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Month in review

Reviews
Aground on St. Thomas by Rebecca M. Hale
Art & Max by David Wiesner
Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Emily and the Strangers Volume 2: Breaking the Record by Rob Reger
Eric by Terry Pratchett
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 1: The Paradigm Shift by Simon Oliver
5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai
The Flying Beaver Brothers: Birds vs. Bunnies by Maxwell Eaton III
Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner
The Gods of Second Chances by Dan Berne
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Hanging by a Thread by Monica Ferris
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 2: 1981-1983 by Ed Piskor
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
Monkey Truck by Michael Slack
Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb
Omens by Kelley Armstrong
The Outside Dog by Charlotte Pomerantz
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon
Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 1 by Eric Colossal
The Salamander Spell by E.D. Baker
Sophie's Fish by A.E. Cannon
Speak Easily by Clarence Budington Kelland
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
25 Roses by Stephanie Faris
Ukulele Hayley by Judy Cox
The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter

Miscellaneous
My favorite books published in 2015
Reading goals for 2016

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Ukulele Hayley: 12/01/15

Ukulele Hayley by Judy Cox

My daughter is very passionate about her arts and crafts. Although she often creates art for arts sake, sometimes she uses it as a way to get (meaning make) something she thinks we won't (or can't) get for her.

About a month before her eight birthday she started gathering together the pieces for a new big project. She brought to the living room: an old shoe box, a ruler, some fishing line, and packing tape. Out of talking to her about what she was doing (and to save the ruler which she and her brother need for homework from becoming part of an art project), I got her to ask for what she really wanted. She wanted a ukulele for her birthday.

I'm still not entirely sure where or how she decided she wanted to learn how to play a ukulele (pronounced oo-koo-lay-lee, as she loves to remind me). But she's not alone in the sentiment. Most of our family seems to have taken it up (or in the case of my father, re-taken it up).

For her birthday, rather than a bunch of small items, we made a trek out to a music store in Walnut Creek that specializes in ukuleles. There she picked a pink one and an electronic tuner. Later for Christmas she accessorized with a white case for her instrument.

Before she began lessons, my daughter decided to see what she could learn about the ukulele on her own. One of the books she found was a chapter book, Ukulele Hayley by Judy Cox.

Hayley is nervous about the upcoming talent show because she doesn't seem to have any talents that can be performed on stage. While looking for a way out of the show, she comes across an old ukulele at a garage sale. She convinces her parents to let her buy it and the school's music teacher helps her learn a short piece of music in time for the show.

It's a cute book and my daughter definitely connected with it. As someone who had to survive through the yearly talent show at school, I didn't find the book quite as endearing. I usually ended up as a stage hand, except for a couple times my jazz and gymnastics talented best friend wrangled us up for a group thing.

Daughter playing for our cats

So far my daughter hasn't performed for anyone save for us and our cats. Salmon cat seems especially fond of her playing.

Three stars

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