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Month in review

Reviews
Avatar: The Last Airbender: North and South, Part Three by Gene Luen Yang
Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle
CatStronauts: Robot Rescue by Drew Brockington
The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing by Erika Lopez
The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and Jon Klassen
Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
Love, Penelope by Joanne Rocklin
Melena's Jubilee by Zetta Elliott and Aaron Boyd
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
The Once Upon a Time Map Book by B.G. Hennessy and Peter Joyce
The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble
Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army by Enigma Alberti
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Thornhill by Pam Smy
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Winter Wonders by Kate Hannigan

Miscellaneous
Favorites of the first half of 2018
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 02, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 09, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 16, 2018)
June 2018 Sources
June 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Are small towns uhoric or utopic?
An update on the road narrative reading
What isn't a road narrative: towards an ontological understanding of the road's importance

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Rating System

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


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House Held Up by Trees: 07/10/18

House Held Up by Trees

House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser is about a house that is built way out in the countryside. It covers the time from when it was new, through the family that lived there, to the house sitting empty and for sale, to finally being boarded up and left to nature.

The grove of trees is cleared away and the house. There is a tidy lawn and the kids play on it. The house is something that the man who owns it is proud of. It's implied that his children will grow up and want to keep the house.

But the house is very rural and the town never really comes out far enough. There's not enough to do or to live on out there. Presumably the now adult children move somewhere where they can makes lives for themselves.

So the house goes on the market. It doesn't sell. And over the remainder of the book, the house becomes like so many of those old abandoned farm houses one sees along two lane roads.

Except this is a wet place and the trees that had been cleared grow back. The final pages show how the house gets absorbed back into the forest. Like the famous bicycle in a tree photo that makes the rounds of the internet, the house becomes part of the trees.

It's a rather bleak story but realistic for a lot of small towns that didn't manage to hold on after various economic downturns.

The illustrations by Jon Klassen carry the bulk of the story. He uses his hallmark pallet of earth tones. Here those colors carry the isolation and desolation of this house next to and then inside a grove of trees.

Four stars

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