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Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir

I've been reading quite a bit lately, picking up and putting down various titles and genres. Most of my reviews are posted via Goodreads , but every once in a while I stumble onto a 5-star book that demands to be shared here.  Three Girls from Bronzeville:  A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood  debuts on Sept 7, 2021 and is available to pre-order. (I received a digital Advanced Review Copy via NetGalley.com .) After a career of writing about other people, author Dawn Turner tackles her own coming of age story, skillfully choosing what and how to share her personal experiences growing up in the 1970s with her younger sister and best friend in this powerfully written memoir. Living in the historic Bronzeville section south of Chicago, these three children of working class parents are inseparable until life draws them on separate paths to adulthood. Although I recognize the historic people associated with Bronzeville (Ida B. Wells, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Coleman,
Recent posts

The Chosen: Get Used to Different

Are you watching The Chosen?   This past year our family began watching “television” more separately than together, with the youngest watching DVR recorded shows while the older teen, my husband, and myself binge watch our own series on our individual devices.  But last week, my husband insisted we watch episode one of The Chosen as a family and it drew us all  back to the couch together interested in the same show.  Now we’re gathered each night for an episode or two, occasionally scrambling to get the Bible and find the Gospel passage used in that episode.  (Not all the Scripture because there is a LOT of Scripture in each episode. If you’re curious how much, check out this The Chosen Season One Scripture Index compiled by Peter Chattaway over at Patheos.) Post-episode discussions even pop up the next day or later in the week as we process the portrayal and development of characters within the story and the world they lived in. One thing the show does particularly well is create a

Finding Sanctuary: How the Wild Work of Peace Restored the Heart of a Sandy Hook Mother

  I did not want to read this book. T he review copy of Finding Sanctuary: How the Wild Work of Peace Restored the Heart of a Sandy Hook Mother  by Jennifer Hubbard arrived in my mailbox and after a glance, I determined it would be too painful to read and set it aside. But something about the beautiful cover with its active, yet soothing, colors, the butterflies, and that “ sanctuary ” script kept drawing my eyes. Curiosity finally got the best of me, as I wondered, how? How does someone survive losing a child at Sandy Hook and go on to write a book about finding Peace? Too many people experience the loss of a child, through accidents, illness, suicide, drugs, and for Jennifer Hubbard, the unthinkable – a school shooting. What could she write that would help others understand and walk forward from that kind of pain? So I started reading it, even though I was afraid of that first chapter – the one that holds our own worst nightmare. I’m not going to lie, that was an ugly cry moment. How

Joy in Community During Pandemic

During the height of the pandemic, my long running Moms of Teens Book Club attempted to continue meeting virtually. We missed each other so much, but we found taking turns to talk in a Brady Bunch style box was restrictive for intentional sharing and fellowship. Although we found it awkward and less than ideal; it was better than not gathering at all. When it was time to start a new book, we offered to create two different meetups – one to continue online and one to meet in person outdoors. We discovered all our book group preferred to see each other face to face so the idea of two groups was dismissed. Before our first meeting back in person we weren’t sure what to expect, or the comfort level of each woman. There were so many questions – Masks? Food? Seating distance? Would it be as awkward as meeting virtually?  Moving forward with so many questions still up in the air, we selected a new book and scheduled our weekly time.  At that first meeting, what we found was that we simply wan

Make Reading Come Alive (A Review)

While searching for gift ideas last Christmas, I stumbled across a subscription box that sounded interesting.   Once Upon a Book Club claims to provide a “unique reading experience” and they deliver on that promise. Their monthly box includes a newly published book (sometimes hardcover, sometimes paperback), a 5”x7” card printed with an inspirational quote, and a glossy bi-fold brochure containing a “Conversation with the Author,” book club discussion questions, and opportunities to participate with online discussion communities across social media formats. But what makes this unique and fun is that the bright pink book box also contains 3-5 custom gifts of varying interest and value that directly correspond to the story plot . Each gift is wrapped and includes a page number telling you when to open it. And in case you get so wrapped up in the storyline you forget, the page includes a sticky note reminding you to Open Your Gift! One minute you’re engaged in a conversation between two

The Breakfast Club - a Retreat?

Most of us are familiar with the John Hughes 1980s classic movie “The Breakfast Club” where five stereotypical high school students come together for Saturday detention. Strangers in the morning, they spend the day getting to know one another, leaving as friends in the late afternoon. In a recent SQPN Secrets of Movies and Television: The Breakfast Club one panelist compared the movie to a road trip, but it could also be seen as a Teen Retreat. Indeed, the plot follows the same outline as many youth and adult retreats – albeit in a more secular manner.   Arriving The students arrive as individuals, seeing the world and others around them through a lens ground out of their own personal experiences. This includes conscious or unconscious social prejudices that they automatically apply to each other.  In detention, as on retreats, they are isolated from the real world and its comforts. They are “up the mountain” in a semi-guided environment, only able to interact with those present.  Alt

Defend the Truth and Defeat the Lies

For 48 years we have lived with the legal right to murder the most precious among us – an unborn child. For 48 years, our courts continued to abdicate their responsibility to re-examine what some call a cowardly decision to not answer the question, “When does life begin?”  For 48 years, men and women of science have conclusively, clearly, and visibly proven that life begins in the womb. So much is now understood about this growing life that doctors not only can operate on babies in utero, but also save the life of a preemie. Babies born early, between 24-30 weeks, have between a 70-99% chance of survival.  For 48 years, our culture continues to ignore the scientific truth about life. Boundaries that once limited killing the developing child within a specific gestational age continue to be pushed forward. Today, seven states boast no restrictions on abortion, allowing the child to be killed up to and including the moment of birth.  Earlier this week, newly inaugurated President Biden sa