A blog for kids (and their parents) who love books, words, and dreaming big...
I'm so glad you stopped by! Welcome.

Monday, August 31, 2015


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An excerpt:

[...] he was treated more or less as an equal by his parents, who sensibly thought it a very fair division of labour that they should supply the practical knowledge and he the book-learning. They knew that book-learning often came in useful at a pinch, in spite of what their neighbours said. What the Boy chiefly dabbled in was natural history and fairy tales, and he just took them as they came, in a sandwichy sort of way, without making any distinctions; and really his course of reading strikes one as rather sensible.

~ from The Reluctant Dragon,
written by Kenneth Grahame, 1898

Book-learning is useful -- and not just in a pinch!  I like Grahame's description of the Boy reading in "a sandwichy sort of way", and agree that reading natural history and fairy tales does seem sensible. :) What do you think?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pinning down a dream (almost)

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"Writing poems 
can be a way of 
pinning down a dream (almost); 
capturing a moment, 
a memory, a happening; 
and, at the same time, 
it's a way of sorting out 
your thoughts and feelings.  
the words tell you 
what you didn't know you knew."

 ~ Lillian Morrison,
in The Place My Words are Looking For

I love this description of writing poetry! It makes me want to grab a pen and notebook and go sit somewhere quiet where I can try to pin down a dream with my words. Have you ever felt this way about writing poems?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sea Shell

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Sea Shell

Sea Shell, Sea Shell,
  Sing me a song, O please!
A song of ships, and sailor men,
  And parrots, and tropical trees,
Of islands lost in the Spanish Main
Which no man ever may find again,
Of fishes and corals under the waves,
And sea-horses stabled in great green caves.
Sea Shell, Sea Shell,
Sing of the things you know so well.

~ Amy Lowell

Have you ever put a sea shell to your ear? I have, hoping to hear the ocean. I didn't have any luck with that... but maybe I should have been listening for a song instead!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Heaven (for book lovers)

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An excerpt:

     [...] As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

     No... eight days a week.

~ from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie,
written by Alan Bradley

Sure sounds like heaven to me! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A good library

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"No possession can surpass, 
or even equal a good library, 
to the lover of books. 
Here are treasured up 
for his daily use and delectation, 
riches which increase 
by being consumed, 
and pleasures that never cloy." 

~ John Alfred Langford

I couldn't agree more with this quote!  Libraries are among my very favorite places in the world. They are a treasure-trove of books, which are more precious than any gem to me.  How about you? Do you love libraries, too?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


For this week's word, I want to talk about something that is used in writings and in every day conversations on a regular basis: irony [ahy-ruh-nee]. According to Merriam-Webster.com, irony (a noun) has two main definitions: 1. "the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really think, especially in order to be funny" and 2. "a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be opposite of what you expected".

For example, imagine that you have plans to go a picnic with friends but on the day you're supposed to go, thunderstorms roll through your town.  You might look out the window and say, "What a lovely day for a picnic."  You would be using irony in that statement because, of course, it's not really a lovely day; it's the exact opposite. (Unless you're a big fan of storms and getting wet while you're eating!)

As for irony in a situation, consider the famous boat The Titanic, which launched in 1912. The Titanic was advertised as and believed to be 100% unsinkable, yet, on its very first voyage it hit an iceberg and sank. Isn't it ironic?

People use phrases with irony in them all the time, like when they say that something is "clear as mud" or when they describe someone as "friendly as a rattlesnake".

What other examples of irony can you think of?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


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You have
held the hot sun
so long that it has bleached
you white.  This morning you carried
it up

to chase
the dark shadows
away, but now you have
pushed it so high that it sits there

with one white eye
on the sweltering earth,
laughing at the wildfire it sets

~ Myra Cohn Livingston, 
from the book Sky Songs

This poem makes me think of sizzling summer days here in the midwest.  We've had several of them this year!  I especially like the final stanza and the image of the sun as a white eye staring down at us.  What words come to your mind when you think of the sun in summertime?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ever capable...

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An excerpt:

"[...] I think when we make choices -- for each choice is individual of the choices we have made before -- we must examine not only our reasons for making them but what result they will have, and whether good people will be hurt by our decisions."

     There was a pause. Then, "You are very wise, Cecily Herondale," he said.

     "Do not regret too much the choices you have made in the past, Gabriel," she said, aware that she was using his Christian name, but not able to help it. "Only make the right ones in the future. We are ever capable of change and ever capable of being our better selves."

~ from Clockwork Princess,
written by Cassandra Clare

I, too, feel that Cecily Herondale is very wise in this passage. Not only do I agree with her that we need to think about our choices when we make them (especially when it comes to big decisions), but I also believe that we humans are always capable of change and being better people than we were the day before. Do you agree with Cecily?  Why or why not?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

No wings

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"A man who has 
no imagination 
has no wings." 

~ Muhammad Ali

Imagination is a powerful thing. It gives us wings to soar toward our dreams and make them a reality. It also makes life much more interesting! Without imagination, we would have no books (gasp!), no poems, no music, no movies, no games... who would want to live in a world like that? Not me.

How will you use your imagination today?

Saturday, August 22, 2015


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Plant a seed
and watch it grow.

makes a lot.
Like a magic
cooking pot.

munch a lot.
Zucchini every meal --
you've got:

Zucchini bread.
Zucchini spread.
Zucchini casseroles.

Zucchini pies.
Zucchini fries.
Zucchini dinner rolls.

Zucchini juice.
Zucchini mousse.
Zucchini jam and scone.

Zucchini hash
and succotash.


~ George Shannon, 
from Busy in the Garden

This is such a fun poem! I love all the rhymes, the sounds of the words, and the images, too.  I happen to love zucchini, but I also know that sometimes gardens produce an overabundance of good food, until you just don't know what to do with it all.  Our family has a small raised garden at the moment.  We don't have any zucchini growing in it, but we have lots and lots of tomatoes.  As much as we all love tomatoes, we may be moaning about them soon!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Interview with a BookWyrm: My Three BookWyrms

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When I decided to return to writing Blue Sky, Big Dreams earlier this month, I thought about which aspects of the blog I would like to keep: the poems, the word of the week, the book reviews, and more. I also did a lot of thinking about items that I wanted to add to the blog. One new piece that I am excited to implement is "Interview with a BookWyrm", where my readers can share photos of themselves (or their children) reading books and also answer a few questions about their own love of reading. I enjoy hearing about others' favorite books, authors, etc. -- and I'm hoping that you do, too! My plan is to share one or two of these interviews each month.

To kick off this new blog piece, I thought I would start with my own kiddos. (They are captive subjects, after all.) I took photos of each of them reading this week and then interviewed them individually. The questions and their answers are below:

Name: Emmalie

Age: 19

Do you have a favorite reading spot? My bed.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Usually either fantasy or non-fiction books about mythology, etc.

What kinds of things do you like to do when you're not reading? Art. I like to draw and paint. I don't do it at home too much, but I like pottery. And I took up sewing this summer. I also like writing, listening to music, and just sitting and talking to my friends online or in person.

Name three favorite books (or series): Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses by Judika Illes

Who are your favorite authors? J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Jonathan Stroud, Jim Butcher, J.R.R. Tolkien, Victor Hugo... the list goes on and on!

What book are you reading now? I just finished rereading the graphic novel Bone by Jeff Smith. I also recently finished another graphic novel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. I'm currently between books because I'm working on art projects.

Name a book on your "to read" list: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Other than the books you've already named, what book (or series) would you recommend to kids or young adults? The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. I like it because it's an original take on urban fantasy. Usually the fantasy realm and technology don't get along very well, but they do in these books. It's also a very funny and cleverly written series with a diverse cast of interesting characters!


Name: Nick

Age: 16

Do you have a favorite reading spot? Not really, no.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Non-fiction about animals, especially books that talk about conservation and endangered species.

What kinds of things do you like to do when you're not reading? Spend time outside. I also like cooking, gardening, and volunteering at the forest preserve.

Name three favorite books (or series): Encyclopedia of Animals [by Johnathan Elphik], The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference [by Jonathan Hoekstra, Michael Jennings, Carmen Revenga, Mark D. Spalding, and Jennifer L. Molnar], and Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth [by Judith D. Schwartz and Gretel Ehrlich]

Who are your favorite authors? I don't have a favorite non-fiction author.  For fiction, Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer.

What book are you reading now? Let the Lions Roar!: The Evolution of Brookfield Zoo [by Andrea Friederici Ross]

Name a book on your "to read" list: The book I'll be reading next is In Search of Lost Frogs: The Quest to Find the World's Rarest Amphibians [by Robin Moore].

Other than the books you've already named, what book (or series) would you recommend to kids or young adults? For young kids: Feeding Time at the Zoo [by Sherry Shahan]. I used to read it over and over again. I loved the pictures!


Name: Ben

Age: Almost 10

Do you have a favorite reading spot? The couch

What kinds of books do you like to read? Adventure, fantasy, and comic books

What kinds of things do you like to do when you're not reading? Play outside with my friends, ride my bike, build with Legos, and draw my own mazes

Name three favorite books (or series): Bone [by Jeff Smith], all the Calvin & Hobbes books [by Bill Watterson], and The City of Ember [by Jeanne DuPrau]

Who are your favorite authors? I don't really pay attention to the names of the authors....

What book are you reading now? The 6th Bone book and Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy [by Karen Foxlee]

Name a book on your "to read" list: The second Magic Thief book [Lost by Sarah Prineas]

Other than the books you've already named, what book (or series) would you recommend to other kids? The Harry Potter books [by J.K. Rowling], the Percy Jackson books [by Rick Riordan], and the Peter and the Starcatchers books [by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson] are all awesome series for kids!


Do you have young BookWyrms in your home? Or maybe you are a young BookWyrm yourself? I am looking for volunteers 18 and under (or parents, volunteering their children!) to feature in "Interview with a BookWyrm". If you are interested, please message me on the Blue Sky, Big Dreams Facebook page. I will send you a list of the interview questions which you can fill out at your leisure and then return to me along with a photo of your child (or yourself) reading. (The BookWyrm's face does not need to show in the picture and I will only share the first name or first initial of the BookWyrm, depending on your preference. I respect your privacy and safety.)

To show my appreciation for your participation, I will send each interviewed BookWyrm a handmade bookmark. (It won't necessarily be handmade by me -- I'm not able to do much with my right arm at the moment -- but my daughter has agreed to make some for me and I also have many crafty friends. :) )

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A good pun

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"A good pun 
may be admitted 
among the smaller excellencies 
of lively conversation."

~ James Boswell

I always love a good pun! How about you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


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For this week's word, I wanted to use something school-related. I looked online for synonyms of the word "learn" and found one I hadn't heard before: lucubrate [loo-kyoo-breyt].  According to Dictionary.com, lucubrate is a verb meaning "to work, write, or study laboriously, especially at night".

Here are a couple of sentences that I came up with:

I was planning to go to the party 
but with the grades I've been getting, 
I'd better stay home and lucubrate instead!

Some people do their best thinking 
in the morning, but not Sarah -- 
she preferred to lucubrate.

How would you use the word lucubrate? Can you think of any school-related words that you find interesting or fun to say?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


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I'm ready to be a grade older.
I'm ready to ride the bus.
I'm ready to meet my teacher.
(I hope she's ready for us.)
I'm ready to use these pencils.
I'm ready to make new friends.
I'm a little bit sad
but I'm ready.
Summer always ends.

~ Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

It's that time of year again. I don't know about you, but "back to school" has always been a little bittersweet for me. Like this poem says, I'm sad that summer's ending... but I'm also excited and ready for a new school year. How do you feel about school starting up again?

To read more of Ms. VanDerwater's wonderful poetry, please visit her blog The Poem Farm. It's one of my favorite online spaces!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our heads could do with filling....

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An excerpt:

“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald,
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us something worth knowing,
Bring us back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot...”

~ from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,
written by J.K. Rowling

My boys start back to school today and I thought that this Hogwarts school song would be appropriate for the occasion. :)  I hope that they -- and all the others headed back to school this fall -- will spend the year filling their heads with interesting stuff that's worth knowing!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

You must write it.

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"If there's a book 
you really want to read, 
but it hasn't been written yet, 
then you must write it."  

~ Toni Morrison

I'm sharing this quote as a reminder to myself.  There are stories I want to read, but they are inside my head.  I need to work on getting them out on paper!  How about you?  Do you have a book that you want to read that is just waiting there in your brain? You must write it.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August Ice Cream Cone

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August Ice Cream Cone



~ Paul B. Janeczko

It's only two words long, but this poem (along with its title) conveys a lot.  I read it and in my mind I can see the ice cream, melting in the sunshine.  I can feel the heat of the day, the stickiness of the cone, and the cold on my tongue.  I can hear giggles and smacks of satisfaction.  I can taste the creamy, minty goodness. (In my mind, it's a chocolate chip mint cone.)  What comes to your mind when you read it? 

Do you think you could write a two-word poem that would paint an image in someone's mind?  If you do write one, please share it -- I'd love to read it! :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Here There Be Dragons...

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I have long been a fan of fantasy novels, at least since I was ten years old and read The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time.  It really shouldn't be a surprise that I've read a lot of fantasy over the past two years while on hiatus from this blog. Much of it was middle grade or young adult fiction, which means I can now share these books here! If you, too, love to read about dragons, castles, witches, werewolves, and more, here are some books that I recommend:

Middle-grade fantasy:

The Reluctant Dragon,
written by Kenneth Grahame, 1898
and illustrated by Michael Hague, 1988

An amiable dragon (with a love of poetry) befriends a shepherd boy. But when the townspeople find out about the dragon, they enlist St. George, dragon slayer, to get rid of it. How can the boy save his friend's life and help St. George keep his hero status?

I remember watching the short Disney film The Reluctant Dragon when I was a little girl. When I was older, we bought the video for our own kids and watched it several times. It wasn't my favorite film ever, by any means, but I thought it was cute. At the time, I didn't realize that the film was based on a book. Then, about a year ago, I just happened to spot the book at our library one day. I saw that it was written by Kenneth Grahame, who is most known for writing The Wind in the Willows, which I love. I decided to bring the book home -- and I'm glad that I did. Grahame tells his story in rich language that just begs to be read aloud. And, as is the case with most books that are later turned into movies, I much prefer the book!


Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy,
written by Karen Foxlee, 2014

A contemporary reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen", this story begins with eleven-year-old Ophelia in the museum where her father has just been hired, in a town where it always snows. Ophelia is supposed to stay close to her older sister Alice but she wanders off, looking at all the unusual collections inside.  Near the sea monster mosaic floor, she discovers a strange, nameless boy locked in a room who implores Ophelia to help save the world.

I read this book in one sitting and immediately recommended it to my son Ben once I'd finished. (He hasn't read it yet, but it is next on his "to-read" list.) I enjoyed Foxlee's writing -- her descriptions of the Snow Queen and the town where it always snows made me shiver with cold! I also loved the story, an exciting adventure that teaches Ophelia (and the reader) about bravery.


The Silver Bowl,
written by Diane Stanley, 2011

Seven-year-old Molly, considered a troublemaker by her father, is sent to be a scullery maid at the Castle Dethemere. Like her mother, Molly has the gift of "sight", the ability to see visions of the past and the future. (If anyone finds out about her visions, she'll be branded as a witch!) She eventually becomes a respected member of the castle staff, entrusted with polishing the King's silver. The trouble begins when Molly goes to polish a silver bowl. Touching it, she sees visions of an ancient curse on the royal family. Can Molly prevent tragedy and save the kingdom of Westria?

I found this to be a charming book for younger middle-grade readers. I especially liked the fact that the main character is a strong (though young) female.  The Silver Bowl trilogy also includes The Cup and the Crown (2012) and The Princess of Cortova (2010); I have not read these books yet, but would like to someday!


The Magic Thief
(and the rest of The Magic Thief series),
written by Sarah Prineas, 2008

"A thief is a lot like a wizard. I have quick hands. And I can make things disappear. But then I stole the wizard's locus magicalicus and nearly disappeared myself forever." So begins The Magic Thief series.

Conn is a young thief in the city of Wellmet, and touching the wizard Nevery's magic stone should have killed him. For some reason, it doesn't. Curious, Nevery takes Conn on as his apprentice. Why is the boy able to touch the stone with no effect? And who is stealing all the magic from the city of Wellmet?

Ben and I both found this to be an entertaining story and a quick read.  The Wellmet runes that can be found throughout the novel (including a key at the back) add an amusing touch, giving clues to the story. I went on to read some of the other books in The Magic Thief series: Lost (2009) and Found (2010); I liked them just as much as the first one. (Ben hopes to read them soon.) I still need to check out the remaining books, A Proper Wizard (2014) and Home (2014).


The False Prince (2012)
(and the rest of The Ascendence Trilogy),
written by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The king, queen, and crowned prince of Carthya have been murdered. The royal family's long-lost youngest son Jaron is presumed dead. Conner, a crafty nobleman, devises a plan to find a Jaron lookalike and install him as a puppet prince. He recruits four orphan boys to compete for the role, including Sage, narrator of the story. Sage questions Conner's motives and also understands that whoever is not chosen as the prince will likely be killed.

This is a fast-paced book, filled with action and adventure! I really liked Sage's character -- he is a clever boy with a quick wit and sharp tongue, but he also has a good heart. This is another book that I've recommended to Ben. The Ascendence Trilogy also includes The Runaway King (2013), which I read and enjoyed as much as the first book, and also The Shadow Throne (2014), which is on my "to read" list.


The Dragon's Tooth,
written by N. D. Wilson, 2011

Cyril Smith lives in a rundown motel with his older sister and brother. The three siblings have been running the motel ever since their father died and their mother slipped into a coma. One day, a strange man with bone tattoos shows up at the hotel. Mere hours later, the man dies, the motel burns to the ground, Cyril's brother Daniel goes missing, and the siblings are sent on a long journey to save the world against the forces of evil!

This is another action-packed novel. Despite that, I have to say that I liked all the other books in this post more than this one. I did still find it an intriguing story, however, and worthy of sharing here on this blog. The Ashtown Burials trilogy also includes The Drowned Vault (2012) and Empire of Bones (2013). I haven't read either one yet, but I have seen very positive reviews of these two books and they are on my "to read" list.


The Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle,
written by Susannah Applebaum, 2009

An evil king rules over the kingdom of Caux where poisoning is the norm and it is common to employ a taster. The story begins as eleven-year-old Ivy Manx sets out to look for her uncle, the kingdom's last healer, who disappeared over a year ago. She is joined by her crow Shoo and Rowan, a young taster. Together they embark on a journey that is fraught with danger and intrigue.

I thought this was a fun novel!  I especially appreciated its wry humor and imagery. There are two more books in The Poisons of Caux trilogy which I hope to read soon: The Tasters Guild (2010) and The Shepherd of Weeds (2010).


Young adult fantasy:

Between the Lines,
written by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer, 2012

Have you ever dreamed of a character in a book coming to life and joining you in your world? That's just what happens to high schooler Delilah when her favorite fairy tale character, Prince Oliver, speaks to her one day as she's rereading his book....

This was a quick read and I liked the cute, light-hearted story. I have not yet read the sequel, Off the Page (2015), but I hope to do so soon. Though this is considered to be a young adult novel, keep in mind that it seems geared toward younger teens.  (Older teens and adults may appreciate it, too -- I certainly did. But if someone reads it expecting it to be written for a more mature audience, as the books mentioned below are, he/she may be disappointed.)


City of Bones
(and the rest of the The Mortal Instruments series),
written by Cassandra Clare, 2007

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray and her best friend Simon visit a modern-day New York City club, Clary witnesses what she believes to be a murder. However, the victim's body vanishes into thin air and Clary seems to be the only one who can see his teen killers. She learns that the teens (Jace, Alec, and Isabelle) are Shadowhunters, warriors who hunt and kill demons, and that, as a "mundane" human, she should not be able to see any of them. Soon, both Clary and Simon are drawn into a supernatural world, filled with demons, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, fairies, and the Shadowhunters themselves.

I really enjoyed this book and also its sequels: City of Ashes (2008), City of Glass (2009), City of Fallen Angels (2011), City of Lost Souls (2012), and City of Heavenly Fire (2014).  Every time I finished one book, I couldn't wait to read the following one and see what happened next!


Clockwork Angel
(and the rest of the The Infernal Devices trilogy),
also written by Cassandra Clare, 2009

The Infernal Devices trilogy is a prequel for The Mortal Instruments series shown above and includes the books Clockwork Prince (2011) and Clockwork Princess (2013). Its story begins in 1878 as 16-year-old American Tessa Gray steps off the boat in England -- and is immediately kidnapped by the Dark Sisters. While being held prisoner, Tessa learns that she possesses the rare ability to take on the appearance of someone else, living or dead. This talent has attracted the eye of the mysterious Magister, who plans to marry Tessa, whether she likes it or not. On the evening before her wedding, Tessa is rescued by Will Herondale, a Shadowhunter.

I liked this series even more than I liked The Mortal Instruments, especially the final book, Clockwork Princess. I loved the mix of fantasy and history in this series.  I also appreciated how this story tied in to The Mortal Instruments, explaining the origins of different events, characters, and objects found in the modern-day story.


The following books are shelved in the adult section of my library, but I feel they also belong in the young adult section (for older teens), so I am including them in my post:

A Discovery of Witches
(and the rest of the All Souls Trilogy),
written by Deborah Harkness, 2011
I forgot to take a photo of the
book when I had it checked
out. This image is courtesy
 of Wikipedia.

While doing research at a library in Oxford, the historical scholar (and descendent of witches) Diana Bishop stumbles upon a manuscript that's been missing for 150 years. As soon as she touches it, Diana realizes that the text is magical. However, she has spent her life denying her witch heritage, and quickly returns the book before reading it, unaware that it is a very important text in the paranormal universe. Once returned, the book goes missing again. Soon, every witch, vampire, and daemon is searching for both Diana and the text, including the handsome geneticist (and vampire), Matthew Clairmont.

I absolutely loved this book and the others in the trilogy: Shadow of Night (2012) and The Book of Life (2014)! Not only does the trilogy fit into the fantasy genre, but it also has a healthy dose of historical fiction in it, another favorite genre of mine.  All three books held me spell-bound (pun intended); I couldn't put them down until I'd finished. This is a series that I plan on rereading, probably several times!


Have you read any of the books above?  If so, what did you think of them? What are some of your favorite fantasy novels? I am always looking for new books to read! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The days weren't long enough...

"What she was finding also was how 
one book led to another, 
doors kept opening wherever she turned 
and the days weren't long enough 
for the reading she wanted to do." 

~ Alan Bennett,
from The Uncommon Reader

The days are never long enough for all the reading I want to do, either. Do you feel the same way?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Photo courtesy of

I like using specific color words (the ones that go beyond "red" or "yellow") whenever I can. One of those words is viridian [vuh-rid-ee-uh n], the name for a bluish green color, which is more green than blue.

This word always makes me think of scenes like the one in the picture above:

The boat and its crisp white sails 
glided across the viridian waves.

The color also reminds me of something else found in nature:

A brilliant viridian dragonfly rested on the log, 
its wings vibrating and humming in the sunshine.

How would you use the word viridian in a sentence?  What other specific color words can you think of?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Uncountable Billions

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Uncountable billions
of small grains of stone
make a short stretch of beach
one can lie on alone
or dig landlocked lakes in
or castles or forts.
Uncountable billions
of small grains of quartz.

~Karla Kuskin

The beach is a wondrous place.  I love the sound of the waves against the shore and the feel of the warm sand under my feet.  One of my favorite things to do at the beach is to look for interesting rocks. (Shells, too, but there aren't many of those at the land-locked beaches we normally visit.)  I love to just sit and sift through the sand, looking for smooth pebbles with different colors and designs.  Sometimes I forget that each piece of sand is also a rock. When I think about it, though, I am amazed, knowing that there are uncountable billions of tiny rocks stretching out beneath me.  How does nature amaze you?

Monday, August 10, 2015

This BookWyrm is Back

My daughter took this photo for me, Aug. 2015

Hello there.  Again.

It's been awhile.

In fact, it's been almost two years since I last shared a post here.  I wish I had a good excuse for disappearing from this blog, but I really don't have one.  When I posted my previous entry, an excerpt from Alice in Wonderland, at the beginning of November in 2013, I was not planning for it to be my last one.  In fact, I had already started writing up several entries to post later in the month.  But then I got busy with life and put this blog on hold.

Not surprisingly, the longer I went without posting anything new, the easier it was for me to continue doing nothing with Blue Sky, Big Dreams and the harder it became for me to break out of that "do-nothing" mode. And I didn't have that problem only with this blog. The same thing happened with my other writing; I've done very little of it over the past two years.

I've missed writing, though.  I've missed working on my stories and my poetry.  I've also missed this blog and the opportunity it gives me to share poems, quotes, words, and books with all of you every day. That's why I'm back! :)

I finally managed to break free from my writing inertia this week and have several posts already lined up for you this month.  I am determined to keep at it.  And I'm hoping that writing here will help launch me back into writing my poems and stories again.  Wish me luck!

It's true that there's been a dearth of writing in my life over the last two years, but time has not stood still and a lot of other things have happened along the way. My kiddos have continued to grow, for one thing. (Imagine that!)

My daughter Emmalie graduated from high school last year and went away to college in the fall. (I'm pretty sure that transition was much harder on me than it was on her!) We've all loved having her back this summer -- I can't believe that it's almost time for her to return to school again.

My son Nick will be a junior in high school this year.  It is unfathomable to me that he'll be headed to college in just two short years.  He started his first paying job this summer, doing an internship with a local forest preserve.  In addition to that, he's been volunteering weekly at another forest preserve and also Brookfield Zoo.  He's been one busy boy!

My youngest, Ben, will be ten next month.  He starts a new school this year and I'm hoping he will love it!  When I last worked on this blog, I was still reading to Ben every night before bed.  He's since become a voracious reader himself (my little BookWyrm!), constantly working his way through big stacks of books all on his own.

As for me, I've still been reading a lot. (Thank goodness that hasn't changed!) I recently joined the Goodreads website and have been busy recording all the books I've read this year, over 60 so far. (They've mostly been adult fiction, but I've also read my fair share of middle-grade and young adult fiction, as well. I will be sharing those books with you in the weeks to come.)

For most of the time that I've been "missing in action", I've had some problems with my right shoulder and biceps.  Last month I had surgery on both.  (And, yes, I'm right-handed. That certainly *has* been a factor when it comes to my lack of writing.)  Now I'm busy with physical therapy and trying to get my arm/shoulder back to normal.  I still have a long way to go, but at least now I can type with both hands again and also use my right hand to write with a pen or a pencil. (Believe me, that's a big deal!)

For those of you who are new to this blog, welcome! (To learn more about Blue Sky, Big Dreams and my philosophy behind it, please check out this post and this one.)

And for those of you who have been here before, welcome back.  I appreciate all of your past support and am so glad that you are willing to come back now that I'm giving this blog another try.

Happy Reading, one and all! :)

P.S. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I would LOVE to hear your comments on this or any other post!  This blog is even more fun for me when I can have a two-way conversation with my readers. :) So please, don't hesitate to write comments -- whether you agree with something I've written or not. I will be happy to hear from you!