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Month in review

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Blowing Clear by Joseph C. Lincoln
Captain Superlative by J.S. Puller
Charlie & Frog by Karen Kane
The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks
File M for Murder by Miranda James
Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer
Giant Days Volume 8 by John Allison
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
If Someone Says 'You Complete Me,' RUN! by Whoopi Goldberg
Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard
The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage
Little Red Rodent Hood by Ursula Vernon
The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
The Mystery of the Missing Mask by M.A. Wilson
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl
The Rhino in Right Field by Stacy DeKeyser
Runaways, Volume 2: Best Friends Forever by Rainbow Rowell
Secret Coders: Potions & Parameters by Gene Luen Yang and Matthew Holmes
Seldom Disappointed by Tony Hillerman
Show Me a Story! by Leonard S. Marcus
Small Favor by Jim Butcher
Soof by Sarah Weeks
The Speaker by Traci Chee
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
Very Rich by Polly Horvath
Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™ by Rebecca Roanhorse

Miscellaneous
Cybils Update (December 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 17)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 24)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 31)
November 2018 Sources
November 2018 Summary

Best of the Year
Favorites of the second half of 2018

Thirteen favourite Canadian reads of 2018

Twelve favorite diverse books read in 2018

Twelve Favorite graphic novels read in 2018

Twelve favorite mysteries read in 2018

Twelve favorite Road Narrative Spectrum books read in 2018

Twelve favorite road narrative spectrum essays written in 2018

Road Essays
FF9900 Orphan Wildlands Blue Highway

FF66FF: orphan home cornfield: or who lives alone in a cornfield?

FF66CC: Orphans at home in the maze

FF6699: orphans at home in the labyrinth

Road Narrative Update for November 2018

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FF66FF: orphan home cornfield: or who lives alone in a cornfield?: 12/14/18

FF66FF: orphan home cornfield: or who lives alone in a cornfield?

Midway through the orphan as traveler section of the road narrative spectrum is the home destination. When combined with the most dangerous or fantastical route, namely, the cornfield, weird things can happen.

The orphan as I've shown before is the most magical of travelers. They are the most protected from the dangers of the road, and if the trope is turned on its head, are the most dangerous of travelers to the road.

Home is in the middle of the road narrative destinations because it's so often in opposition to the road narrative. Travelers either leave home to go somewhere or are somewhere and want to get home. At the most extreme, they go somewhere impossible — a utopia — and need to get home. At the most banal, they leave home for the big city.

Home comes into play as the destination either for nostalgia — someone returning home after years away because they haven't found what they need or they have, and wish to make amends for previous trespasses against kith and kin at home. The prodigal son story is a classic example of the latter kind.

Or home can be used as a horror setting. Home should be safe from the road. If you're not putting yourself out there, danger should stay at bay. But sometimes horror comes home.

When home is placed in relationship to a path through the cornfield, it is either the start of a fantasy story or a horror story. What lies beyond the cornfield? Is it a path to the impossible — say a trip to Oz either by cyclone or by road?

An orphan at home in a cornfield could leave the safe and mundane, the safe space, for something unknown, potentially dangerous, and fantastical by crossing the cornfield. An orphan who choses to stay at home in a horror story will be visited by the fantastical and the dangerous that chose to cross the cornfield for a visit.

And then there's the twist of the dangerous orphan who calls the cornfield home. That's the premise of Wee Sister Strange by Holly Grant (2017). The picture book with a rather Dadaist poetic text follows a girl who lives by herself in the wilderness where she has numerous adventures: riding bears, climbing trees, escaping wolves, communing with owls, swimming in bogs, and so forth. But the innocent magic of that is called into question when she is drawn to a regular looking home where the very book you're reading is being read. On hearing her story, she makes a bed for herself in the yard of family and disappears, implying that she'll be heading to your yard soon to hear the story again.

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