Stories and Imaginings For the Reading Spot
Each story takes the reader on a separate journey in time, place and event. The first is in a cemetery a place that should be tranquil, in some cases holy and others where loved ones can remember, reflect and think about those that have passed on. But, when learning about the family buried beneath the stone of one particular headstone and we learn of what is supposed to be an error in print and even more what happens will surprise readers and although the story is about a cemetery the author adds a touch of intrigue and humor. Talking about coming to the cemetery to visit his mother’s grave Ron reflects on her character and more. Telling readers of this story that his job or vocation is making custom wallpaper and the job he is working on is crucial and needs to be done, receiving a phone call from the cemetery director sends him straight to his mother’s headstone and a mix-up or maybe not that you just won’t believe. Mistakes in printing can be made but what about burying the wrong husband along with his mother? How could that happen? Well, what if the wife of the man buried with her turns up and relates a story you just won’t believe. Bantering and arguing back and forth with this irate wife, listening to her rant and belittle his mother and explaining the situation and you just might juggle or laugh without stopping when you learn the truth about who this man really and who gets the last laugh. Who is buried with his mother? Enter the cemetery and listen to the conversation to find out.
There are quite a number of stories but I will only spotlight a few because the fun of reading this book is to discover the themes for yourself, meet the characters, get to know them and find out just how real most of the incidents might be. Spiders are short and really quite spooky as we meet someone that is about to end her life with the help of a doctor and her husband. But, there is a significance of spiders that like to gorge on the webs, the killing of a bug and the end result of what happens when one life ends and others go on.
Bullying is wrong and often kids are afraid to fight back and if in need of help never want to tell their parents, teachers or older siblings thinking they can handle it on their own. Simon is cruel and often belittles or hits Kelly just because he can. Simon always starts it and all the kids are afraid of him but something just might change it all, as Kelly does not like to be humiliated in front of other kids. His mother received a phone call asking that he appear on a TV show called The Name Game. He is supposed to replace a singer with the same name as his who cannot appear. The show requires that a panel of famous stars and people question the contestant hoping to find out information about the person and what they do: sing, dance, act or anything else. Poor Kelly does not sing, act or anything else and the decision to appear on the show would require coming in front of a TV audience, preparing for the show, hoping to understand the format and not fall flat on his face. Being uncertain his mother and father made the decision for him since his father thought it would be a great way for him learn how to deal with people and be a star. Meeting the producer, his mother telling everyone and his brother James supporting him, Kelly manages to get through it with flying colors. But, bullying is wrong and just because he did really well on the TV program does not mean that Simon will stop taunting him. What happens when Simon goes after Kelly again? Will anyone stand up for him or will Kelly fight back? Find out when you read THE NAME GAME.
There are many themes that run through these stories but none so compelling as a young girl’s love for a cat named Annie and the hope that the woman caring for the cat would never give her up. Mae or Aunt Mae as Ally called her was someone she could count on all the time. But, Mae was about to sell her house and move into an assisted living with her two friends Helen and Cindy because all of her needs would be handled and she wanted to be close to her friends. But, that would mean doing something about Annie a stray or lost cat that no one claimed. Ally loved Annie but she has a dog and her parents did not want a cat. An idea from a young child can often change an adult’s perspective and what Ally suggests might change everything for three friends. If you want to know what happens read the story titled: Where the Heart Is: Love, trust, faith and understanding will fill the pages of this great story. Characters that are true to life and one little girl that readers will love.
A frightening experience can often come back to haunt you but what happens in the story titled Inside will surprise readers as Cheney learns the true meaning of trust, understanding and why you should not judge a person or book by its outer cover.
The Boy in the Leaves revisits the theme of bullying and what happens when two boys find the body of a young child. Do they call the police; do they leave the body there? But, as Tony and Max begin to talk Max learns about Tony’s father and the cruelties he hands out to both him and his mother. Wanting to help him and hoping that he lives to see another day, Tony warns him to keep quiet and never tell. Tom is Max’s stepfather who loves and cares for him. But, when things escalate with Tony’s father, Max begins to distrust Tom and pushes him away. But, something happens that just might change his perspective as the ending is a surprise and what happens will encourage others to enlist help if bullied. Trust, understanding, fear, bullying and distrust are just some of the themes in this true to life story.
Author J.D. Holiday brings to light many real life issues we face everyday. Should we sell our home and move somewhere that is safe? Should we chance a new relationship or run away? Should we tell when something or someone hurts us or hide? Finally, what happens when someone you love has been gone for so many years and returns? What happens when you learn his past and where he was and why? Returning from a lost war, what happens to the person’s life when this somewhat stranger returns? What happens when he brings more than himself along? Can you rekindle what was taken from you or will he leave again? Stories that are different yet each dealing with a serious or tragic issue some turning out the way we hope and others not. Find out what is hidden beneath the pages of Stories and Imagining For the Reading Spot by author and illustrator J.D. Holiday and meet the characters, get to know them and take the journey along with each of them from start to finish.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews