Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge Update (July 2018)

July’s words were: apple, between, blue, cabin, desert, many, stay, water, wood/s

Here’s what I read…

Middle Grade Novels:

Last Summer with Maizon; Maizon at Blue Hill; and Between Madison and Palmetto by Jacqueline Woodson

Picture Books:

Too Many Toys by David Shannon

Short Stories:

“Young Man Blues” by Luis Alberto Urrea

“Welcome to the Water Museum” by Luis Alberto Urrea

“The Blue Devils of Blue River Avenue” by Poe Ballantine

“Ayama and the Thorn Wood” by Leigh Bardugo

“In the Manner of Water or Light” by Roxane Gay


“Wiisah kote: The Burnt Wood People” by Heid E. Erdrich

“Sisters Stay on the Other Side” by Heid E. Erdrich

“Sex in the Desert” by Heid E. Erdrich

“I Watch Her Eat the Apple” by Natalie Diaz

“Jimmy Eagle’s Hot Cowboy Boots Blues” by Natalie Diaz

“The Red Blues” by Natalie Diaz

“Refugee Blues” by WH Auden

Testament Scratched into a Water Station Barrel” (Partial Translation) by Eduardo C. Corral

“The Apple Trees at Olema” by Robert Hass

Between the Wars” by Robert Hass

“The Woods in New Jersey” by Robert Hass

“The Blue” by Camille T. Dungy

“See a Furious Waterfall Without Water” by Patricia Lockwood

“Natural Dialogue Grows in the Woods” by Patricia Lockwood

“Wade in the Water” by Tracy K. Smith

Watershed” by Tracy K. Smith

“The Blue Room” by Patrick Rosal

“The Woman You Love Cuts Apples For You” by Patrick Rosal

“About the White Boys who Drove by a Second Time to Throw a Bucket of Water on Me” by Patrick Rosal

“Sonoran Desert Sutras” by Luis Alberto Urrea

“Teocalli Blues” by Luis Alberto Urrea

Entry from 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S. by Brent D. Glass:

White Dove of the Desert, Tucson, Arizona


They Started School Afraid of the Water. Now They Are Saving Lives.New York Times article about success stories at a high school in training students not only to swim, but to be lifeguards.

Jacqueline Woodson wins 2018 Wilder Award – announced in February 2018.

Jacqueline Woodson: US teen author wins $600,000 Astrid Lindgren prize – another award for the author, who will be at this year’s National Book Festival.

Jacqueline Woodson On Growing Up, Coming Out And Saying Hi To Strangers – NPR interview with the author.

Farming in the Desert – Deborah Fallows writes of Ajo, Arizona: “I saw that none of this happens by accident. Rather, it is the result of identifying the town’s needs, researching programs that can help, understanding how to seek support from foundations and other outside organizations, and seeing the projects through.”

A Waterfront Library – Deborah Fallows discusses a beautiful new library in Erie, Pennsylvania, with an art collection, public programming including outreach to refugees, and views of the waterfront.

Innovations in Conservation, From the East Coast to the West and in Between – James Fallows (husband of Deborah Fallows, who wrote the above two articles) collects examples of environmental efforts around the country.

One land, many voices – British poet and critic Fiona Sampson discusses what can be, to readers, an overwhelming body of contemporary British poetry, from which she has teased out the following categories: “Plain Dealing, Dandification, Oxford Elegy, Touchstone Lyric, Free and Anecdotal Verse, Mythopoesis, Iambic Legislation, Modernism, Surrealism, New Formalism and the Expanded and the Exploded Lyric.”

The Post-Charismatic Organization: Another Sign That the Steve Jobs Era Is Actually Over at Apple – a 2012 article by Edward Tenner on rifts over device design at Apple.

‘Fox & Friends’ host: Many migrant children ‘turn into MS-13’ – I can’t say that Brian Kilmeade is at the top of my National Book Festival list.

Katherine Applegate finds a new voice for endangered animals – the author says, “I write better when I write about things that make me angry.”

Poet Spotlight: Karenne Wood – post about a poet I heard years ago at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Patricia Lockwood’s Crowd-Pleasing Poetry – “She’s bolder, more sure of herself, than you are, and she has a genius for writing in the language of vulgar misogyny as she speaks to its absurdity.”

Apple is fighting the wrong encryption case – in this 2016 opinion piece, David Ignatius quotes then-FBI director James Comey as saying that the debate on whether government can force a tech company to hack into a terrorist’s phone is “the hardest question I’ve ever seen in government.”

John le Carre biographer Adam Sisman: ‘Many things he told me didn’t add up’ – Sisman is quoted: “I hope I haven’t succumbed to the spell of the wizard and preserved that splinter of ice in my heart that every writer needs.”

Blueprint of a Meltdown – Justina Ireland writes of the roles of the writer and reader as participants in a conversation, in which the writer’s part is over once the book has been published (despite some authors taking to social media to defend their critiqued work) and how characters’ and readers’ marginalized identities play into this phenomenon.

‘All American Boys’: One book, many discussions – article based on interview with the authors (Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds) of One Maryland, One Book’s 2016 selection.

We Are Many. We Are Everywhere. – article, and list, provided by Roxane Gay at The Rumpus.

Cages Are Cruel. The Desert Is, Too. – Francisco Cantú, former Border Patrol agent-turned-author, writes, “Receiving training as an E.M.T. allowed me to cling to the idea that I was helping migrants by administering aid while ignoring the fact that I was participating in pushing them toward death.”

A Family Of Woodchucks Ate Paul Ryan’s Car – Ryan is fortunate in that he does not actually need a car until after he retires, since he has a security detail. But it’s still unfortunate to have woodchucks eat one’s car.

Are Detained Immigrants Being Asked to Choose Between Asylum and Reunification With Their Children? – “’She was told that had she just stayed in detention [instead of seeking release while she pursued her asylum claim], they would have been reunited more quickly,’ [immigration attorney] Lincoln-Goldfinch says.”

Woman Sees Her ‘Slave Cabin’ Birthplace in African-American Museum – very cool story from April 2017, about a museum I still need to visit!

9 Books That’ll Help You Understand What “Bigger Than The Watergate Scandal” Really Means – a reading list on Nixon and Watergate, provided by Bustle.

How many of these ’50 Great American Places’ have you visited? – an article at Penn Live discusses Brent D. Glass’s book, highlighting historic sites in Pennsylvania and nearby states, including the DMV.

Margaret Atwood, the Prophet of Dystopia – “In writing ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ Atwood was scrupulous about including nothing that did not have a historical antecedent or a modern point of comparison.”

The country’s first underwater museum is now open off the coast of Florida, and it’s free – I want to visit!

Migrants Allege They Were Subjected To Dirty Detention Facilities, Bad Food And Water – Disturbing details about detention facilities in this NPR story.

What Happens in Central America, Doesn’t Stay in Central America – And here are some disturbing details about what people are trying to escape.

The False Choice Between Family Separation and Detention – This post by Human Rights Watch discusses an alternative approach that was effective, more humane, and less expensive than detaining undocumented migrants.

Evan Rachel Wood Fasts Over Immigration Crisis as Detained Mom Describes Kids ‘Crying for Their Mothers’ – Among the many celebrities fighting zero tolerance policies at the border, here is one whose last name is one of the July keywords.

Tech condemns Trump: Apple, Microsoft, Airbnb oppose separating families at the border – And among the many companies fighting Trump’s immigration policies, here is one whose name is a July keyword.

Cartoons and visual art sequences:

“Warm Water by Harry Bliss

Like Water for Chocolate” by Gaby D’Alessandro

Audiobook that I read years ago and fell asleep listening to in July:

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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