Sunday, 12 January 2020

Different tea and treats, same type of post, on a bright snowy morning...

I’m trying a new organic chai assam black tea this morning, which is a finer loose tea than I normally use, so bits of the tea have managed to get into my cup.  But it is so yummy that it’s worth it! And I have a different treat, too, a Blueberry Lemon Scone from Future Bakery. The weather was so rainy and unpleasant yesterday that I wanted to reduce the number of places we had to go for errands, so I got this at the market, since we were already there for other things.  It’s good, but I normally get their Vanilla Scone when I choose to buy from Future Bakery, and I've discovered that I prefer Vanilla to Blueberry Lemon... but nothing beats my usual Date Bar.  
I was in a book rut at the beginning of last week, and tried three different books before finally settling on a Young Adult book that I brought home from work on Wednesday.  Word Nerd by Canadian children’s author Susin Nielsen is a coming-of-age story set in Vancouver.  Ambrose is a twelve-year-old who has moved around alot with his mother, Irene. His father died before he was born, so it’s been just the two of them for his whole life.  Irene has a PhD in English and has worked as a sessional instructor at various universities. She keeps hoping that one of them will hire her on full-time, but that goal keeps eluding her and so she packs everything up, including her son, and moves on.  After stints in Edmonton, Calgary and Regina, they settle in Vancouver, where she finds work at UBC. Ambrose is not your average kid. He has a severe peanut allergy, he’s a bit socially awkward, and his fashion sense is rather, um, unique. At his new school, three boys bully him so badly that his mother decides to pull him out of school and homeschool/correspondence-school him for the remainder of the year. So she stays home with him all day and teaches courses every night while he is expected to stay home by himself and watch their one TV channel to amuse himself. When he befriends Cosmo, the unemployed ex-con son of the Greek couple who own the house from whom they are renting the basement, his life changes miraculously, particularly when he discovers that Cosmo also loves to play Scrabble. This change is mostly for the better, except that he must keep this friendship a secret from his mother, who does not approve of Cosmo - did I mention that she is VERY protective? How long Ambrose can keep this other life hidden, and what will happen when his mother finds out, are the driving forces behind this humourous, gentle novel that addresses themes of parenthood, growing up, fitting in and finding a place to belong. I have read one other book by this author and will definitely add more of her books to my collection. I think she is easily as talented a Canadian children’s author as Eric Walters, although perhaps lesser known, at least here in Ontario, so I will try to promote her books a bit more at my school.
Oh, the sun’s just come out, so I think it’s time to close for today and get outside.  After a day of dark skies and relentless rain yesterday, I will definitely enjoy this sunny, snowy treat!
Bye for now…
Julie

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