Books, chalk, letters, and tiny forests. This week’s topics are feeling very tangible. It’s a pleasant thing in this digital world we’re living in. May you dig in gardens and write on chalk boards and read paper books in between your Zoom meetings.
Around the Web
Resources For At-Home Learning
Our friend Sally Lloyd-Jones has a great resource list for us.
- As we head into the school year—nothing looks the way any of us expected. Many of you are unexpectedly homeschooling while trying to juggle work. Others are essential workers who can’t work from home and are scrambling to find safe care for your children. And all of us wish we could be near the ones we love.
So I wanted to share a list of resources that may be a help you.
The World Needs More Gilberts
Tyler Blanski holds up a literary hero as an example.
- The world needs more Gilberts. The fictional (and admirable!) character Gilbert Blythe of the L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series seems to capture so many virtues that can help men succeed in their vocation to fatherhood today: he gives a standing ovation for his girl, he listens, he’s loyal, he’s strong and gentle all at once, he’s studious and ambitious, he’s open to life, he has conviction, and he has a vision for his life: “I have a dream,” he says in Anne of the Island. “I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends – and you!”
Perhaps most of all, Gilbert reminds us that wanting and working for a home is not “settling.”
How a brand of chalk achieved cult status among mathematicians
I am not a mathematician. I promise. My high school algebra teacher will concur with me. But I love to hear stories of people delighting in something, and this story of mathematicians and chalk brought me joy.
- Some call it the Rolls Royce of chalk, the Steinway of writing utensils. Some say it’s unbreakable, others say it leaves no dust behind.
And it turned the world’s brightest minds into hoarders, going to great lengths just for a few sticks of the stuff.
The Turnover by Mike Lupica
Our friends at Redeemed Reader recommend this upper middle grade book about basketball.
- The Turnover uses basketball as the background for a boy’s crisis of faith in his grandfather.
Around the Warren
The Ten-Year-Old Letters
John Sommer tells of the start of a wonderful tradition.
- Six years ago, my wife Patty was searching for ideas for our oldest daughter’s tenth birthday party. She wanted the day to be full of memories, but she knew she had limitations. We can often feel that limitations crush creativity, but in reality they are one of the greatest factors that help to foster it. I digress; back to the story. One of the limitations we faced is the fact that we live in a foreign country half way around the world. Birthday parties are not really done here, especially for children.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s Just Like Me
Laura Peterson reviews this fantastic picture book of poems for girls.
- Today we’re highlighting a girl book! I’m not usually the type to reach for the pink-iest pink or the bow-iest bow, but I absolutely loved Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s Just Like Me, a book of poems for and about girls. Starting with the bright pink endpapers, this short picture book of poems is full of words and images celebrating girls of all colors, sizes, and personalities.
Something to Do with Your Kids
The folks at the Artful Parent have some great ideas for fun activities in September for the whole family.
Something to Watch
Did you know about the church forests of Ethiopia? I’d never heard of them before this week. This 10-minute documentary tells of the way a church tradition is key to the healthy ecology of a nation.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team