Book Review: The Grace of Wild Things

Publisher Summary:

An inventive and fantastical reimagining of Anne of Green Gables—with magic and witches!—that explores found family, loss, and the power of a girl’s imagination, from the acclaimed author of The Language of Ghosts and The School Between Winter and Fairyland.

Grace has never been good at anything except magic—not that anyone believes her. While other children are adopted from the orphanage, nobody wants Grace. So she decides to make a home for herself by running away and offering herself as an apprentice to the witch in the nearby woods. After all, who better to teach Grace to use her magic? Surely the witch can’t be that bad.

But the witch is that bad—she steals souls for spells and gobbles up hearts. So Grace offers a deal: If she can learn all 100½ spells in the witch’s grimoire, the witch will make Grace her apprentice. But if Grace fails, the witch can take her magic. The witch agrees, and soon an unexpected bond develops between them. But the spells are much harder than Grace expected, and when a monster from the witch’s past threatens the home Grace has built, she may have to sacrifice more than her magic to save it.

Inspired by Anne of Green Gables, this is a magical story of found family, loss, and the power of a girl’s imagination.

My Thoughts:

I thought this book was so much fun! I would have absolutely loved it as a kid – I loved it even as an adult!

So the big question everyone wants to know the answer to…how much of it is an Anne of Green Gables story? In my opinion, the similarities are mostly very broad ones. Grace is an orphan, her first adoption didn’t work out, and the character Grace is very inspired by the character of Anne. Grace is enthusiastic, curious, is prone to flights of fancy and romanticism, has a very dear and close friend, and there are two direct incidents that were definitely directly out of Anne of Green Gables but with a twist to make it work with this book.

There was magic, and witches, fairy princes, and a quest that Grace had to fulfill. The witch was not nice, she was definitely an evil witch (at least in the beginning) but the book takes a turn, and Grace and the witch become a family of sorts, so it is also a book of found family, which I love.

By far though one of my favorite characters is Windweaver, Grace’s familiar and pet crow. She found him as a baby and nursed him to health, and Windweaver is arrogant, yet loyal and loving with Grace. He also adores poetry, but only poetry about birds.

The ending felt maybe a bit rushed but it was also emotional, and moving. I was actually pretty upset over something that happens in the end but like Grace I understood it was the right thing.

Overall, this is a fantastic book that is like Hansel and Gretel meets Anne of Green Gables, yet strong enough to not simply be a retelling. Grace and the witch, Windweaver and Sareena, all are wonderful characters in their own right and stand on their own against these famous backdrops and comparisons. I do think this book might be scary for sensitive young readers, who are not fans of scary stories. While most of the book is not scary there are references to children being cooked in the oven, so be mindful of that if there is a child in your life who would not react well to those parts.


Tuesday Morning Coffee Catch Up

Good morning everyone! (or afternoon or evening or whenever you are reading this) It’s a chilly morning today although it is supposed to warm up – finally! I have my delicious cup of coffee sitting next to me on one side, and Wyatt on the other, and it is a good morning, despite having to get up early and get blood work done.

Hmm where to begin? Let’s start with the best news of all – my new niece is here! She was born Saturday afternoon and is 6 lbs 9 oz, and 19.5 inches long. She was born so fast that the staff was surprised and the doctor never even made it! They thought it would be hours before she arrived – she showed them, and made her arrival after an hour after her parents arrived. I get to meet her today, maybe. I am can’t wait!!! We decorated their house for their welcome home, and delivered flowers to Mermaid Girl, who was excited but also missing her mom and dad. My brother was of course exposed to Covid right before little girl made her arrival so he is being super cautious. Or, as Billy says, covering up photographic evidence that he shaved his beard off after a shaving incident. Lol.

However, before Baby E’s arrival, we had many other adventures! On Thursday morning Wyatt and I went to the Henry Ford Museum to visit the Scooby Doo exhibit!! I was so excited. More than Wyatt, honestly. Scooby was my absolute favorite growing up and I still love it. Ghosts and dogs and mysteries? I guess I have been the same my whole life! Anyway, the exhibit was really fun. It was set up with a mystery to solve but Wyatt was not interested in that part, he just wanted to explore all the fun and interactive displays, which is fine. We saw bookcases and pianos with secret compartments that revealed themselves when you pushed the right book or played the right tune, and Wyatt got to act as a behind the scenes villain! They had an area where one side of the wall was a suit of armor, and the other side had buttons and levers that would activate the armor, rattling it or causing its eyes to glow. You could also make a disembodied laugh happen and flying ghosts. My child absolutely loved this. You could see people on the other side via a camera feed and surprise them! Wyatt had a blast.

There were other interactive displays as well, and then a whole play restaurant which Wyatt also enjoyed. He made pizzas and sandwiches and Scooby Sundaes. And I saw a toy doll house that I would have loved as a kid – how did I miss that when I was growing up? Maybe it is new.

Then of course Friday was St. Patrick’s Day! We spent the day listening to the Irish Rovers, the Pogues, and Van Morrison, read some books, and created some fun nature art. We had “leprechaun” bread (pistachio pudding bread), Lucky Charms treats, and then for dinner Irish beef stew over mashed potatoes. It was all delicious! Wyatt enjoyed the Lucky Charms treats the best – and the leftover marshmallows. Later that evening Billy and I watched Wolfwalkers, which is part of an Irish Folklore trilogy and it was excellent. I am thinking about doing a big review of the trilogy.

So it has been an exciting few days! Lots to do and see, and a new family member even!!

This week Wyatt and I both have lots of appointments which stinks. I hate weeks like that. But at least the weather is supposed to be nicer which will make things easier.

I was going to include our homeschool journey from last week in this post, but I feel like I have blathered on quite enough for this morning, so I will do that later on this week instead. Enjoy your day everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Hey all! Last week was very thankfully a slow week! We had one outing and the rest of the time we focused on things at home. We are also all on babywatch over here- my SIL is due any moment now and I can’t wait to meet my new niece!! She will be the fourth kiddo in our family with a March birthday!

UPDATE: Baby girl is here! Mom and baby are doing well!! Welcome to the world baby E!

Read Last Week:

I am still in the midst of Middle Grade March and finished two fun little books last week! The Grace of Wild Things was a fun, Anne of Green Gables inspired read. I hope to review it this week! And The Tea Dragon Society is so darn cute!! I want a tiny adorable tea dragon!! It is a graphic novel and the artwork is very Ghibli-esque.

Reading This Week:

Speaking of Ghibli, this book has big Ghibli vibes, specifically Kiki’s Delivery Service. It looks like it will be another fun little read for Middle Grade March.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschool Journey: Easing Back Into Our Routine

Tuesday Morning Coffee Catch Up

Made in Ireland: A Few Irish Etsy Artists

Watching and Listening:

Billy and I have been watching a weird range of shows this week. Ted Lasso, Beyond Paradise (a Death in Paradise spin off), and Ghosts. Then Friday night we watched Wolfwalkers, which is part of an “Irish Folklore Trilogy”. I used to watch Song of the Sea with Wyatt when he was a baby all the time, and I still love it. This one was amazing as well, but I don’t really think it is for kids. Maybe older kids, like high school? The description:

Wolfwalkers follows the story of Robyn Goodfellowe, a young apprentice hunter who arrives in Ireland with her father during a time of superstition and magic to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to turn into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the Wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

It was pretty intense actually, but also perfect for St. Patricks day. We still need to watch the first in the trilogy, The Secret of the Kells, but if it is as good as Song of the Sea and Wolfwalkers I know I will love it.

As for listening, on Friday we listened to a lot Van Morrison, The Pogues, and The Irish Rovers. Naturally. Lol. I also started listening to a long form podcast (True Crime) called Black Hands about the Bain Family murders.

And that is about it from my corner of the internet! How are you all doing? What is happening in your neighborhood?

Made in Ireland: A Few Irish Etsy Artists

Top of the morning to you!

Like most Americans, I love learning about my heritage and ancestry. My ancestry hails from England, Scotland, and Ireland, with a teensy bit of Italian and an even teensier bit of Norwegian. Of them all, Scottish is the dominant force in my DNA – but it is St. Patrick’s Day so of course I am super Irish today! I have a whole day of shenanigans planned for Wyatt, and we started off the day with Leprechaun bread (pistachio pudding bread), which was delicious.

When I think of Ireland, I think of creativity, artistry, beauty. I think of magic and whimsy and fairy tales. Of poetry and literature. And today I wanted share a few really cool artists that I found while browsing Etsy! All are living in Ireland or from Ireland, and today seemed like an appropriate day to share them here.

This post does contain affiliate links. If you were to purchase something at no extra cost to you, I would make a small commission.

Cotton and Moonstone is the first shop I want to mention. The artist also does framed crystal work, but it is these macrame pieces I want to talk about! They are simply gorgeous, and the artist, Cathy according to her Etsy page, has a lot of Celtic inspired pieces but also boho and botanical inspired ones as well. The wall hanging here is her Irish Blessing Celtic Knot.

This next shop had so many pieces I was in love with that I had a really hard time deciding on which to share! Karen Pleass is a textile artist, and her work is so detailed and make me think of little vignettes, just looking out into the Irish countryside through a window. They are just so lovely and each and every one made me smile! This one is called Stargazing and I love the idea of these sleepy sheep enjoying the night sky.

Ok, Erin, step away from the textile artists for a minute! Let’s look over here…

… at PannaDraws! Panna Zsamba is a Dublin based artist, whose artwork is simply stunning. Her work includes nature inspired paintings and prints of birds and other animals, and peeking out from the hawks and robins are dragons and unicorns and other fantasy creatures. I am in LOVE with her unicorn. It is so majestic and the look in its eye! I am adding it to my hopefully one day I will buy it list. (I did not include a picture of it here on the blog per her copyright info, but bounce over to the shop if you want to check out her stunning art!)

Susan Meaney’s shop is full of the cuteness we all need in our lives! Sweet bunnies and adorable foxes, badgers, flowers, fairies – all available on cards and on tote bags, and even on notebooks, like the one pictured above. Her shop is Burren Flower Fairies and if you like whimsical woodland creatures then you need to check out her store!

Last but certainly not least is this Irish Wolfhound linocut by Wild Creature Cuts. I am a big fan of lino art work, and of Irish Wolfhounds. We have a teeny house or I would totally get one. I have loved them since learning of them in high school, when I read Finn MacCool by Morgan Llewelyn. Man do I love her books! This lino I think is so full of movement and intent, and maybe if I can’t have an actual wolfhound I could have a picture of one? Wild Creature Cuts features other animals as well, but this was my favorite of the bunch (pack?)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all! Make some music, write some poetry, paint a picture, create something beautiful today!

Tuesday Morning Coffee Catch Up

It’s a cold lazy morning around here today. I am soooooo over this snow and winter. Spring needs to get here! I am letting Wyatt watch tv in our bed this morning, while I sit here next to him drinking coffee and writing this post. I am reluctant to get out from under the covers today. I made quick coffee this morning, Keurig version – Newmans Own blend. It does the job but I drink it way too fast!

Let’s start with a Wyatt update. Yesterday he was able to go back to physical therapy (where he did awesome!) and then we went straight from PT to Detroit to Children’s Hospital for his follow up appointment to check his incisions. They thought he looked great!

Is daylight savings kicking anyone else’s butt? Wyatt and I are such primitive creatures I think. We are both having a hard time adjusting! I read that for some people it is hard because the darkness in the morning and the light in the evening is confusing to your brain and body, making you more tired in the morning and then more awake in the evening. That seems to be true for Wyatt and I. It’ll even out but dang I was draggin’ wagon yesterday almost all day, UNTIL it was bedtime. Billy however is just one of those rare people who can sleep anywhere, anytime, no matter what.

Wyatt had a playdate with Mermaid girl Friday while my SIL went for a check up at her baby doctor (one week until her due date!) and they played like crazy. Board games, restaurant, drawing, they just were into everything and having so much fun. My messy house got even more messy and I loved it. I wanted them to have fun! Wyatt was wiped out afterwards! It was good to see him have so much fun. Then Saturday was his little party! My mother-in-law got cake and ice cream and invited just a small amount of people over. Sadly, a few family members were sick so they didn’t come so we didn’t get to see them, but Wyatt still had fun. My mom definitely enjoyed hanging out with my in-laws two dogs – she is snuggling Murphy in that picture.

In other news – I got a new rug! Our other one in the den was just so dingy and since we spend so much time in there and with Wyatt healing, I felt like I needed something new. It is so bright and cheery! Next I need new couches since my cat Maggie (who passed away in October) used these as a scratching post; now that she is no longer with us (I still miss her everyday) we plan on replacing these, maybe in late spring. It didn’t make sense to do that until she was gone since she would have just done the same to new ones. For now though, a new rug it is! Not the most level photo, but I was kneeling in front of the other couch and Wyatt decided to hug around my neck while I was taking it. Lol.

Well, we need to start school soon, and then I need to get cracking on this house! It’s gone to the dogs over the past few weeks with everything, and I need to get it back in order.

Speaking of, does anyone else enjoy watching people declutter and organize on YouTube? I have no idea why I find it so calming but I do. I watch With Love Kristina for many reasons, but lately she has been decluttering and I feel relaxed after watching. She feels like a very real YouTuber, who shows her messes. She was also very preggers in this last video, but I saw yesterday on Instagram that she had her baby, so congrats to her!

And that is the big and small of it over here! How are things in your world?

Homeschool Journey: Easing back into our routine

Hello everyone! So as we recover from Wyatt’s surgeries, I thought we would start back to our homeschool routine focusing only on his favorites – so social studies, art, and science. We are probably going to add math and reading back in this week starting Tuesday. (We had a neurosurgery appt this morning as well as physical therapy)

Our pared down schedule worked well. It got Wyatt back into the swing of school again, and also made room for him to rest when he became tired.

For science, Wyatt learned about the difference between coniferous trees and deciduous trees. We opted for the table crowd activity this time (his curriculum has three different approaches to labs – outdoors, tabletop, arts and crafts ) It was the right choice for his first day back! Just look at this face. Lol.

For social studies, we visited Massachusetts! Well not really obviously. Wyatt loves learning about the states way more than I expected him to honestly, especially learning the state symbols and seeing the flags for each state. I am happy he loves it like he does though! I always loved social studies too. We learned that the Boston Marathon has a wheelchair division! I had no idea so that was a neat fact to learn. We also learned that Dr. Seuss, Theodore Geisel, was from Massachusetts which is neat because Wyatt shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss – March 2! Wyatt loved how I told him to identify the state on the map too – I told him the little hook that comes off and branches into the ocean looks like a strong arm flexing, and that is how to find it. He thought that was hilarious.

But what Wyatt loved the best was art. Of course. He has been asking to paint for weeks now, and I just didn’t think it was a good idea until he was more healed up. However, he was cleared for physical therapy so I figured it was time to paint as well!

Instead of focusing on a particular artist over the next few weeks, I am mixing it up a bit. We are focusing instead on a poet, and then painting a picture that is inspired by a poem that poet wrote. This week we did Emily Dickinson, naturally, as she was from Amherst – plus I love her.

We talked a bit about Dickinson as a person, read a few poems, read a picture book, then we focused on the poem Make Me a Picture of the Sun. We talked about the imagery, what it could mean, and how it made us feel. Then I had Wyatt watercolor a painting that correlated with this. He loved it.

I also love that he felt his picture needed two suns. I get it, I miss the sunshine too!

Now, what we used – not much this week!

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

M is for Mayflower || Emily Writes

This week we move on to New Hampshire and Robert Frost!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was all about easing back into our routines slowly. We started off slowly with homeschool, Wyatt attended OT, went to the library, had a play date, and even a small party for his birthday Saturday. Baby steps!

Read Last Week:

Oh my gosh did I love this book! Cozy fantasy is obviously the genre I need right now. I have been reading so much of it lately and loving every word and story. This book was particularly beautiful and well written.

Reading This Week:

I am starting The Grace of Wild Things this week as part of Middle Grade March, and I am super excited about this one. It is marketed as a “an inventive and fantastical reimagining of Anne of Green Gables—with magic and witches!—that explores found family, loss, and the power of a girl’s imagination..” Um yes please! I would have definitely grabbed this book off the shelf as a kid, just as I did now as an adult. We will see if it is as good as it sounds! (Fawcett also wrote Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries so I have high hopes!)

Posted Last Week:

Last week, I shared some of our favorite picture books featuring magical creatures, which was pretty fun to write. I also posted my book review on The House in the Cerulean Sea, as well as a Coffee Catch Up.


We are watching mostly old comfort shows right now – When Calls the Heart, Hamish Macbeth – and also started watching Ted Lasso again. Wow, that show really surprised me! I did not want to watch it, because sports, but Billy convinced me and now I love it so much. Ted is such a positive force, and I can’t help but love Roy Kent, who is my favorite.

On ye old YouTubes, I have been seeking out favorites there too – The Cottage Fairy, Dainty Diaries, Roots and Refuge, Gold Shaw Farm, but also have added in a new favorite Cecilia Blomdahl. I found her channel (I think) thanks to Joy at Joy’s Book Blog. Life in Svalbard is fascinating! It must be absolutely exhilarating in some ways, in other’s an introverts dream, but.. those polar bears are a big drawback. I love polar bears, yet find them terrifying, like I would not want to run into one while running errands.

As for listening, I’ve been listening to a lot of Casefile this week.

And that is it from my little corner of the world! I hope all is well with you all.

Our Favorite Magical Creatures Picture Books

So for as long as I can remember, I have been enchanted by the idea of faeries and other magical creatures. The magic and whimsy, the thought that there are wee little creatures living in my flower garden, that could fly and drank out of acorn cups and slept inside flowers. I loved fairy tales, Tinkerbell, and all magical type creatures – elves and gnomes and pixies, even dragons. They are just so fun to daydream about, you know? It is probably why I am really enjoying this whole new cozy fantasy movement in books right now. My little niece seems to take after her aunt, because she is completely enamored with fairies and mermaids and unicorns too; Wyatt has his favorites too, dragons for one. And gnomes, but gnome picture books are weirdly hard to find. And Yetis. And since March is a magical month, with leprechauns and pots of gold and rainbows, I thought I would share a few magical creature favorites!


The Fairy Garden is about a little girl who wishes and wishes for fairies to live in her garden. I feel ya girl! Maybe this is still why I plant a garden…. And Backyard Fairies by Phoebe Wahl is fantastic. I love anything by her. This book is about another little girl searching for fairies. Are they there?


Franklin’s Flying Bookshop is an adorable story about a little girl named Luna and a dragon named Franklin who love books and reading, just like Wyatt does. (and me) These two start a flying bookshop to share the love.

Dragons Love Tacos. Well, Wyatt loves dragons and I love tacos. Wyatt loves me. Dragons love tacos. Does this make me a dragon? Maybe. Anyway, this book is all about dragons and how to lure them to your party by providing tacos. Although, maybe keep the salsa hidden from them.

There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon. This one takes me back! I read this book when I was little, and then I read it to Wyatt too. He loved it, I love it. There are so many books out there, new books, that sometimes I have to remind myself of all the wonderful stories I read as a kid to share them with Wyatt.

Zog. This one is a big hit around here. Wyatt loves the Julia Donaldson books and when we studied Scotland a few summers ago, we did a whole big unit on her and on Zog. It was super fun, and Zog remains a favorite.


Tallulah Mermaid of the Great Lakes is a definite favorite around here! For one, it’s the Great Lakes, not the ocean, and we are soooo much closer to the Great Lakes being in Michigan. Have we seen Tallulah yet? No, but we will keep looking!

Oona. Oh my gosh is this one adorable. Oona and her little otter (squee!) Otto are the best of friends. Oona is a mischief, jut like my Wyatt, and the illustrations are amazing. There are three books in this series as well!

Pearl. A simple story of a mermaid given a small task which under her care becomes something more. This one is so beautiful too, all shiny and glam and pearlescent.

Nessie and Gnomes!

Nessie Baby. I actually just bought this for my new niece, who hasn’t even arrived yet! It is just super cute and while it will be a bit before she enjoys it I couldn’t resist. This may be the first book she ever gets!

Nessie the Loch Ness Monster. This was another book we discovered during our Scotland study! This was probably Wyatt and Mermaid Girl’s favorite section, learning about dragons and the Loch Ness Monster. And this book was so darn cute as well as containing actual history about the legend.

No, No, Gnome. Wyatt cracked UP when we read this book the first time. This gnome has a lot of enthusiasm but also causes a lot of trouble! Wyatt also enjoyed yelling “No, No” along with the book.

Tomtens and Yetis!

Tomten and the Fox. I almost put this one with gnomes, because it does really belong there. But, it is also a snowy book and I felt like the Yeti needs company, so here we are. This is one of the books we read multiple times a year, but especially in the quiet winter months. It’s a quiet story, and while the fox doesn’t get exactly what he came for, he was taken care of. Everyone is happy. I bought this all the way back when Wyatt was only a year old, and we still love it. It’s the sequel to The Tomten which is good but we love this one.

Yeti and the Bird. This poor Yeti is lonely! (told you, poor Yetis) But one day, this lonely Yeti makes a friend when it lands smack on his noggin. I love this message of not judging people (or magical creatures) based on appearance!

Dear Yeti. These intrepid hikers set out in search of Yeti, who is feeling shy. They send him letters, that are brief updates reminiscent of telegrams from old timey explorers, and yep, a bird delivers them. When the hikers run into some trouble, Yeti comes to their rescue. Super cute, and Wyatt loved it for the yeti, and because he loves mail and letters.

The inspiration for this post comes from Wyatt, who when asked said I should post about books – and my head is still in the Cerulean Sea, and thus, this post was born.

Do you like magical creatures and fantasy? What is your favorite creature?

Book Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Publisher Summary:

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. 

Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.

The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place – and realizing that family is yours. 

My Thoughts:

This book could not have come into my life at a more perfect time. I needed this book, this warm and fuzzy read about found family and courage and becoming who you really truly are inside. It was simply beautiful, and I wanted to hug it close, along with just about every character (but especially little Theodore the Wyvern).

I feel like this book has been talked about and talked about so much, and that I am one of the last people around to read it, so maybe I am not adding anything new to the conversation with this review. I still want to give my two cents though, and have the chance to wax rhapsodic over it too.

Linus is a rule follower, a pencil pusher, someone who doesn’t deviate from the path he is on. He does his duty, and he does it well. He does it with empathy yet at the same time, dispassionately. He lives a pretty lonely life, with his cat and his beloved records of golden oldies, but doesn’t seem too unhappy. More – resigned and somewhat…accepting that this is his life.

One day, out of the blue, he is called to the offices of Extremely Upper Management, which is a bit alarming for our quiet hero. He goes and learns that he has been chosen for a very special, very classified assignment, a Level 4 even. He is to travel to Marysas and observe the residents of the orphanage there, including the master, Arthur. He is to determine whether the children are safe and cared for and that Arthur is managing them all well. Because these are not just children – they are magical beings, level 4 magical beings, that could be considered dangerous. But whether the danger is from them, or to them, is something that Linus begins to question. I am getting ahead of myself here, sorry.

Linus arrives, slightly terrified, well, ok, super terrified, because one of the children is the Anti-Christ. The other children include a very powerful forest sprite, a female gnome (rare), a wyvern (very rare), a shapeshifter, and Chauncey, who defies classification. The island where the orphanage is located has its own sprite, Zoe, to round out the crew. Linus is determined to do his four weeks, remain objective, and write his weekly reports. Slowly though, he finds this to be more and more difficult, as he makes connections with the children, Zoe, and Arthur as well.

I loved this book. I loved Linus and his transformation. I loved the characters. I loved the beautiful writing of Klune. I just loved it all. I originally picked this up thinking it was middle grade; I was misled by some things I had read but now I know it is not. It is classified as adult but I could see young adult readers reading it. And I am not the only one who feels this book is ambiguous in its age group – check out this quote from an article I read.

THE HUB: This book defies classification! Published as an adult title, winning an Alex Award for YA crossover appeal, it could also easily fit on middle grades shelves next to Harry Potter or the Penderwicks or the Melendy quartet from Elizabeth Enright. Why do you think this book works across so many ages?

KLUNE: I think there’s something not only topical about the story, but also universal in its messaging. Fantasy is often filled with grimdark stories (absolutely nothing wrong with that!), and we don’t get to see a lot of “happy” fantasy these days. I wanted to write a story that reminded me of the cozy fantasies I read as a kid, books that not only made me happy, but allowed me to believe everything could be okay. Hope can often seem like it’s in short supply these days, and while a novel like The House in the Cerulean Sea won’t fix the world’s problems, I hope it can at least serve as a small reminder that we are capable of so much when we stand for what we believe in and lift each other up.

I choose to believe that a good number of people want to feel hope, especially over the last year we’ve all been through. And the idea of accepting differences and creating change through goodwill is something that people can believe in, no matter what age they are.

The book itself is endlessly quotable. I found myself scrabbling about in drawers and whatever was close at hand for pencils or pens, so that I could underline parts of the book that spoke to me. Parts like this one:

It’s that kind of book y’all.

Tuesday Morning Coffee Catch Up

Today, I know what day it is! Lol. The sun is shining brightly, the sky is bue, the birds were singing, and I’ve already had to ask Wyatt to please stop yelling and it is only 8:15, so homeboy is feeling better. I don’t have tons of new things to talk about here, but I wanted to give an update since the last two coffee catch ups have been intense.

We are healing here. Wyatt has been doing lots of things he loves, drawing and playing and watching cartoons. He has talked to his grandparents on the phone, which always makes him happy. We had cupcakes and gifts for his birthday, just the three of us, and while on some level I felt like I was letting my kid down with such a small and low key night, I was also thankful that we were home and able to celebrate. We will celebrate again with family this weekend, just another small party but it will be something and he will love seeing everyone. And of course his big present from us is the wolf trip in May so he has to wait but he is practicing his howl so by then he should have it perfected.

Family members and friends were dropping off gifts or having them Amazoned here for the birthday boy. He really made out! He got a little lap harp since he is a music kid, these gigundo dice that are supposed to be for a yard game but because it was snowing we built a tower, books and games and clothes and a light up drawing easel. He is a happy kid, and the gifts came at a good time because we have been home recovering and helped occupy him. Plus the joy he got from receiving presents! He is a typical 8 year old when it comes to that. Lol.

Life is slowing coming back to normal. I am a jumpy crazy mess, but I am working on it and have supportive friends and family helping me through the emotional toll this took. Just so much up and down and uncertainty and fear – I am having a hard time getting out of the action mode and being on high alert. But texts and phone calls and comments here have been helping me, and I have people checking in with us all the time. One of my friends dropped off soup the other night before a big snowstorm and it was the perfect thing, cheesy corn chowder on a cold snowy night. Delicious!

Wyatt was cleared for therapy starting next week! We are easing back into his routines, starting with school today as a half day, then slowly building on and going by his own energy levels. Next week we will add in therapy as well, and the therapists know to sort of gauge what they do by Wyatt. Until then, we are doing some occupational therapy here at home, as part of play. Wyatt’s right side is his affected side, and is weaker than his left. We are always working on his motor skills and use of his right hand, and little activities like this are perfect. Look at how he is holding that corn with righty! He is also cracking me up with those goggles. He likes to just wear them around on his head like that. I love it.

And that is about it from here! Thank you everyone for all of your kind comments and wishes and prayers.