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Newsletter – Memorial – May 3, 2024

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Hello Book Bums families!

Happy May!

Here is some fun trivia for the fifth month of the year:
• May's birthstone is emerald.
• No U.S. President has ever died during the month of May.
• The Empire State Building opened its doors on May 1, 1931.
• Clint Eastwood, Bob Dylan, John F. Kennedy, and Queen Victoria were all born in May.
• Special days in May include Star Wars day on May 4th, Cinco de Mayo on May 5th, and Dance Like a Chicken Day on May 14th! is an Amazon Associate; We earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on a link to and make a purchase, We may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We do recommend the products. Feel free to find them by other means.

Word of the Week

memorial (meh-mor-ee-uhl) noun/person, place, or thing - something that keeps remembrance alive, such as a monument

Many people plant trees as a memorial for deceased loved ones.

Literary Calendar

• May is Short Story Month.
• Many authors you think of as novel writers also pen short stories.
• Roald Dahl, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, L.M. Montgomery, and Ursula K. LeGuin are all short story writers.
• The short story form is all about making an impact on the reader. They often pack an emotional punch or have a surprising twist.
• If you're interested in trying some short fiction, but don't know where to begin, here are two suggestions: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber and "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.
• Write and let us know what you think of them!

From our Bookshelves

the women

The Women was creating a buzz all around me, so I bought a copy and dug right in.

I’ve read a handful of books by the author Kristin Hannah, my favorite being Winter Garden (2010). Though it begins with two women trying to deal with their cold-hearted mother’s final days with dementia, readers soon find themselves experiencing the horrors of the siege of Leningrad during World War ll. Talk about a page turner . . . I was captivated the through whole book.

The Women, like Winter Garden, invites readers to experience a war, this one in Vietnam. The story is told from the perspective of a young, naive woman serving as a US Army nurse.

The story was so good that my husband and I began spending many more evenings simply reading together and skipping our usual show on Netflix. (Mike’s enjoying The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro and George Marshall by Debi and Irwin Unger. How do people read multiple books at the same time?!)

Naked in Da Nang

In truth, I know very little about the Vietnam War. I had really enjoyed hearing my husband read excerpts to me from Naked in Da Nang, which was written by a loved Book Bums customer’s father, Mike Jackson, from Tipp City, Ohio; but outside of that and some vague memories from my childhood, I’m poorly educated on the topic.

You should know that I never share about a book I haven’t read in its entirety, but I had considered making an exception for this one—and BOY am I glad I didn’t. I thought it was odd that nearly half the book remained when the main character arrived home from the war. It turns out that the book addressed the impact of having served as much or more than the service itself. Both are equally important; they’re both stories that need to be told. But the plot twists that kept me voraciously reading also wore me out. Whew! The drama was a bit much, but I enjoyed The Women immensely. If you want to get drawn into a story that won’t let you go, give this one a try. You’ll be captivated, and you’ll learn something that you probably haven’t yet considered about women and their impact during wartime.

This is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial located in Washington, D.C. It honors the 265,000 military and civilian women who served around the world during the Vietnam War.

Vietnam war memorial Washington DC

There’s a Vietnam war memorial in Cincinnati’s own Eden Park, and I’m including a news report about it that tells a bit of the story shared in The Women. Check it out here.

Eden park Vietnam memorial

With Memorial Day, a US holiday honoring those who lost their lives while serving their country, coming on Monday, May 27th, it might be nice to truly honor the men and women to whom the holiday is dedicated by visiting this touching sculpture and reflecting about why we’ve got the day off work.

Tips for Families

Want to explore something new in the city of Cincinnati? The recently reopened Lytle Park now features a fountain, a running track, a bocce ball court, a playground, and seating with beautiful landscaping. There’s also a bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, one of very few depicting him without a beard. Lytle Park is located next to the Taft Museum of Art which is hosting week-long summer camps for your budding artists. Here’s the link if you’d like to check them out.

Lytle Park

You should know that Lytle Park is located where Fort Washington (named for our nation’s first president) was built in 1789. Fort Washington was a staging place for settlers, troops, and supplies during the settlement of the northwest territory where Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin would be formed. I enjoy Cincinnati’s rich history, don’t you?

Fort Washington

Tips for Readers and Writers

Storybook guess who

Our family just celebrated the upcoming birth of our newest grandson (through adoption) with a baby shower at Book Bums. I created a game featuring lots of book characters and asked our guests to see how many characters they knew by name.

One of our guests was a first-grade teacher, and she took a copy of the game home with her to play with her students. I thought I would share it with you too. I’m including the PDF so you can print it along with the answer record sheet to see how many characters you and the readers you love recognize and can name. Whether you’re a teacher or a mom or anyone else who loves kids and books, you might get a kick out of this one! (You can find the answers at the end of the newsletter.)

Practical Grammar

I saw the word veracious and realized that it sounds nearly identical to voracious. I hadn’t considered that before.

Veracious means speaking, representing the truth and voracious means devouring great quantities or having a very eager approach to an activity.

Witnesses in a courtroom swear to give veracious testimony.

Because I read a book a week, some people label me a voracious reader.

Wordology Workshop

• The Latin root mem means mind or memory.
• You can find it in many common English words such as commemorate, memento, memoir, memorize, and remember.
• It is also in our Word of the Week, memorial.
• How many more mem words can you think of?

Book Bums News

It’s that time when I begin recruiting volunteers for the Faith Alliance Summer Literacy program that will be held at Adena Elementary on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10-12 and at Woodland Elementary on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10-12. We’ll be working with underserved students who are struggling to read and spell well. We‘ll present fun-focused lessons that absolutely equip kids to improve their reading skills very quickly—and they have lots of fun in the process.

We need many, many volunteers and would love to have you join us! You may volunteer as you’re able or commit to volunteering regularly—which is so very rewarding! We welcome high school students and adults. The program begins the week of June 3rd and continues for 8 weeks through the last full week of July.

We know that many will vacation during these sessions. Just come when you’re able. You do not have to teach anything on your own. You simply sit alongside kids (grades 2-6) and coach them to follow the instructions provided by the lead teacher and ensure that they’re feeling seen and are enjoying the fun-focused lessons.

We’re also offering a tutoring training session for teachers who’d like to learn about the Science of Reading and are interested in tutoring with us at Book Bums. Join us this Sunday, May 5th at Book Bums West Chester, from 4-6 p.m. Note: All Foundations for Literacy materials may be used in teachers’ classrooms at no charge.

Whether you’re interested in volunteering with The Faith Alliance this summer or want to tutor with us at Book Bums, email Dr. Christy at [email protected].

Just for Fun

Book at the bookstore
Answer Key for the Book Character
Guess Who Game

1. David (No, David!)
2. Madeline
3. Mouse (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie)
4. Ramona
5. Winnie the Pooh
6. Fern (Charlotte’s Web)
7. George (Curious George)
8. Spot
9. The Rabbit (The Velveteen Rabbit)
10. Corduroy and Lisa
11. Laura Ingalls (Little House in the Big Woods)
12. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare (Guess How Much I Love You)
13. Harry (Harry the Dirty Dog)
14. Max (Where the Wild Things Are)
15. Pigeon
16. Frog (Frog and Toad)
17. Clifford
18. Amelia Bedelia
19. Jack and Annie (Magic Treehouse)
20. Baby/son (Love You Forever)

If you know someone who would benefit from our newsletter or tutoring at Book Bums, please share this email with them! Thank you.

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