Maybe, maybe not!

via Daily Prompt: Simplify

The Quill is Mightier Than the Sword

Resist, they said.

Silent never more, they said.

Never forget, they said.

Words spoken all fly away on the wind through the trees.

Resist, they said.

Make love, not war, they said.

Violence begets violence, the said.

All blood runs red and the efforts run dry.

Write it down, I said.

Put quill to paper, I said.

Give it life, I said.

Even when I pass, the words on the page live on. Someone will read it. Someone may find value.

The Daily Post



My Sweet Outlier

In response to The Daily Post one word “Outlier”.

student at a desk

Teaching and working with students, you come to expect the outlier. The one or two students who either don’t quite reach or those that reach beyond the expected outcomes. We’ve all seen them, in all aspects of life, not just the classroom. I can tell you though, they do make our heads spin, don’t they?!

My outliers didn’t want to read or they read too much. They didn’t want to speak, or they spoke too much. My lessons often reached the middle but didn’t do enough to reach those on the outskirts, the ones that didn’t quite fit into the box.  Teachers try to differentiate and work to engage those pushed to the sides but it is difficult. How do you challenge without overworking? How do you simplify without dumbing down?

group work

Often we were told ‘Don’t make it too boring, don’t make it too exciting. Don’t be the outlier as teachers go, so you can reach the outliers as students go.’ But isn’t that just mediocrity? So change it up, remove the paper/pencil assessment, go for the project based learning. Forget the cookie cutter recipe and go for the inquiry based opportunity. Remove yourself from the classroom and go for the field experience. Let them write, let them draw. Let them choose their own outcome. But what of my objectives, my standards? Where does my grading end and creativity begin?

How far can I go before I lose sight of my goal? Random thoughts of a once upon a time teacher.