Adrian Fogelin wins IRA Social Justice Literature Award

book jacket for Summer on the Moon

The International Reading Association has a new award, and The Front Porch Library’s favorite author has been honored as one if its first recipients.  Adrian Fogelin is just back from New Orleans where she was recognized for her work in the book Summer on the Moon.

The Social Justice Literature Award is presented to honor books that address social responsibility towards individuals, communities, societies, and/or the environment as well as invite reflection and socially responsible action by the reader.

If you haven’t checked out Summer on the Moon, we invite you to. Check out the summary below.  Here’s a big CONGRATULATIONS to Adrian from your neighborhood crew.

Summer on the Moon by Adrian Fogelin (Peachtree Publications)

Summer vacation is just beginning for Socko and his best friend Damien. The first problem is dealing with Rapp, the leader of the local gang and neighborhood bully. Postponed not solved. The next problem comes when mom unexpectedly moves Socko away from this bad neighborhood to Moon Ridge Estates, a half-built housing development. No best friend to hang around with, instead Socko is taking care of his grumpy grandfather, the General. The reader learns with Socko the power found in family and friends no matter where you live.


A Greek goddess is born

the gods walk among us

We’ve been exploring ancient Greek mythology this month — some of the oldest stories known.  The kids got the chance to create their own character modeled after some they heard about.  Special thanks goes out to Rob B, Tracy, Jen, Melissa, Heidi, Sally and Leon Key Club’s Jorge, Sam, Maddie & Allie for their help.

Nothing But the Truth (Avi)

Last night I read Nothing But the Truth by Avi (#527 in the FPL collection). Somehow, I’d made it years without reading Avi, a YA staple, and I whizzed right through this one in a couple hours.

I was surprised by the subject matter, wondering if some of the adult concerns (budget woes, tenure, etc.) might go over the head of the book’s intended readers. Still, I enjoyed the somewhat gimmicky epistolary/dialogue format, and respected Avi for writing a protagonist at times both pitiable and frustrating (A Wrinkle in Time’s Meg Murray comes to mind).

In short, I don’t know if the 1991 cover (and complete absence of a back-cover blurb!) would make this book a natural choice for the older readers of our library, but its complex dealings with moral issues make it one I might recommend.

Lois Lowry, Gathering Blue

When I read The Giver as a kid, I thought it was just the worst. I had (and still have) a pretty low tolerance for unhappy endings unless they’re really well done (Heart of Darkness, King Lear, My Best Friend’s Wedding [!]), and in my twelve-year-old reasoning, the horrors of Jonas’s world weren’t properly cured by him simply leaving at the end of the novel.

When I re-read (as I so often do) The Giver in college after hearing such enthusiastic reviews from friends, I revised my opinions (as I so often do). And when I found a copy of Gathering Blue, “a companion to the Newbery Award Winner The Giver” at the Front Porch Library, I was psyched.

GB didn’t compel me the way Giver does, though. The ending was ambiguous and challenging, just as The Giver was, but here the similarities end. Kira’s world is only a “companion” to Jonas’s because they are both set in the future, but here Lowry creates a world rebuilt from destruction and forced back into village life.

One striking aspect was the dialect Lowry creates for Kira’s people, especially those in the Fen. It’s often distracting, but here are some of my favorites, spoken by Matt, the most entertaining character: ”fire twiggies” for firewood; “buggie” for bug; “crustie” for bread, etc. But it could also be highly annoying: “tyke” for child, “hubby” for husband (a pet peeve of mine), and so forth. Maybe it’s fun if you’re twelve, but the vocabulary mostly pulled me back out of the story, especially when the pacing bogged down.