Friday, June 28, 2013

Recommended Reading: "The One and Only Ivan"

The novel The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, is intended for children eight and older. It received the 2013 Newbery Medal, the prestigious award for children's literature. Yet (as is the case with many books written for children and young adults), adults should not be dissuaded from reading it. It is a wonderfully written, and deeply moving book.

Here, too, is the book's website:

And lastly, here is an interview with author Katherine Applegate:

Monday, June 3, 2013


One  has watched and read about, with sorrow, and shock, the deadly, wildly destructive tornadoes in Oklahoma.  It is hard to conceive what it is like, to be swept up in--and (if one survives) to then seek to recover from--that kind of cataclysm.

And then, there is the awful destruction--as in the Boston bombings--which comes not from the immense power of nature, but from human agency:  from human cruelty, sociopathy, murderous ideology.

I haven't posted anything, in this space, since the traumatic events of April, in Massachusetts.  

A few nights after the Marathon bombings--the grotesque, inhuman, evil acts which were committed--I hosted my weekly radio program, and spoke at some length about what had happened.  Earlier that evening, the video and still images of the suspects had been released. 

The next night, there was the battle in Watertown, following the murder of the MIT police officer.   A transit officer was also, of course, gravely wounded, in Watertown.

I remained in front of the TV all night (more than 200 miles away, in northern New Jersey), watching the events in Watertown.  

The following week, I spoke a bit more, on my program, about the bombings, and their aftermath.  Yet my words, that evening, felt to me inadequate. 

Seven weeks later, I remain just staggered by what took place, continue to feel great sadness about the deaths, and the grievous injuries which were inflicted. 

I grew up just outside of Boston, my father lives less than a few miles from where the bombings occurred, and I have talked often, with family, and friends, about the events of April. During that time I have tried to write a few posts about that which took place, but the words, on paper, have also seemed inadequate, and I have put the writing aside.  

Yet while I have felt a kind of paralysis, in seeking to write about the terrible events in Boston, and their aftermath,  I watch, with great admiration, and awe, as those who were directly affected, who were so deeply traumatized (those who lost loved ones, or lost limbs--and those who were otherwise wounded, in both physical or emotional ways), have made clear their determination to move forward:  that they are resuming, or seeking to resume--with bravery and fortitude--the course of their lives.