J. D. Salinger

Posted March 28, 2010

 Having become an iconic New Hampshire reclusive during his later decades, the 'mystery' of author J. D. Salinger's whereabouts has fed the intrigue and the perpetuating classroom and booklover discussions. At least twice a year, young folks....

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Hedgehog's Whimsey Books

Hedgehog's Whimsey Books

355 Chandlers Mills Road, Newport, NH 03773 USA 603 542-1520
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New England, US History, Writers, Journalism, Arab Studies, Fiction, Sustainability, Children's, Hand & Visual Arts, Music, Old Newspapers, more ...

Hi, Folks ... Mom said, 'I need to downsize'. Moving to assisted living, what she couldn't take included 8,000-plus books & records. A decade later, my upcountry barn is bursting. Books multiply as others recycle priorities. I now have 30,000 or more books looking for good homes, and my learning curve has been a roller coaster. I celebrate word-crafters, thought-tumblers, laughter ... the arts of communication at every turn. I preserve, protect, and share. I am also Hedgehog Publishing, 'Words & Pictures by & for Folks with Prickly Backs, Soft Bellies, & Small Brains'.

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Have you read aloud lately?

Posted by Hedgehog's Whimsey Books on February 6, 2010

In the old days ... and the older days before those ... reading aloud was a family and classroom and summer camp and sometimes a romantic activity.

Maybe this still goes on in remote quiet corners or at sparsely-filled public gatherings. If so, I applaud (quietly so as to not interrupt).

Parlors and park benches and linen-tossed beds, I suspect, witnessed many a poem recited to and by lovers. Classrooms still ring with noteworthy speeches like Abe Lincoln's 'Gettysburg Address' and Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream'. Libraries bring pre-schoolers, teens, and adults alike together with storytimes, poetry slams, and book club discussions. The devout come together over religious readings and a vast array of settings.

In today's apartments and homes and RVs and dorm rooms and barracks, what are we reading together or for another? Do we pass a newspaper around or share segments over breakfast? Do we even have breakfast? Do we gather to read chapters 'to be continued ...' in the evening, sharing the reading? Do we read to our children at bedtime? Do we tell a friend about what we're reading as often as we share a laugh from TV or YouTube?

How do we chose a read-aloud book in a family setting? Does it need to be an old classic (there are so many great ones)? How about that series popular with your middle-schooler? Have any of us adults really read a youth fantasy or chiller chapter book, as adults? Ask the kids. Will they share? What if family members took turns picking? What if the audience, small or large, took on the sound effects? What if there were some ad-libs to learn who's listening? How about history? A cookbook? Nature essays? Mad-libs? Mysteries and ghost tales?

This an open activity. Anyone can do it. Grandparents or older neighbors especially who maybe read less as their eyes become weary or blurry and whose visitors are less frequent ... yeah, we could read to those folks. Stories and essays in progress can be read to others, toward getting feedback. Those with reading disabilities might have strong listening abilities.

Reading aloud ... not a new idea, simply a window to re-open among us. Booksellers and librarians and teachers all have good ideas about reading aloud. Just ask,or go with what you know. Enjoy!

Lucy Wells, Head Hedgehog (Smallest Brain) at Hedgehog's Whimsey Books