Michigan In Books reviews The Sideroad kids

The SideRoad Kids: Tales from Chippewa County by Sharon M. Kennedy

Review by Tom Powers, Michigan In Books

This fine collection of short stories focuses on a group of 6th grade friends in the 1950s living near Brimley, in the U.P. I was a kid in Flint in the 1950s, and if I had read stories like these when a 5th- or 6th-grader I would have been taken aback by the differences in these U.P. kids’ lives and mine. Most of the stories are evocative slice-of-life pieces, some are humorous, and quite a few serious and thought provoking. The stories are honest, believable, sometimes painful, and all capture time, place, and culture with near perfection.  A clutch of well-defined, likeable and interesting 6th-grade characters reappear throughout the stories and bind the book together as a whole.

In one of the stories that moved me the most a 6th grade boy faces life with crossed eyes, an alcoholic mother, and a father who deserted his family. Yet the kid is optimistic and considers himself good looking. In another story I may never forget a girl who wrote a story for English class in which she imagines God as Jackie Gleason who with his fist closed and fury in his face threatens to send Alice to the moon. When Daisy asks if she can read it in class the teacher, without looking at it, throws the story in the waste basket.  It was a stunning realization that one of the most popular comedy shows on TV in the Fifties repeatedly made a joke out of the threat of physical spousal abuse. I can’t stop wondering how women who were being physically abused thought of those scenes and the audience laughter that followed.

If I don’t know how upper elementary children will react to the book, I do know adults will find it find it enjoyable and a fascinating depiction of children facing life in the Fifties.

Holidays with a Tail

SKU 978-1-61599-615-5
$15.95
A Tale of Winter Celebrations
In stock
1
Product Details
UPC: 978-1-61599-615-5
Brand: Loving Healing Press
Binding: Paperback
Audiobook: Audible, iTunes
Edition: 1st
Author: Kelly Bouldin Darmofal
Illustrator: Brad Calhoun
Pages: 34
Publication Date: 11/01/2021

Young Alex is beyond excited on Christmas Eve. He knows that Christmas celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ, and he cannot wait for tomorrow to come - he wants a puppy of his own to play with and love. On Christmas Day, he opens a large box with, yes, a puppy inside. Alex names him Zipper! However, when grandparents come bearing gifts, Zipper bounds out of the open door. Mother and Alex then begin a neighborhood adventure as they search for a runaway dog and meet neighbors with different winter holiday celebrations and traditions: the Hindu Diwali, the Jewish Hanukkah, the Latinx Las Posadas and the African-American Kwanzaa. Alex then returns home for a Christmas feast, happy with his new canine companion and the knowledge that his neighborhood is filled with amazing people who are more alike than different.

"Kelly Darmofal takes her readers on an unexpected Christmas journey that leads her readers to discover the beauty of our diverse winter holidays! Holidays with a Tail: A Tale of Winter Celebrations is a book to read aloud to all!" -- Debbie McIntyre, Principal of Jefferson Elementary School

"With warmth and cheer, Darmofal captures Christmas Day in Holidays with a Tail. A day of adventure for a boy becomes a day of learning and connecting with others for a deeper understanding of cultures and traditions that differ from his own. A great holiday read!" -- Emily M. Cagle, Media Specialist at Meadowlark Elementary School

"With vibrant illustrations and easy-to-understand language, the author introduces us to five holiday celebrations enjoyed by families of different cultures. This book is non-judgmental and depicts appreciation for the differences among us. While it is intended for children, parents might also learn something new. Holidays with a Tail is a valuable resource if we plan to raise our children with an acceptance of diversity." -- Dr. Laurie Zelinger, Child Psychologist, Author of Please Explain Vaccines to Me Because I HATE SHOTS!

Learn more at www.ImLostInMyMind.com

Another empowering book from Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com

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