It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and Sheila at BookJourney
I walked away from NCTE with many bags of books, the most special of which was one by my friend Margaret Simon. I saved Blessen for the day after the day after Thanksgiving – Saturday – the perfect day to find a comfortable reading spot and lose myself in the book. This was so easy to do, because Margaret has written a story that pulls you right into a marvelously realized setting with characters you feel immediately connected and drawn to. Here’s the Goodreads summary:
Ever since a hurricane sent a water oak through the roof of Pawpee’s house crippling her grandfather, Blessen has lived with her mother, and grandfather Pawpee in a FEMA trailer. An accident involving her pet chicken, Blue, pushes Blessen into discoveries about faith, death, and her heritage.
I loved Blessen’s open, warm-hearted spirit and her voice. She is a character embraced by the love of her family , but also one who faces some difficult choices, and there are many important things she needs to figure out: how to cope with death? what does it mean to be bi-racial in a country still unsettled about race? is it possible to be disappointed in someone and love them all the same?
The cadence of Bayou speech, and the evocative way in which Margaret describes the heat drenched, jasmine scented South Louisiana summer makes Blessen a joy to read. The characters and issues this story explores would make for many rich and wonderful class and book club discussions.