Monthly Archives: October 2011

Gayle’s Gable

Padraic Colum’s The Children’s Homer brings the classic tales of the battle of Troy and the adventures of Odysseus to a young adult audience. My hard-to-please youngest son enjoyed this classic as well as Greek  mythology long before Rick Riordan’s Percy and the Olympians series made them popular. His familiarity with the mythological characters contributed greatly to his enjoyment of Rick Riordan’s novels. Try a dose of Homer for your hard-to-please readers.

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Zuno’s Pick

Dav Pilkey is just doggone funny. Zuno loves his Big Dog, Little Dog series and Pilkey’s Hallo-wiener is a treat. The long and short of it is that Oscar doesn’t fit in. “Half a dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long” doesn’t cut the mustard with the gang at obedience school. On Halloween night, Oscar is left behind and must trick or treat alone. When the other dogs are terrorized by a “monster”, Oscar’s unique perspective (down under) and quick thinking earn him a spot with the big dogs when he rescues them from cat-astrophe.

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Cross Training

Hold On

Turnovers are deadly. Whether the game is soccer, basketball, or football, when you give up possession, you lose the advantage. Let’s look at the prophet, Samuel, as we seek to “maintain possession” of spiritual truth.

“Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.” I Samuel 3:7 (NIV)

Samuel was not yet in the game. He was a boy at this time and was probably less than thirteen. God soon appeared to Samuel, spoke to him, and began a relationship that would last forever. Later in that same chapter of I Samuel, we find this verse:

“The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he (Samuel) let none of his (God’s) words fall to the ground.” I Samuel 3:19 (NIV)

No turnovers.

I love that. Every word God gave to Samuel, every spiritual pass he threw Samuel’s way, every spiritual handoff God gave him, Samuel received and advanced.

No turnovers.

Has God begun to reveal Himself to you? There’s no age requirement, you know.

Are you listening?

If He is speaking, what are you doing with His words?

Do you drop them?

Do you receive them but go down?

Do you receive them and advance?

The play doesn’t have to look pretty to gain yards. Focus on your Heavenly Quarterback. Look the ball into your hands, hold on tight, and run.

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Gayle’s Gable

In Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven, Mom and Dad dump siblings Kendra and Seth at their grandparents’ house and head for their cruise. Locks, keys, and hidden compartments fill their attic room. When a mysterious journal instructs them to “Drink the milk.”, secrets begin to unfold. Reminiscient of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fablehaven whisks the reader to a world of magical creatures. As the balance between good and evil teeters, Kendra must restore order and rescue her family.

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Zuno’s Pick

Knots on a Counting Rope tells a story of courage and hope in the face of darkness, in this case, a young boy’s blindness. Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault craft a Native American tale of facing challenges and overcoming them with faith and family.  Ted Rand’s illustrations make me long for Arizona. You can almost smell the horses. The titled knots in the rope mark time and the boy’s memories. These markers give the boy strength to move forward, race the darkness, and win.

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Cross Training

Can You Carry My Stuff?

When my son attended elementary school, he always tried to get me to carry his backpack home. Nothing doing. Now, he travels light and rarely brings his backpack home at all. His sister, however, regularly hauls her French horn, lunch, and a two-ton backpack.  But what about all of the unseen things we carry? Are these books in your backpack?

Good Grades …or Else

Great Expectations from Parents & Teachers

Pressure Cooker: Coping With Peer Pressure

How To Be Successful In …Football, Cheerleading, Music, Life

7/11: Will the Day Ever End? or Managing the Clock

If we put all of our invisible burdens in a backpack, we’d have enough for a full set of luggage. King David says this:

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19 (NIV)

Did you catch the “daily” part? God is there waiting to carry your books. What books are you carrying? No matter what title you are toting, God is there to carry it. Hand Him your stuff.

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Gayle’s Gable

Fourteen year old Peak Marcello has just climbed his sixth skyscraper (illegally) and is busted for criminal trespass, vandalism, and reckless endangerment. To avoid serving time in the Juvenile Detention Center, Peak agrees to leave his New York home and live with his biological father in Thailand. His father, Joshua Woods, a famous climber in his own right, has his own expedition company there. Woods, however, is not headed for Thailand, but for Tibet, Mount Everest, and the climb of Peak’s life—if he can make it. Roland Smith’s Peak packs up adventure, humor, and great information on the sport of climbing and on Everest itself. Strap on your crampons and come along.

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