Blogging from Sinton Texas a town about 250 miles south of Houston. Tomorrow I will speak to the 9th and 10th graders at Sinton High School, hop in the car and drive about 35 miles to Rockport and speak to all the middle school kids, some teachers, and some parents. On Friday, there is more talking about books to kids and teachers before heading back home.
I finished listening to Full Cast Audio's production of the Jan Cheripko novel, SUN MOON STARS RAIN. Thanks Bruce for sending me what we are calling an ALC (Advanced Listener Copy; that makes me an alky, we decided). Cheripko has been a favorite of mine. Listening to this novel, published in 2006, reminded me of his incredible ability to create characters who are flawed, who are wrestling with demons, who are human with all that entails. Danny has that luggage many of us carry: fears, regrets, secrets. In this story, Danny meets some folks who cause him to confront his fears, to deal with his regrets, and to reveal his secrets. There is Benji, the town drunk and Garrett the eccentric owner of a great deal of land in the area near Danny's home. Stephanie, the recovering addict and her friend Beth also play important roles in Danny's life. In many ways this is a microcosm for all our lives: there are people we meet, however briefly, who change us. Sometimes it is a change for the better; sometimes it is not.
What is most striking here is the opening chapter, a lovely prose poem that sets the mood and tone for what is to follow. The narrator gets it right with pacing and intonation right from the outset. I do enjoy Full Cast Audio productions as a general rule. This one is a careful and considered production of a book that had to have presented some problems. I appreciated how the voicing of phone calls and other situations were made apparent in the production. The interview with the author, conducted by Coville, was exactly what I wanted as a listener. I am not certain how kids will receive it, but ancillary material is always a nice bonus.