Best Books, Snow, and the Patriots

I’m not much of a football fan, but what I am a fan of is seeing things through to the end, determination, grit, and never losing hope or belief. For all those that watched The Game, the Patriots embodied all of these. (Sorry Seahawks fans).

For every New Englander that loves snow (I’m jumping up and down raising my hand!) we waited and waited, not losing hope, and finally got The Storm. Snow brings out the kid in me (which isn’t hard to do). I know so many people dislike snow, but I think it’s all about attitude and a willingness to embrace the kid inside. Oftentimes I’m the first one in the house to yell, “Snow day! Let’s get the sleds out!” I love the feeling of bundling up in layers, trudging up the hill, sitting atop that piece of hard plastic and letting go with a WHOOSH! Then, of course, there is snowman building, fort building, igloo building, snow wrestling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, animal tracking, and more. Snow is so much more than digging the cars out and praying you don’t slip on your way to work. Embrace it and you may find that there’s actually joy in that white fluffy stuff!

And that brings me to this year’s ALA 2015 winners. These are the children’s books selected as the best of the best. It would be impossible to put all of our favorites on this list, and there are always disappointments not to see them. But the books that have “made it” are well worth a read and well worth celebrating. More importantly from where I stand, I celebrate the authors (and illustrators) whose books have been given these prestigious awards because behind each of these books I know there was determination, grit, and seeing things through to the end. While there may have been moments of losing hope and belief, all of the other stuff won out. I have so much admiration for them, and congratulate each and every one of those authors and illustrators.

I struggle every day to hold on and keep my writing going. I lose hope often, but force myself to snap out of it and embrace the joy writing gives me. My son’s teachers are all about grit, and every time I help him with his homework and he gets frustrated it reminds me to have it in myself. How could I ever be a good role model if I gave up? I can’t and you can’t either.

What do you struggle with? How do you find your determination and grit? Please share!

In honor of Dan Santat’s Caldecott winning book The Adventures of Beetle: The Unimaginary Friend here is…

Life Lesson #17: Every day eagerly wait to be imagined by a real child. Together you can do the unimaginable.



Click image to buy this book.

*Please visit my Parents Page for this month’s READ THIS! article on tips for helping children at home develop literacy skills, and a lifelong love of literacy.


4 thoughts on “Best Books, Snow, and the Patriots

  1. Hi Deb – great post. Personally, I struggle with finding time to write, and the frustration I feel when that time suddenly disappears. There’s always so much going on, so many reasons *not* to write today. As much as I try to shelter that time, it’s difficult and lots of unforeseen things happen – case in point, between sick kids and snow days, I’ve had time to write on only 1 of the last 11 days. It’s very difficult to keep any momentum going!

    • I hear you, Carrie! Today I arranged for 3 of my sons friends to come over so I could “try” to make some writing time of the day. It worked a little, but it’s always harder for me to write with people in the house! Like life, we do have to roll with day to day surprises, like a snow day. Or two. Or four! I once read about an author that tells her family she is “going to work”, just like she would be if she actually left the house, and she gets to her “office” and works during set amounts of time. Easier to do when you don’t have young children around, for sure, but the concept is doable, I think. Stay determined and your momentum will return quickly!

  2. Determination and grit are so important! I struggle with rejection, even though I know I’m not supposed to take it personally. But I will never give up!

    P.S. My older son lives in Boston and got a ton of snow compared to what we got here in Pennsylvania. Enjoy your snow day.

    • Thanks for sharing, Joanne! We do have to keep telling ourselves over and over, “It’s not personal. It’s a business.” Sometimes when I send off a manuscript I remind myself not to put all my eggs in one basket, which does help prep me for a “no thanks”. Glad you have the grit!

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