Author Archives: Kari

set me as a seal upon your arm. 2

No sense in burying the lede: Mike and I went on our anniversary to get tattoos. Neither modern nor traditional lists name ink as a fourteenth anniversary gift, but maybe they should. Maybe it’s even a little bit Song of Solomon: Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, […]

on taking a break from church (a review of how to be a christian without going to church by kelly bean). 1

I haven’t been to church in a couple of months. I needed a break, not from God but from some of the dynamics that inevitably appear when you attend a church for over a decade. It’s been nice in some ways, a relief. But in other ways, I feel a little bit unmoored. My Sundays […]

what I have been reading (beach reads edition). 0

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) (via the public library) I probably don’t need to say much about this book since it’s by J.K. Rowling, but I enjoy a good mystery novel and this one hit the spot. I could sort of see the pieces coming together but couldn’t quite guess how […]

the world cup at our house. 0

I never updated about how Atticus’s soccer season went, and that is because it was bad. He did okay, for the most part, but he is stubborn and a little bit nervous around crowds. I think that even if he had had a coach who was good with his age group and who had shown […]

god and the gay christian by matthew vines. 0

Since I bought Torn by Justin Lee, my copy has been passed around and my best guess is that it’s been read by eight or nine people. I think the combination of Justin’s story (I call him Justin because he lives in NC and therefore we are basically buds) and the seriousness with which he […]

the cross and the lynching tree by james h. cone 2

We have been watching a lot of the World Cup here. Atticus, who is very into superheroes, wants to know about the good guys and the bad guys. That hasn’t been a big deal to me until the USA/Germany game when I noticed that there were some jokes about Germany being bad guys on Twitter. […]

what I have been reading (falling into summer edition). 0

Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power – And How They Can Be Restored by Marcus J. Borg (via the used bookstore) The title basically says everything here. The book covers ideas like redemption and sin as well as words like mercy and belief and tries to put them in a […]

what I have been reading (summertime is upon us edition). 1

El Deafo by Cece Bell (sample via NetGalley, whole book via publisher) This is a charming graphic novel about a young girl who loses her hearing at the age of four. When she starts school, she has to wear a hearing aid. This is okay when she is in kindergarten with other kids just like […]

a poem for father’s day. 1

From “Listening” by David Ignatow Standing beside you, I took an oath to make your life simpler by complicating mine and what I always thought would happen did: I was lifted up in joy.

in defense of young adults and their literature. 3

I try very hard to be a parent who respects her child and sees his intelligence as he figures out the world around him. It’s made easier by the students I have worked with over the years, the ones who make bright and funny observations all the time and who have taught me to give […]

what I have been reading (almost summer edition). 0

Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste by Carl Wilson (purchased a copy) I heard the author of this book interviewed on this episode of the Slate Culture Gabfest and I think I ordered the book before the interview was over. It sounded so fun and interesting and it did not […]

#weneeddiversebooks like the great greene heist by varian johnson. 0

Last month, I followed and participated in the #weneeddiversebooks discussion that was sparked (at least in part) by Walter Dean Myers’s article in the New York Times. This is a topic close to my heart because I am constantly searching for books that reflect my students’ lives and their experiences. Like all middle school students, […]

strength and honor (a review of the little boy in the tree by roland russoli). 0

I do not know very much about the military or about military service. Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day have always just been days off from school. That’s why I thought Memorial Day weekend would be a good time to read my friend Roland Russoli’s book about the years in his life after his son Andrew, […]

moral monday 2.0 0

I went to Moral Monday this week. There were lots of television cameras, and the reporters kept asking the participants why they were there. I studiously avoided them all because the idea of me breaking into tears while trying to explain that I want a better world for my son was beyond embarrassing. But I […]

dad is fat by jim gaffigan (guest review by mike). 3

When I requested Dad is Fat, I had some vague plan to read it on the sly where Mike wouldn’t see me. And then I could give it to him for Father’s Day! This plan was brilliant except for one thing: Mike always gets the mail. And, let’s be honest here, he loves to open […]

what I have been reading (it’s been a while edition). 2

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor (purchased) I’m only mentioning this here because it was so good that I want everybody to know how good it was. Five stars! Go read it! I can’t summarize it but there were beautiful thoughtful things on every page! Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois (via the […]

on motherhood. 0

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of time weeding a bed in front of our house and placing bricks around the edge. Then we had a giant thunderstorm and it flooded. After the skies cleared, Atticus in all his wisdom decided to move all my carefully placed bricks into the mud and throw some of […]

library secrets: the bottom shelf. 0

I had to gather some books for a teacher this morning. I enjoy that sort of thing because I get the opportunity to see the collection in a different way. Oh, I didn’t realize that book had information on that topic, good to know. But here’s what I don’t enjoy: the books that I need […]

two awkward conversations I had at the polling place. 2

(AKA why I can’t go places.) This one was my fault for stirring up trouble. POLL WORKER: Remember, in 2016 you will need your ID to vote. KARI: And how do you feel about that? POLL WORKER: I’m not allowed to say. I can’t talk about it. We’re not allowed to talk about it. But […]

library secrets: secret page twenty-nine 0

I am lucky to have had great people to teach me the tricks of the library trade. There are a lot of little things that librarians have to do that nobody else knows about, things that keep stuff running behind the scenes. Some of those things are more important than others – the state report […]