for pondering.

I'm taking Literature for Children and Adolescents right now. That means my bookshelf looks like this:

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but there tally is as follows: 7 picture books, 6 juvenile chapter books, and one - yep, one - textbook. Don't you wish you were taking children's lit? Our professor also reads us a picture book at the end of each class while we sit on the floor! I love it!

Anyway, for class tomorrow I read a historical fiction novel called The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan (she also wrote Esperanza Rising). It's a great fictionalized biography of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet who won the Nobel Prize, who lived in the early/mid 1900's. My favorite part about the book was that every so often a page would appear with illustrations (by Peter Sis) and thought-provoking questions. So I thought I would share them with you, along with a few excerpts. A little thinking for a Monday.

Which is sharper? The hatchet that cuts down dreams? Or the scythe that clears a path for another?

From what are the walls of a sanctuary built? And those of a prison?

Does a metamorphosis begin from the outside in? Or from the inside out?

The words he had written wiggled off the page... surrounding Neftali in a city of promise. Humanity, Solidarity, Generosity, Peace, Justice, Love. Then a tiny, conceited word came along. Like a hungry termite, it began to gnaw on the tall words, chewing at their foundation, gulping their pulp, until they swayed, toppled, and collapsed. All that remained was one fat, satisfied syllable. Fear.

And the last one, which has deep meaning for me as someone who travels between "homes:" From the window, he watched as miles of araucaria trees dwindled to a scattered few. Still, when the last piece of forest disappeared and all that was left were stark adobe towns, he felt as if a piece of himself had been left behind, too.