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Friday, July 21, 2017

Poetry Friday--First Battle

On this day in 1861, one of the first battles of the American Civil War took place. The North referred to it as the First Battle of Bull Run, the South called it the Battle of First Manassas. As you may have suspected, there followed a second battle on the spot in August 1862.

Up to the point of the first battle, many thought the civil war would be over quickly, and relatively easily. On July 21, some actually assumed they could head out to the battle scene and watch while they ate a picnic lunch. What a mistaken assumption that was!

I highly recommend the children's novel, Bull Run, by Paul Fleischman [F FLE]. In this slim volume,

Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

The battle was also the subject of this poem written by Herman Melville:
The March into Virginia Ending in the First Manassas (July, 1861)

Did all the lets and bars appear
     To every just or larger end,
Whence should come the trust and cheer?
     Youth must its ignorant impulse lend—
Age finds place in the rear.
     All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,
The champions and enthusiasts of the state:
     Turbid ardors and vain joys
          not barrenly abate—
Stimulants to the power mature,
     Preparatives of fate.

Who here forecasteth the event?
What heart but spurns at precedent
And warnings of the wise,
Contemned foreclosures of surprise?
The banners play, the bugles call,
The air is blue and prodigal.
     No berrying party, pleasure-wooed,
No picnic party in the May,
Ever went less loth than they
     Into that leafy neighborhood.
In Bacchic glee they file toward Fate,
Moloch’s uninitiate;
Expectancy, and glad surmise
Of battle’s unknown mysteries.

All they feel is this: ’tis glory,
A rapture sharp, though transitory,
Yet lasting in belaureled story.
So they gayly go to fight,
Chatting left and laughing right.

But some who this blithe mood present,
     As on in lightsome files they fare,
Shall die experienced ere three days be spent—
     Perish, enlightened by the vollied glare;
Or shame survive, and, like to adamant,
     Thy after shock, Manassas, share.

For more poems of the Civil War, look for "Words for the Hour": A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry [811.008 WOR].

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted this week by The Logonauts!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Road Trip! Part 5

Perhaps you're not going on an extended vacation this summer and are only looking to take day trips. Some place within a few hours' drive of Windham? We've got you covered with books like

Doan, Daniel. 50 More Hikes in New Hampshire: Day Hikes and Backpacking Trips from Mount Monadnock to Mount Magalloway. [917.42 DOA]

Glassman-Jaffe, Marcia. Massachusetts: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids. [917.44 GLA]

Hipple, Ethan. Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont: 75 of the Best Family Hiking, Camping, and Paddling Trips. [796.50974 HIP]

Olia, Maria T. Day Trips New England: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler. [917.404 OLI]

Rogers, Lura J. Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids. [917.4 ROG]

And, we have a Pinterest page titled Travel Close to Home, that has over 100 pins for locations or activities in the New England states, especially New Hampshire.

You'll find something for everyone from A (art museums) to Z (zoos) and a whole lot in between!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Road Trip! Part 4

Yesterday I offered audiobook suggestions for your family road trip. Today, we'll look at two more things to do in the car, neither of which involve a screen.

Sing! Sing along to a CD such as Disney's Silly Songs [CD CHILDREN DIS], or any one of the Cedarmont Kids Singers series of titles [all CD CHILDREN CED]. Or, you can bring along a book of song lyrics. A great all-around collection of oft-sung songs is found in Rise Up Singing: The Group-Singing Song Book [782.42 RIS]. For a collection of just kids' songs, look for

The second screenless thing you can do in the car, is play games! Travel games to be specific. Games can be found in
The Everything Kids' Travel Activity Book: Games to Play, Songs to Sing, Fun Stuff to Do--Guaranteed to Keep You Busy the Whole Ride! by Erik A. Hanson [J 793.7 HAN, eBook], 150 Nifty Travel Games and Card Tricks [J 793.7 ONE], or Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot-Potato, and Ha, Ha, Ha: A Rule Book of Children's Games by Jack Maguire [793 MAG].

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Road Trip! Part 3

Sooner or later this summer you will embark on a real roadtrip. Keeping the kids occupied can be a challenge--there are only so many times they can watch their favorite Disney movie! Or, if your vehicle is not equipped with a DVD player, what then?

Get them totally away from a screen and let their imaginations loose with an audiobook? Pick a classic and everyone will listen!

Here are some tried and true audiobooks for the whole family to enjoy:

Bond, Michael. More about Paddington: Classic Adventures of the Bear from Darkest Peru. [J AB/CD BON]

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. [J AB/CD BUR]

Dickins, Charles. A Christmas Carol. [AB/CD DIC] (Note: who cares if it's the middle of summer?)

Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. [J AB/CD JUS]

Napoli, Donna Jo. Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters. [J AB/CD 398.2 NAP]

Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows. [J AB/CD RAW]

Streatfeild, Noel. Ballet Shoes. [eAudiobook]

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. [J AB/CD STE]

White, E. B. Charlotte's Web. [J AB/CD WHI]

Wilde, Oscar. The Happy Prince and Other Stories. [J AB/CD WIL]

Monday, July 17, 2017

Road Trip! Part 2

Last Thursday I posted titles of books that feature road trips. Today I'm going to cover the seemingly endless number of MOVIES featuring road trips. The one that springs immediately to mind is Thelma and Louise [DVD THE]--a female "buddy" film--with a road trip to end all road trips! (A road trip that eliminated all hopes for a sequel!)

Other filmic journeys are male buddy movies, family vacation movies, human/pet trips, and a journey on a riding mower! There's sure to be one for you!

Bird on a Wire. [DVD BIR]

Harry & Tonto. [DVD HAR]

Joy Ride. [DVD JOY]

National Geographic Vacation. [DVD NAT]

Nebraska. [DVD NEB]

On the Road. [DVD ON]

Planes, Trains and Automobiles. [DVD PLA]

Silver Streak. [DVD SIL]

The Space between Us. [DVD SPA]

The Straight Story. [DVD STR]

The Way. [DVD WAY]

Friday, July 14, 2017

Poetry Friday--Shorebirds

Have you been to the beach lately? One of the great things about the New England coast is the abundance of shore birds such as Piping Plovers. The Piping Plovers have had a hard time in the past, but their future has been improved. Here's a short video on how the Piping Plovers are being protected in Massachusetts.

I could watch the scurrying creatures for hours--as a matter of fact, the last time I was in Maine, that's exactly what I did!

Another shorebird, the sandpiper, has been "captured" in words by Elizabeth Bishop. "Sandpiper" is found in the fascinating collection of poems selected by Billy Collins and illustrated by David Allen Sibley titled, Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds [821 BRI]

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.

The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.

- Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.

The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn't tell you which.
His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.

Did you know that today is National Mac & Cheese Day! Visit the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted by Tabatha Yeatts, where you may find a mac & cheese celebration in poetry!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Road Trip!

The summer is the time for road trips, whether they are short trips within New England, or extended cross country trips.

It's also an opportunity to read about others' trips, where you can vicariously enjoy travel without leaving the comforts of home. Here are a few of those trips:

Berg, Elizabeth. Tapestry of Fortunes. [F BER, eBook]

Doig, Ivan. Last Bus to Wisdom. [F DOI]

Evison, Jonathan. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. [F EVI, eBook]

Fishman, Boris. Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo. [F FIS]

Harbison, Elizabeth M. Driving With the Top Down. [eAudiobook]

Hickham, Homer H. Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator. [F HIC]

Merullo, Roland. Dinner with Buddha. [F MER, AB/CD MER, eBook]

Zadoorian, Michael. The Leisure Seeker. [F ZAD]