Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Riddle Me This

I wrote this riddle for my 8th grade students who are studying the Middle Ages this year. The poem is in the style of the Anglo-Saxon riddles found in the Exeter Book. At least one of my students got the answer. Any guesses?

With brandished blade             the wind I beat
When broken is the belly          that bore me.
The sun strengthened                my war-sword,
And the sky I sought                  to assail.

As my gore-blade grew              it became golden.
A stiff sword                                 in battle me slew,
And my body broken                  was crushed and burnt.
My destroyers devoured me     in their dens.


Anonymous said…
Not sure it fits... but I'm going to guess wheat.

- Derek