Where does Halloween comes from? Today I want to share a story with everyone that I used to tell the children when I worked in a private school. It always made them enjoy this holiday even more. Here it goes.
A long time ago both Spirits and living beings shared the earth. They lived side by side but there was trouble. they just could not get along and the planet was getting crowded. The dead had trouble communicating with the living except through a group called Spiritualist. They had the gift of talking to the dead. This went on for many years then one day both sides decided it was enough. The leaders that the Celts called the druids met with the leaders of the dead. The spiritualist acted as the communication force between the two parties.
After many days of discussion a deal was made. The two groups decided that if they put aside one day a year to celebrate the dead that they will go live in the after life. A deal was made with the druids and the dead. The next day after the contract was signed the dead vanished.
Now just a little about the Spirit Gate. Every year in October the gateway opens and the spirit world begin to enter into our earth getting ready for what we call Halloween. It is probably the oldest holiday that we celebrate.
The Celtic Cross now for our reviews
Corline- "Coraline" written by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Dave McKean. It was published by Harper Trophy a division of Harper Collins Publisher Inc.. It came out in 2002. Summary: "Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of others." With Halloween just around the corner this a wonderful and scary book for your middle graders. Coraline goes finds a door in her home that leads her to a different world where everything seems perfect on the outside but as she looks deeper and explores this new world she discovers dark secrets that can not only change her family, but also many human souls. This book is an scary adventure she will never forget. The simple language makes this a good read for both boys and girls.
A Drowned Maiden Hair- "A Drowned Maiden's Hair." This book was written by Laura Amy Schlitz. It was published by Candlewick Press. It came out 2006 in hard cover and in 2008 paperback. Summary: "At a Barbary Asylum for female orphans, eleven-year-old Maud is adopted by three spinster sisters moonlighting as mediums who take her home and reveal to her the role she will play in their seances." This book is a considered historical fiction and takes place in 1909 when the spiritualist movement is at its peek. This group used make people think they can talk to the dead. This is a fantastic book that looks at that era through the eyes of an 11 year old girl. If your kids have an interest in this kind of history this is a good book for them.
The Graveyard Book- "The Graveyard Book." by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Dave McKean. It was published by Harper Collins Publishers and came out in 2008. It then won a Newbery Medal in 2009. Summary: Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard." I have say that I loved this book and agree that it won the award. It has many layers to it. It is a great book to go with the Halloween holiday. It shows that even a young boy can be raised by ghosts. This is a must read for everyone young and small and can be considered a classic.Young Adults
Looking For Alaska- "Looking For Alaska." Written by John Green. Published by Dutton Books,, New York 2005. Summary: " Sixteen-year-old Miles first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by a search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash." This edgy Young adult novel is about how a young man grows up in a Catholic School. He is faced by many problems in his life there. Yet it is a book that looks at how each of us grows up doing our teen years. This book is not only a love story, but also the journey of a young man into adulthood. It explores hard topics, but is a great read for any young adult.
Speak- "Speak" written by Laurie Halse Anderson. It was published by Penguin Putnam inc. It came out in 1999. It had many Young adult awards. Summary: " A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in High School." This is also an edgy Young adult that looks at what happens when a young girl is gang raped in a party. This causes her whole freshman High School year to go down hill. It is a psychological battle that Melinda faces on this journey. Book list posted this on the book "Anderson perfectly captures the harsh conformity of a high-school cliques and one teen's struggle to find acceptance from her peers." This book is a very modern story that shows the struggles of teens in High School, and should be a good read for High school students today.
Star Girl- "Star Girl" was written by Jerry Spinelli. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf. It came out in 2000. Summary: "In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Star girl changes Mica High School forever." I really enjoyed this book, it is funny and looks at many subjects that our teens face today in High School. It covers: first love, popularity and friendships. This is a classic High school story that every teen should read. In our lives the teen years are very important for exploration and discovery. I believe that wonderful book can help guide them on this journey to adulthood.
While You Were Sleeping- "While You are sleeping." Written and Illustrated by Alexis Deacon. This picture book was first published in Great Britain by Hutchinson press an imprint of Random House in 2006. It was then re printed by Farrar, Straus and Giroux/ New York. "Did you know that your stuffed toys have a secret life." Summary: "A girl's bedside toys go to great lengths to keep her safe at night while she is sleeping." This two time winner of the New York times award for best illustrated book, Alexis uses charming illustrations and simple words to show what toys do at night. This is a wonderful book for a bed time story that you young children will want your read everyone. The question she asks What if toys came to life every night to help kids sleep better. They do everything necessary to help children sleep well. I really enjoyed this book and I believe it will be great read to your young ones. I highly recommend this wonderful bed time story.
Whats Under the Bed?- "What's Under The Bed?" Written and Illustrated by Joe Fenton. This picture book was published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young readers. It came out in 2008. Summary: "When Fred lays down his head, he imagines there is something monstrous under his bed." This is a very cute book that encourages children to use and explore their imagination. It has wonderful illustrations that mix black and white and color together. The book is written in rhyme and tells the story of boy who is always scared to sleep because he things their is a monster under his bed. After his imagination runs wild and thinks of all kind of strange things that can happen he discovers that in reality there is nothing to be afraid of after all. This can be a fun book for both girls and boys. It can not only help them to use their imagination but also not to be afraid of the dark or monsters under the bed or in the closest.
Lousy Rotten Stinkin Grapes- "Lousy Rotten Stinkin Grapes." Written by Margie Palatini and Illustrated by Barry Moser. This book was published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. It came out in 2009. Summary: "Retells the fable of a frustrated fox, that after many tries to reach a high bunch of grapes, decides they must be sour anyway. This picture book is based on a well loved Aesop fable. This book is a fun read. It has good pictures and a moral meaning, after trying all kind of ways to get the grapes down from a tree, fox gets so frustrated that he decides not to eat them at all. I think this book can teach the children to be patient because that can really help you in life. If you like a nice moral and fun story this is a good book for you and your children.