The reason I never act saintly is 'cause I've got too much want in my heart. Mama was cursed with a wanting heart, too. That's why hers is broken now.
This is the start to a wonderful MG book. Grave Images is the first MG book featured on Sweet Reads thus far, which I'm a bit surprised about in retrospect, b/c I love MG books. They normally never fail to bring a tear to my eye, and Grave Images was no exception. Poor Bernie's family is going through such a rough time. And having become a mother myself in the last two years, my heart ached for them, as children truly are the most precious gift.
But GI really hit me hardest with this sentence(the mc is thinking what a cemetery is not like to the boy who followed here there): Not a place that punched you hard in the gut and then apologized with peace, quiet, and the sweet smell of grass. I lost my Mom when I was a teenager(please no apologies- it's okay, but thank you! :) ) and the above sentence describes so perfectly what it's like to visit the cemetery. When it's so hard to approach the grave and see that name, but then, after awhile, it is comforting to sit there and visit w/them in such a beautiful, serene setting.
Now on to some of the fun passages in this book, which I promise it abounds with:
Due to Mimi loving God first and roosters second, our home holds a scattering of crosses, paintings of the Holy Family, and images of red comb-headed chickens.
And here, b/c this paragraph made me chuckle, as well as tying in so perfectly w/Mimi- Bernie's grandmother(I'm taking notes on how you did this, Jenny!): There weren't a whole lot of decorations, either: however, one shelf above the fireplace housed a mishmashed collection of cheer trophies and religious statues. Porcelain members of the Holy Family(enough to make Mimi jealous) surrounded by cheap brass figurines holding pom-poms. It was like they were all cheerleading, "Go Baby Jesus," or something.
Bernie also develops a reluctant friendship in the book with a boy named Michael, who she feels has a big head and sausage fingers- true love in the making, lol! Here's where we first meet him: He was coming up the sidewalk on a pogo stick. A pogo stick! It was thin and silver and Michael was wearing a bright-red helmet. He looked ridiculous, of course- like a giant cherry lollipop springing into the sky.
I super recommend this book to anyone looking for a MG with a lot of heart, humor, a dash of scary, and the reminder to be thankful for those we love, everyday. I promise it won't disappoint! And, though I always read first and foremost to entertain myself(yup, I'm deep like that) and not necessarily to 'learn' anything, I truly feel like this book could help kids who are dealing w/grief. Or, if they haven't yet experienced losing someone close, then to learn a bit about empathy for others. I know when the kidlet gets old enough, this will be one of my 'must-reads' for him.
And now, this month's recipe. It's a bit more work than I usually like, but so worth the end results. Pumpkin and cream cheese are one of those combos that just can't be beat.
2/3 c. pumpkin
1 c. sugar
pecans or walnuts*
3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Blend eggs & pumpkin together.
2. Sift all dry ingredients, & blend together with egg mixture.
3. Grease 10 x 15 cookie sheet(one that has sides).
4. Pour batter onto sheet & bake 20-25 mins @ 350.
5. Roll in a towel.
6. Beat all ingredients of the filling together, and unroll cake and spread over it.
7. Re-roll cake. Wrap in wax paper & store in fridge.
*Nuts are optional, given whether or not you like them, and quantity would just depend on how nutty you like it.
I hope everyone has a blessed, yummy, and very Happy Thanksgiving!