Monday, August 30, 2004


Cell phone sanctions! All Right!

Huntington Beach, California city council has taken steps to protect libraries from this new form of noise pollution.

Using a cellular telephone in a city library could cost incessant yakkers plenty - up to $1,000.
City leaders adopted an ordinance, which takes effect Sept. 15, that bans all cell phone use in libraries, including talking, text messaging and ringing tones of any kind.
First-time violators will be warned, then fined $250 if they don't comply. A second offense gets a $500 fine and a third offense gets a $1,000 fine.
Huntington Beach civic leaders believe those may be the nation's stiffest fines for cell use. The ordinance was prompted by complaints about annoying rings and people walking around or standing at computer terminals chatting loudly.

As a parent who stares in disbelief at other parents who would rather talk on their cell phones than listen to their own children's choir, band, orchestra concerts or plays, I commiserate with Carol Page:

"People are really getting sick of these things with the screaming and yelling and these anguished conversations," said Carol "Miss Manners" Page, founder of, a site dedicated to promoting cell phone etiquette.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

NUMA Files

Blue Gold : A Novel from the NUMA Files (Numa, No 2) by Clive Cussler, 2000

On the way to up Austin College, Thursday, daughter #2 and I listened to Clive Cussler's Blue Gold. Cussler is one of her favorite authors and we enjoyed the story and David Purdham's narration. I will be listening/reading more of these books. They would be a good choice for teen readers who somehow seem to skip all the good YA material and go straight to "grown up" books.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Rodzina by Karen Cushman, 2003

This is a sweetheart of a story. I enjoyed every page of this book. Rodzina is part of a group of orphans that is being sent out West on the Orphan Train. Rodzina is grumpy and grouchy. She is also frightened and lonely. Unlike the other orphans in the group, she came from a happy home and had loving parents. She is drawn to Miss Doctor who is in charge of the girls on the train even though she seems uncaring and cold. The idea that a worman can be a doctor is a wonder to her. Rodzina does have a gift for organizing and caring for younger children. Some of my favorite parts of the story are where she tells stories to the other children. She is a wonderful storyteller. The children's desire for a family is touching and heart breaking at the same time. Rodzina is looking for a home and you cheer for her as she reaches for it.

This book has been well researched and it shows in the details. I am a fan of Katherine Cushman; this is my very favorite book of hers so far.

If you are interested in more stories on this topic, you might try the Orphan Train Adventures by the late, wonderful Joan Lowery Nixon. They include: A Family Apart, Caught In The Act, In The Face of Danger, A Place to Belong, A Dangerous Promise, Keeping Secrets, and Circle of Love. She also started a series called Orphan Train Children which includes David's Search, Will's Choice, and Aggie's Home.

Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting, 1996, demonstrates that just because it is a 32 page picture book doesn't mean it is an "easy" story. Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story and We Rode the Orphan Trains, both by Andrea Warren are nonfiction reads that will bring tears to your eyes. Posted by Hello

Monday, August 23, 2004

Enid Blyton wins in UK

The BBC reports that adults between the ages of 25 and 54 were asked to name their "favourite" book as a child in a survey by the Cartoon Network. They picked Enid Blyton's series, The Famous Five as their favorite. Another series by Blyton, The Secret Seven, was fourth on the list.
The top five were:
1. The Famous Five
2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
3. Treasure Island
4. The Secret Seven
5. Black Beauty
I read these Blyton's series when I was as a child living overseas . I always loved them. A young patron at my school library spent time in England only a few years ago and came back a devoted Famous Five fan so I know they still have enormous appeal. My family also loved her Noddy books. Tthe illustrations by Dutch artist, Harmsen van der Beek were very appealing. The Enid Blyton Society has information about her life and works.

Enid Blyton's daughter Gillian Baverstock, who lives in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, welcomed the results of the poll.
She said: "It is wonderful that my mother's books are remembered so fondly.

"The secret of their success is that they centre squarely on children, with adults only ever playing a minor role.

"The injection of adventure and excitement on to every page stimulates a child's desire to continue to read not just one book but the whole series."
I bet all those readers of her series books are readers today. Kids who get hooked on a series usually end up as life long readers.

Half Magic: 50th anniversary

Half Magic by Edgar Eager, 1954

Harcourt is bringing out a special 50th anniversary edition of Half Magic in October, 2004. The Courier&Press (they are going to make you register) reports:
This year, "Half Magic" was selected as one of the "100 Best Books for Children" by noted children's-book expert Anita Silvey. In her essay on "Half Magic," Silvey noted that Eager wrote about "'daily magic' - integrating the realism of ordinary children with romantic adventures that come about because of the sudden appearance of a magic object.
While a student at Harvard, Eager wrote many plays, one in particular received praise from Boston theater critics. Emboldened by this success he left school without finishing his degree in 1935 and began work as a playwright on Broadway where "...over the next three decades, he produced a steady stream of work."
The birth of his son interested him in writing for children.
In the introduction to a special 50th-anniversary edition...children's author Jack Gantos writes that "there are some books that, when read in childhood, last a lifetime in the reader's imagination, books so good that growing old doesn't diminish the luster of their memory.
"'Half Magic' ... is one such book, one that should be read by all children and their parents. .... 'Half Magic' is a classic in the way that 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' and 'Peter Pan' and 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' are classics: all of them have a way of infecting the reader with their charm and cleverness and the belief in the magical, enchanted possibility of everything. ..."
Eager's other books for children include Knight's Castle, The Time Garden, Magic by the Lake, The Well Wishers, Seven Day Magic, and Magic or Not?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Floyd Cooper

National Book Festival Poster:
The artist for this year's festival painting is the award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper. His whimsical image for the 2004 festival is as imaginative as the act of reading, which lifts us, young or old, whatever our background, into a different time and place.
The poster will be distributed at the Festival.
Poster designed by Robert Sokol
Cooper is a wonderful artist. He is the illustrator of Danitra Brown Leaves Town by Nikki Grimes and Floyd Cooper which is on the Texas Bluebonnet Reading list this year. You can read more about him at His words resonate:
"I feel children are on the front line in improving society. This might sound a little heavy, but it's true. I feet that children's picture books play an important role in counteracting all the violence and other negative images conveyed in the media."

The Library of Congress and Laura Bush are sponsoring the 4th National Book Festival, Saturday, October 9, 2004.
No matter what your taste or interest, there is a pavilion (or two or three or more!) for you at the 2004 National Book Festival.

This year the festival pavilions, featuring more than 70 authors, illustrators, and poets, will again be conveniently located on the National Mall between 7th and 14th streets. The popular “Children,” “Fiction & Imagination,” “History & Biography,” “Home & Family,” “Mysteries, Thrillers,” “Poetry” and “Teens & Children” pavilions will be joined by the first-ever “Science Fiction & Fantasy” pavilion, with a day-long program featuring well-known authors for this popular genre.

Posted by Hello

National Book Festival

These authors will be appearing at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. in October.
ChildrenTeens and Children
Holly Black &Tony DiTerlizzi Christopher Paul Curtis
Marc BrownKate DiCamillo
Floyd CooperE.L. Konigsburg
Betsy LewinKathleen Krull
Patricia MacLachlan David Macaulay
Sonia ManzanoKatherine Paterson
Richard PeckDavid Rice
David ShannonSharon Robinson
R.L. Stine Letters About Literature
NBA's Read to Achieve

If you are a fan of the PBS program The Antique Roadshow Leigh Keno & Leslie Keno will be there. There will also be a pavillion for Science Fiction and Fantasy featuring the always interesting Neil Gaiman, Patricia Wrede and Laurence Yep

Thursday, August 19, 2004

USS Arizona burning after the attack on Pearl Harbor Posted by Hello

Pearl Harbor story

Boy at War: a novel of Pearl Harbor by Harry Mazer, 2001

This is excellent historical fiction. The story hits all the right notes. Adam is attending civilian school (not on a Navy base) for the first time and trying to find his place there. His family has recently arrived in Honolulu where his father serves on the U.S.S. Arizona. Adam respects his father and accepts his family's Navy lifestyle, but he is lonely and therefore willing to accept an offer of friendship, against his father's wishes, from Davi, a Japanese boy. December 7 arrives and Adam is caught up in the events of that day. The worry, the fear, the anger of those times are all successfully incorporated into this fast moving story. Mazer does an excellent job of recreating the time period.

Boys are always looking for good books about WWII. They are hard to find. This one is a winner. I want to read the sequel which is coming out in September, 2004: A Boy No More. The description at Amazon describes it: Adam's best friend, Davi Mori, writes from Hawaii asking for help in finding his father. Davi and his family are Japanese American, and his father has been arrested and is imprisoned somewhere in the United States.

Pictures of Hollis Woods

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff, 2002

I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading this book. It is wonderful!

Twelve year old Hollis Woods has arrived at yet another foster home. Even though Josie Cahill, a retired art teacher, welcomes her, Hollis is deciding whether or not she will run away again. Josie admires Hollis's artistic talent and encourages her to continue to draw. Hollis decides to stay in her new home but she is concerned about Josie's forgetfulness although she does not mind her forgetting to send her to school. Through her drawings, Hollis remembers her last family, the Regans who genuinely loved her and wanted to make her part of their family forever. Hollis loved them too, so why did she run away? That is the question at the heart of this story.

Giff skillfully tells the story through a series of flashbacks and descriptions of Hollis's beautiful drawings. This is a powerful and uplifting testament to the importance of family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

JKRowling site: The Door is Open!

The "Do Not Disturb" sign is off the door on the JKRowling website. This is where she announced the name of Harry Potter 6.

Here are some clues for finding her surprise. You get to the door by clicking on the ponytail holder in the middle of her desk. That takes you to the room. The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet websites posted the directions for getting to the "surprise."

The trick is finding the hidden light switch in the dark room. You have to click around, I would suggest, two thirds of the way down, slightly below the door handle, about one third across, from the left. You then have to hit the dart board with a particular number sequence,(the number of Dumbledore's high security vault at Gringrotts that held the Sorceror's stone, perhaps?) you can then enter a security code that you will find on the bulletin board in the "Extra Stuff" (tea cup) section of her website. It is on the business card for "Gobb lynn security" but you have to leave the window open for a while in order for a "visitor" to blow the other cards out of the way. You should do this first in order to get the number to the safe.

As I was writing this I had the vault window open and a "visitor" left a message on the mirror. This site is fun to explore. The FAQ section is very funny, there is some new stuff there. JKR's sense of humor comes through in her writing.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Thank you, dear Bill Martin Jr

I heard this news last week but it was only released to the wire services tonight. There is a lovely tribute in the Dallas Morning News today.
Bill Martin Jr., educator and best-selling author of hundreds of children's picture books such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, has died. He was 88.

Martin, who suffered from Parkinson's disease for years, died of natural causes Wednesday at his home in Commerce, said longtime friend and collaborator Michael Sampson.

About 300 people attended Martin's memorial service at the First Baptist Church in Commerce on Saturday.

"Bill had a positive outlook on life. Everything that happened to him, he saw some good in it somehow. He was someone who empowered people," Sampson said Sunday.

Martin was born March 20, 1916, in Hiawatha, Kan., one of five brothers.

He graduated with a teaching certificate from Emporia State University in Kansas, and later earned a masters degree and a doctorate in early childhood education from Northwestern University in Chicago, where he also was an elementary school principal.

Martin, a member of the International Reading Association's Hall of Fame, published his first book, "The Little Squeegy Bug," in 1945 while serving in the Army Air Force during World War II.

In 1962, he moved to New York to head the school division of book publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston. A decade later, he quit to become a full-time writer...

...Many of Martin's books featured colorful, bold artwork by longtime contributing artist Eric Carle. The books were simple with rhythmic verses like "Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What do you see? I see a bald eagle soaring by me ..."

"Bill's many books for the very young have been an introduction to literature to millions of children, here and abroad," Carle said.

JK Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival

JK Rowling read from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to a group of 500 fans at the Edinburgh Book Festival who were selected by "ballot" today. After the reading she answered questions from the audience. I was tickled to see that the most recent book she has read herself is The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. She called it "a cracking read." She says,"my favourite book for young people would be I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, The Little White Horse, all the classic children's books...I love E Nesbit--I think she is great and I identify with the way that she writes."

Of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince she says, "It is a time for answers, not more questions and clues, although obviously there are a few clues as I am not qhite finished yet. I hope that that is sufficiently frustrating for you, knowing that you can't read it yet."

She talks about the difficulty of separating the characters from the actors playing them in the movies. She says:
"I make this hero--Harry obviously--and there he is on the screen the perfect Harry, because Dan is very much how I imagine Harry, but who does every girl under 15 fall in love with? Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. Girls, stop going for the bad guy. Go for a nice man in the first place. It took me 35 years to learn that, but I am giving you that nugget free, right now, at the beginning of your love lives."

She spoke at length about the character Rita Skeeter, the journalist and the Thestrals. Rowling gives some tantalizing clues in her answers. Hmmm...the barman at Hog's Head, Dumbledore's brother?? Dumbledore's patronus, the backstory on the paintings at Hogsworth, Gilderoy Lockheart is based on a real person, the events surrounding Harry's christening, Dudley... Read the whole thing at her website. Great questions, fun answers, now I have MORE to think about.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The 1900 Galveston Hurricane

Stolen by the Sea by Anna Myers, 2002
Galveston's Summer of the Storm, by Julie Lake, 2003

As the news reports on Hurricane Charley come in it is interesting to look at children's books about another hurricane. On September 8, 1900 a devastating storm hit Galveston Texas. It remains the worst national disaster in the history of the United States. Translating the emotions of events such as these into a novel for children is challenging.

Maggie McKenna is an only child. She is jealous of the new brother or sister about to be born to her family. She also resents the attention and friendship her father gives an orphan boy named Felipe. In Stolen by the Sea by Anna Myers, Maggie is left at home in Galveston while her parents visit the doctor in Houston. The storm begins and Maggie watches the water rise.
Amazed, she realized the water was up to the first step. Thank heavens Papa had built the house up high. The water would never reach the house. Maggie was sure of that, but she still felt afraid. She was alone here with Myra, alone and cut off from the rest of the world. Beside her Bonnie whined, and Maggie patted the dog's head. "We're together. We'll be all right, won't we girl?"
Maggie must find the strength and will to survive as she and Felipe work together to live through the storm.

In Galveston's Summer of the Storm, by Julie Lake, Abby Kate must extend a visit with her grandmother in Galveston when word reaches them that her brother Will, at home in Austin, has diphtheria. She feels odd to still be on the island so late in the season. When the storm begins the idea of spray so high it "is crashing up way above the street car trestle" is exciting. She begs permission to go down to the beach to see the waves.
...she was amazed at the number of people gathered to watch the waves. She felt like she was at some strange sort of party. With the island already flooding from high water, it was hard to tell where the beach ended and the ocean began. A few brave souls waded out in the wild surf and got soaked All around them, men and women pointed and shouted. No one had ever seen the waves so high.
Like many victims that day, Abby Kate must cling to prayer and a makeshift raft in order to live through the nightmare. Julie Lake continues the narrative through the storm's aftermath. Readers will have a good idea of how the citizens of Galveston regrouped to heal their city and go on.

Friday, August 13, 2004

American Girl Books coming to TV

Julia Roberts is the executive producer of ''Samantha: An American Girl Holiday,'' the WB's first made-for-TV movie, to premiere Nov. 23. The film is based on the American Girl book series and dolls. The young actress playing Samantha, AnnaSophia Robb, will also appear in the movie, Because of Winn-Dixie. The article is from the Chicago Sun Times.

New Lemony Snicket announced

The folks at Harper Collins are brilliant marketers. They are announcing the publication of the 11th book in the Series of Unfortunate Events books this way:

August 2004
On September 21, 2004, The Grim Grotto, Book the Eleventh in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, will become available for sale despite widespread protest. The book will almost certainly be filled with dampness, darkness, and displeasing incidents in the sad lives of the Baudelaire orphans, and the good folks at Author Tracker fervently suggest you avoid bookstores on that day unless you are wearing a lifejacket.
Even more alarming, Author Tracker's exclusive network of bookworms, spies, secretaries, and pets reports that the elusive Lemony Snicket may emerge from hiding around the time of The Grim Grotto's publication. Please stay extremely alert at these events, where Mr. Snicket or a suspicious representative is likely to appear.
In other startling news, Author Tracker has reason to believe that Mr. Snicket may be connected with a mysterious organization known as RIF, which either stands for "Roosters In Friendship" or "Reading is Fundamental." Apparently, copies of Mr. Snicket's Unauthorized Autobiography will be appearing as "prizes" in a special quiz, beginning Tuesday, August 31st.
The only thing that could possibly be worse than developments like these is the release of the dubiously titled Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, an alarming cinematic spectacle that will open in theaters everywhere on December 17, 2004. Wouldn't you prefer to take an interest in some other author?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Truth and Justice

Shredderman : Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen, 2004

OK, Captain Underpants fans, here is the book you have been waiting for.

Nolan Byrd and all the kids at school have suffered at the hands of Bubba for years. He is just plain mean. The kids have to tolerate his stealing, his lying, his cheating, and even adopt the ugly nicknames Bubba has bestowed on them.

He calls you names. He steals your stuff. He breathes putrid fumes in your face.
And even though I have always wanted to do something about it, I could never figure out what. I'm half Bubba's size and don't exactly want to die in elementary school.
So, I just eat lunch far away from him, make room when he's cutting in line, and let him call me Nerd.

It's not fair but at least I am still alive.

Nolan finds an inspired solution to the Bubba problem when his teacher assigns a newspaper project., a website devoted to exposing Bubba and his dirty tricks is born. Nolan's site has far reaching effects that that even help change the tone and spirit of the school in a positive way.

Readers are completely caught up in Nolan's excitement and cheer his comical and witty victory over Bubba. Nolan's own self confidence improves as he takes control of his life. Van Draanen's writing is fast paced, smart and funny. Once I started the book, I HAD to finish it. At 144 pages it goes quickly.

There really is a site with information about the books, the author, some activities and tips on good writing and reporting.

This would be an interesting read-aloud and could spark some terrific discussions about civility, kindness and tolerance. Many books about bullies are heavy handed and flat. This book addresses the subject with great humor and a light touch.

Nolan, (Shredderman) has the power to do enormous good, thankfully there are more Shreddermans coming.

Shredderman : Attack of the Tagger, August 2004
Shredderman : Meet the Gecko, January 2005

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Medieval Treasure

The Puppeteer’s Apprentice by D. Anne Love, 2003

When young Mouse first sets eyes on the dancing puppets her heart soars. She knows becoming a puppeteer is what she is meant to do. Mouse has escaped from the manor where she worked as a kitchen maid after experiencing near-starvation and terrible brutality. By contrast, the acquaintances she meets along the road offer her kindness and friendship. Still, she must make a living for herself and she will do anything to be accepted as the puppeteer’s apprentice after she sees a performance for the first time.

The puppeteer is mysterious and demanding but Mouse learns and succeeds in her new life. She feels a real connection to the wood and cloth puppets, a connection the puppeteer understands. Mystery and menace surround them and Mouse must face a terrible threat and danger to protect her new world.

Set in the Middle Ages, this story and the character of Mouse are just wonderful. This is a beautiful story, not too long, 192 pages. A lovely gem of a book, I am so glad I read it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

A Trip to the Amazon

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, 2003

Maia leaves the security of her boarding school to live with relatives in Brazil after the death of her parents. She is hoping to find a loving family and is apprehensive about leaving everything she knows to live along the wild Amazon River. Her courage is further tested when she meets Miss Minton, the serious governess who is traveling with her. The wildlife, color and scents of the Amazon are thrilling her. Unfortunately her new family smells like bug spray and they live in fear of the very Nature that amazes Maia.

The story has some fun characters, Clovis, a young English actor longing for home, Finn, a mysterious and exotic boy who lives in the jungle, and a Miss Minton, a governess who recognizes Maia's sharp mind and nurtures it. The comical twins, Beatrice and Gwendolyn, are the proverbial "ugly stepsisters."

The story has an old fashioned feel to it, in the best sense. A missing inheritance, switched identities and the setting of the Amazon rain forest intertwine as Maia and her friends search for home.

Kevin Hawkes illustrates the book, as he has other Ibbotson novels, with humor and whimsy.

Monday, August 09, 2004

My favorite books this summer...

These books are too good to miss. Look for them when you visit your school library this fall!
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, 2004 (movie & website info. here)
Gregor the Overlander by by Suzanne Collins, 2004 (Sequel coming soon!)
The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau, 2003 (Sequel: People of Spark, 2004)
Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles, 2002
Play to the Angel by Maurine F. Dahlberg , 2000
A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner, 1992
The Haunting of Granite Falls by Eva Ibbotson, 2004

Thursday, August 05, 2004

"You Know Who" is Cast!

It is official.
Ralph Fiennes has been cast as Voldemort in the movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The Guardian reports:

Fiennes, whose other roles include the lead in the English Patient and a foray into romantic comedy with Maid in Manhattan, is to take on J K Rowling's incarnation of evil.

Other new cast members include Miranda Richardson as a newspaper gossip columnist, Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody and French actress Clemence Posey, who beat over 3,000 girls for the role of Cho Chang, a schoolgirl who catches Harry's eye.
The film is set to be released in November 2005.

We know Miranda Richardson from Blackadder, she is Queen Elizabeth. Brendan Gleeson has most recently appeared in The Village, Troy, and Cold Mountain.

50 more minutes--Yippee!

Peter Jackson is adding 50 more minutes to the DVD version of The Return of the King.
Oh Joy!
According to the Houston Chronicle:
Jackson shot far more footage than he needed to deliver a three-hour theatrical cut for each film of the trilogy. (Exhibitors, wanting to hurry up and sell more popcorn, get antsy when a film is longer than that.
But DVD has no such constraints, and Jackson has made full use of the format. After issuing his films on disc on DVD in original theatrical form, he's come back months later with extended editions...

As with earlier extended editions, King's added scenes will be newly scored by composer Howard Shore, and they'll have completed special effects — 300 effects shots in all, New Line says.
The trilogy's final tally in extended-edition form will be 11 hours and 20 minutes — and that's a lot of Hobbit tracks. ...

Running Out of Time vs. The Village...Hmmm...

Movie critics don't read childrens books. If they did they may have picked up on this interesting controversy sooner. Apparently teenagers who saw M. Night Shyamalan's The Village thought it reminded them of a book from their school library. They began talking about it on their blogs and it has now trickled into the news. Have you read Running Out of Time, 1994 by Margaret Peterson Haddix? It is one of my favorite books.

I want to see the movie now. To read more about it see this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sorry, they may make you register. Knowing the plot of the book may have now have tipped me off about the twist in the movie. Hmmm...


Peg Kehret has written many wonderful books and she is well known for her “disaster” books. Escaping the Giant Wave, 2003 has to be one of her best.

Kyle Davidson is winding up his 6th grade year with an writing assignment to list things he would change about his life. One of them is to make bully, Daren Hazelton leave him alone. When Kyle’s father wins a vacation to Oregon, the family is excited about staying on the beautiful Oregon coast in a luxury hotel. When they arrive, they find the accommodations are less than they expected. Still the beach is beautiful and Kyle and his sister BeeBee are enjoying their stay until Daren Hazelton and his family arrive. As they explore the beach they notice a sign.

“There’s a sign sticking out of the sand,” BeeBee said. She ran ahead to see what it said, then rushed back to report, “It’s a warning sign! It says the Oregon coast might get hit by a t-s-u-n-a-m-i.” She spelled out the word. …

Dad read the instructions for escaping a tsunami. “Protect yourself during the earthquake. As soon as it stops, go inland and uphill. Do not go to the beach, even after a tsunami wave hits. Wait for official notice that it’s safe before returning to the beach.” He quit reading and looked at us. “You got that?" We all nodded.

I am glad I had not read this book before my daughter visited the Oregon coast this summer. It would have made me too nervous.