Before I get to this week's feature, I just want to squeal about Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize. I don't care if there are folks who think he doesn't deserve it. I don't care if Mr. Dylan himself is or isn't that thrilled about it. I'm just happy. He is a poet, a cowboy, a true story-observer. Whee!
Okay, breathe. Back to business.
This week, I'm going to tell you about Chinese zombies. And about a particular twelve-year-old who had to vanquish one.
Chinese zombies, or jiang shi, are dressed in Qing Dynasty robes. Their faces are green and their limbs are stiff due to rigor mortis. They'll corner you, come face-close, and draw your life energy through one long, agonizing breath.
First, I'm sorry for not being more active in the blogosphere. Have been working on different children's projects (stars are thanked every day) and didn't want to pop up a post for you guys that's rushed through.
So now that I'm more ready, I'd like to introduce you to Jeremiah Lopper, superstar protagonist of the latest Joan Bauer novel. (*Joan Bauer is the author of Almost Home, Tell Me, and more.)
Jeremiah is the world's biggest baseball fan.
His specific age is unknown, probably twelve. He doesn't know when his birthday is, or who his parents are. When he was a baby, he was left at a computer company, in the snack room, right by the coffeepot.
The guy who found him, Walt Lopper, is a computer geek. He took Jeremiah in.
So here we have a boy who knows he was "left" by his real mom, lives with a geek, and oh yea, has a weak heart. He's even had a heart transplant.
How do you think he's turned out?
Quiet? Unsure of himself? Don't know how he's going to face the world with a heart that isn't his?
This is the true story of Li Cunxin, the sixth of seven sons from a rural family in north-east China.
It was the 1960s. China was under Chairman Mao’s rule.
The Li family, like many, was very poor.
There was never enough food. Every night, Cunxin’s mother would pray that none of her sons would starve to death.
The boys squeezed in a tiny room. Cunxin hated his brothers’ feet in his face. They also had to walk for hours to get to school, even in winter.
Were there happy days? Yes. When Cunxin’s father gave him a homemade kite, he tied ‘paper wishes’ to it and they flew it up into the sky.
After that, Cunxin’s father would sit with him and tell him stories. His favourite was the one about a frog living in the deep well. That story didn’t end well. The frog never jumped high enough to escape the dark well. It never got to see the world above. Though it kept trying . . .
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.