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…

Goin' South

I brought the entire family with me to take trash to the dump this morning. “Why?” you may ask. Because a mile or so from the landfill is a nature preserve kept by Randolph College, and hiding in that nature preserve are two letterboxes!

It was going to be a quick stop on the way, just off the road. We found the first box rather quickly, but whoever found it last had sealed it improperly and the stamp and logbook had rotted away. This made us all the more determined to find the next box., and so we ventured deeper into the woods. The clues this time were a bit more difficult and vague, and the box was very well-hidden. However, intrepid adventurers that we are, we were able to finally locate the “Goin’ South” box and make it home in time for me to teach class.