Boston is two days from its first Marathon since the tragic events of last year’s race. Last week, walking across Boston Common, the Public Garden and up Boylston Street, there were signs of stepped-up security and the special nature of Monday’s event. Crossing the Common, I saw what looked like a sea of white sheets spread across the grass. As I got closer, I realized they were hundreds of canvas banners that people signed to express their support for the victims of the bombings.
Talking with an official-looking person, I learned that the project, “America 4 Boston Prayer Canvas” was started by seven Florida moms who wanted to do something positive after last year’s Marathon. The canvases have traveled to churches, schools, baseball fields and Congress during the past year. What I saw was a giant quilt on the Common, but by Monday, they will be hanging near the finish line.
As I walked across the Garden, this swan caught my eye – the first time I’ve seen one of Boston’s famous swan boats out of the pond! This one seemed to be looking longingly at his (or her?) friends who were already floating….
Going down Boylston Street, I tried to recall which children’s picture books, besides Make Way for Ducklings, include images of the Swan Boats. I thought of two from our school library shelves:
– Journey Around Boston from A to Z by Martha Zschock
– You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Museum of Fine Arts by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman
There are probably others, but those are the two that came to mind.
On Friday, I had an opportunity to hear a group of 4th, 5th and 6th grade students share their favorite books. As part of their morning greeting, each of the students named their favorite book or author. I had my pen and paper ready. Here’s the list:
– Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper – 3 votes!!
– Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
– Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
– The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins (I hope that was a 6th grade vote!)
– Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
– Wildwood by Colin Meloy
– The Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
– The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
– My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
– Matilda by Roald Dahl
– Bull Run by Paul Fleischman
– Anything by Sharon Creech
– The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
And the teacher’s votes? I wrote those down too…
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Rule of the Moon by Russell Banks
and one vote for……Charlotte’s Web!
Book Fair next week! Another opportunity to see what kids want to read! Stay tuned for reports from the sales floor….
UPDATE: Soon after posting this, a good friend and avid reader let me know I missed E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan, which includes a scene where Louis gets a job with the Swan Boats! Thanks Shannon…