Friday, March 27, 2009

Triolet Birthday Poem

Punkin at 4

Birthday Boy

Where is the boy who's four today?
Catch him if you can!
He's always busy and lost in play...
Where is the boy who's four today?
He's curious, loving, silly, fey
& bursting with a plan.
Where is the boy who's four today?
Catch him if you can!

-Andromeda Jazmon

My youngest son turned four this week and I wrote this poem for him. My four-year old fellow is wild, joyous, exuberant, ridiculous, out-of-bounds, silly, profound, driven, imaginative, indifferent, inquisitive, dogmatic and fluid; all this in a combination that makes for frequent fireworks and surprising delights. He's always got something in his pocket and a gleam in his eye. I can't wait to see what the year ahead will bring.

The Monday Poetry Stretch at Miss Rumphius Effect is: "A triolet; an eight line poem with a tightly rhymed structure and repeated lines." See the other poets' work here.

The Friday Poetry round up is being hosted by Julie Larios at The Drift Record. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Review: Shine Coconut Moon

by Neesha Meminger. Simon & Schuster 2009. Review copy.

First sentence: "There is a man wearing a turban ringing our doorbell. I walk slowly up the driveway and stop a safe, short distance from him as he rings again."

That opening hooked me right in. The story is set post 9/11 in New Jersey. A major theme of the book is the backlash in American culture against anyone who looks in any way like an Arab or Middle Eastern person who might be a terrorist. The main character is third generation Indian American, raised with little connection to her family's Indian culture.

Samar is a high school girl living with her single mom. Her parents divorced when she was small and she doesn't see her dad anymore. Her mom is estranged from her grandparents who are first generation Indian emigrants. Her mom rebelled against her parents as a teen because they were too strict with the traditional Indian ways. The man ringing the doorbell in the opening chapter is Samar's uncle, come to find them and re-establish connections in an attempt to build up family bonding in a time of intense of racism.

The title Shine, Coconut Moon refers to the slang term "coconut" which means an Asian person who is "white" on the inside and brown on the outside. Samar gets called a coconut and often feels like one because she has missed so much of her Indian heritage by being cut off from her grandparents and her father.

There have been incidents of racial epithets hurled from passing cars, garbage thrown at turbaned men, and sneers and questions from friends and classmates about strangers who look like one of "them". Samar is frightened and confused but she deeply longs for more family connection. She is searching for her full identity and trying to figure out how to respond to the racism she has experienced. She learns about the history of Japanese interment camps and sees similarities with the current political climate. She learns about her uncle's Sikh religion, which is completely different from being Muslim. She discovers who her real friends are and sees the ugly side to her boyfriend. She finally gets her dream of meeting her grandparents and finds it is not as simple or easy as she thought it would be.

I enjoyed reading the experiences and perspective given in this novel. I think it will stimulate thoughtful responses from a variety of readers. I'd love to hear a diverse group of teens discuss this book and see how they relate to Samar. One weakness of the book is that it tends to get a bit preachy at times, when Samar goes on about the lessons she's learned. I think readers can draw their own conclusions and don't need it spelled out quite so directly, but maybe that's just me. I'd love to hear from anyone else who's read the book. What did you think?

Interview with the author and review here.
Golden Girls' YA/Teen review blog.
Another review on teen Krista's blog Tower of Books here.
Another interview at Kimberly Derting's blog.
One more interesting interview addressing Neesha's own experiences and how she draws on them to write the book at the 10'res blog.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24 Haiku


nestled in old leaves
this corner of early spring;
trembling blue squill

Monday, March 23, 2009

Review: Honda

The Boy who Dreamed of Cars by Mark Weston, illustrated by Katie Yamasaki. Lee & Low Books, 2008. Review copy. On November 17, 1906 Soichiro Honda was born in the Japanese town of Tenryu. In1914, at the age of seven, he saw his first automobile roll through town. He fell in love much as Toady did in The Wind in the Willows. He grew up to become a global leader in the car industry.

He worked in a garage in Tokyo at the age of fifteen, and gradually advanced from sweeping the floor to repair work on the automobiles. Finally he was able to open his own shop. As an adult, after marrying and starting his family, he began to design race cars. He started making a lot of money and raced in his spare time. After an injury he had to give up racing and decided to concentrate of design improvements instead. He was inspired to improve metal piston rings and was successful in selling his improved products to Toyota.

After WW II he began to be interested in motorcycles. He wanted something as economical as a bicycle but faster. He and a partner opened a new factory to produce his design, called the Honda Motor Company. His factory was very successful, partly because of his design genus and partly because of the way he treated his employees. He expected the best from them and also provided the best. Good salaries, company gyms and swimming pools, and a share in the investment profits brought about loyal, hard workers.

When Honda came to America in 1959 sales of his small, user-friendly machines took off. By 1969 Honda was sending midsize cars to America as well. His engine design, created in collaboration with his engineers, was called the Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion engine. "CVCC", for short, or Civic.

The Honda Civic came to the US in 1972, during the gas shortage. The excellent gas millage of the Civic made it an instant hit. Honda retired in 1973 at the age of sixty six. Throughout his retirement he enjoyed hang gliding, golf and painting. He died at the age of 84 in 1991.

My boys love reading this biography over and over. Partly because we happen to have a Civic, and partly because they are just plain nuts about cars. The story of how Honda spent his life developing automobiles and motorcycles is inspiring and exciting to them. The text is clear and direct, with a nice balance of straightforward fact and description. There is a surprising amount of information about Japanese history and culture embedded in the story of the development on the auto industry.

The illustrations are beautiful, colorful paintings that show the detail and the complexity of Honda's life work. My boys enjoy studying the illustrations very carefully and have made numerous observations about the engines and tools as well as the exciting driving and racing scenes.

Any child with an interest in automobiles or motorcycles will enjoy this book. It is fascinating to read of how the industry developed and came to import in America as well. If you have a motorcycle lover in your circles this is a great pick.

The Monday Nonfiction round up is over at Mother Reader today. Go see!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Magnetic Poetry

I found this magnetic poetry site today after a tip from Kesia aka monarchlibrary in my twitter stream. I have always gotten a kick out of playing with magnetic poetry. Now I can spend hours fooling around with it online.

One of today's poems:

I want to ask if
the gentle window
is always light
when from dark
summer more whispers
take stars?

The trick in magnetic poetry is that you have to pull words from a limited pallet. It becomes somewhat stream of consciousness... or even nonsensical. But for some reason that amuses me and I think it enables me to play with alternate layers of meaning.

In the above poem I think I am wondering if summer will really be all I hope for after this dark winter. And what are those whispers? I guess after my recent struggle with cancer I am afraid the other shoe is yet to fall. Is the worst really over? Can I look forward to an easy summer?

In any case, the poems are easily scrubbed and re-done. No need to erase, just throw some words up there and hit reset if you aren't getting anywhere. Go ahead, give it a go. If you write some (G rated) magnetic poems come back here and share them in the comments. I'd love to see how you do.

There is a special section just for kids. They can register by first name to save and share their creations in a moderated gallery. I am imagining putting this site up in the classroom on the interactive whiteboard during National Poetry Month and letting the kids create some poetry. Sounds fun!

Friday Poetry is being hosted this week by Elaine at Wild Rose Reader. You can bet there are going to be some lovely spring poems in the mix. Go join the fun!

Magnetic Poems from Magnetic Poets: (from the comments)

tanita s. davis :

she says "life is steam
like window seep," translucent
warm smoke when moist with ice

perhaps after breath melts
the present stars
vast breezes will sail her
to yesterdays peace

Mary Lee:

young woman
translucent universe
warm trust
wild worry
velvety questions
poetry window

Scriptor Senex:

"Perhaps we smile
That, streaming poetry, they,
Yesterday, some secret word
Would Say."

Julia Larios:

yesterday you were salt
steam smoke steel fever
a slow poison the one ghost
in my dark glass
no universe was more vast
yet less young
your voices haunted me
woman woman
you must go put morning and night
there above the sky
like wild animals

Elaine Magliaro made one called


sculpt water
paint colors

create metaphors
fashion fiery impressions
chisel rhythm & symbol
capture imagination
ink beauty

Thank you all for these creative responses. Anyone else want to play?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Readergirlz Rock the Drop Press Release



Despite economic downturn, generous publishers have donated
thousands of young-adult books for readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and YALSA
to deliver to teens in America’s top pediatric hospitals

March 17, 2009 (Seattle, Wash.)Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive 8,000 young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels next week as readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrate the third annual Support Teen Lit Day on April 16.

In its second year, “Operation TBD” (short for Teen Book Drop), puts free books donated by 18 book publishers into the hands of many teens most in need of escape, inspiration and a sense of personal accomplishment. Books with exceptional characters and fabulous stories can provide just that for teens and their families dealing with difficult, long-term hospital stays.

At a time when philanthropic giving is down, readergirlz co-founders have been inspired by overwhelming industry support for Operation TBD. “readergirlz is always looking for innovative ways to connect teens with literature, “ said Dia Calhoun, co-founder of readergirlz and acclaimed young-adult author. “We’re honored that publishers have supported this goal by giving so liberally this year.”

Operation TBD also aims to encourage all teens to choose reading for pleasure as a leisure activity, over other entertainment options. Inciting the broader teen community to participate in Operation TBD in its drive to spur reading on a national scale, readergirlz has launched a trailer on YouTube ( inviting teens and YA authors to leave a book in a public place on April 16. When visiting, participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they’ll leave behind, which explain the surprise to the recipient and tell them to read and enjoy.

This event is such a special one because it not only raises awareness about teen literature, but it also truly helps those teens most in need. Teens facing illnesses will be able to find an age- appropriate new book to read while in the hospital — teen books matter and not just any old book will do,” said Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president. “Our thanks to the publishers, readergirlz, and Guys Lit Wire. It’s wonderful to unite with these organizations to forward this cause.”

Participating book publishers who have donated books or audiobooks include Abrams Books, Bloomsbury/Walker Books, Candlewick Press, Full Cast Audio, Hachette Book Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hyperion, Milkweed, Mirrorstone Books, Orca Book Publishers, Peachtree Books, Perseus Book Group/Running Press, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Soft Skull Press & Red Rattle Books, TOKYOPOP and Tor/Forge/Starscape/Tor Teen.

“Putting the right book into the hands of a teen can turn that teen into a reader for life, “ said Suzanne Murphy, VP and Group Publisher, Scholastic Trade Book Publishing. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to help Operation TBD show teens firsthand just how much fun reading can be.”

Pediatric hospitals that have signed up to receive books include Phoenix Children's Hospital (Phoenix, Ariz.), Rady's Children's Hospital (San Diego, Calif.), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children's Hospital and Research Center (Oakland, Calif.), All Children's Hospital (St. Petersburg, FL), Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill.), UM C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City, MO), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center (Tacoma, Wash.) and Seattle Children's Hospital.

“Our teen patients here at Seattle Children’s loved the books donated through the Operation Teen Book Drop last year,” said Kim Korte, Child Life Manager, Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Books are a wonderful avenue for our patients to be distracted from the pain and stress of hospitalization. We are always in need of books and greatly appreciate the generosity of the publishers who donated.”

Everyone who participates in Operation TBD is invited to celebrate at the TBD Post-Op Party on April 16 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on the readergirlz blog:

About Support Teen Literature Day

For the third consecutive year, Support Teen Literature Day will be celebrated April 16, 2009 in conjunction with ALA’s National Library Week. Librarians all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day by hosting events in their library. The purpose of this new celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. Support Teen Literature Day also seeks to showcase award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

About the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, visit or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390, or email,

About readergirlz

readergirlz is the foremost online book community for teen girls, led by five critically acclaimed YA authors—Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Holly Cupala (A Light That Never Goes Out) Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Justina Chen Headley (North of Beautiful), and Melissa Walker (the Violet series). readergirlz is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award.

To promote teen literacy and leadership in girls, readergirlz features a different YA novel and corresponding community service project every month. For more information about readergirlz, please visit and, or contact

About Guys Lit Wire Guys Lit Wire brings literary news and reviews to the attention of teenage boys and the people who care about them. Working to combat the perception that teen boys aren’t as well read as teen girls, the organization seeks out literature uniquely targeted toward teen male readers in hopes of bringing attention of good books to guys who might have missed them.

2009 readergirlz

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18 Haiku

we are all purple

lifting holy hands
purple crocus testifies -
once again its spring!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Review: After Gandhi

One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance, by Anne Sibley O'Brien and Perry Edmond O'Brien. Charlesbridge, 2009. Review copy. In 1906 Mohandas Gandhi was working as a lawyer for the Asian Indian community in South Africa. On September 11, 1906 Gandhi made his first speech to a large crowd calling for nonviolent resistance to the government's oppressive requirement that all Asian residents register and be fingerprinted. In the next two years a movement was born that Gandhi lead with growing understanding of the extraordinary power of nonviolent resistance.

In the past one hundred years leaders all over the globe have studied his ideas and methods and lead successful nonviolent movements against repressive, unjust governments. After Gandhi is a comprehensive study of the ideas taking shape in the lives of leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh of Vietnam, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States, Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu of South Africa, the Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, the Student Activists of Tienanmen Square in China, Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia, and Wangari Maathai of Kenya, among others. Each of the peace heroes is profiled and Gandhi's role in their education and development is highlighted. Particular emphasis is placed on the influences and opportunities they faced in childhood and youth, making these profiles interesting and relevant to young readers.

Although I lived through most of these movements and have heard this and that about them in my education, in the media and in my social circles, I was surprised at how little detail I actually knew about their lives and the successes of their struggles for peace, justice and change. I found reading this book to be delightful, encouraging and inspiring. Gandhi says;

"Be the change you want to see in the world.

If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.

Nonviolence is an intensely active force when properly understood and used.

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Quotations such as these are set off in red sidebars for each of the profiled personalities. There is an opening scenario setting the scene, an essay recounting the life and work of the major figure, and a short biography summing up their life's work for each of the profiled world leaders. Their lives are truly inspiring and their words are phenomenal. This is a book that every young person should read and have on hand to re-read often.

The charcoal sketch illustrations throughout the book include portraits of the leaders of resistance and scenes of the protest meetings and marches. The one weakness of this book, in my opinion, is that these graphics are not particularly appealing to youth accustomed to full color, lively graphics. In our school library books illustrated in this style are often taken for old fashioned, tired dust collectors. It's a shame but I can't tell you how many great biographies have been weeded out of the collection just because the kids won't pick up black and white illustrations. I am afraid this failing will keep the book out of the hands and sight of youngsters browsing the shelves. The book will have to be presented and supported by teachers, librarians and parents in order to display it's treasures.

At the end of the book the authors tell a story of their own recent peace march as they joined The Veterans and Survivors March for Peace and Justice: "Walkin' to New Orleans" in 2003, just six months after Katrina. They petitioned the government to bring our troops home from Iraq and focus on rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Anne Sibley O'Brien is a member of Military Families Speak Out and her son Perry Edmond O'Brien is a former Army medic serving in Afghanistan and Iraq who received an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector. He is the founder of, a website that helps servicemen navigate the conscientious objector application process.

Also noted: the final chapter is about the February 15, 2003 global peace protest promoted on the Internet.
"No one knows exactly how many people were involved, but estimates range from six to thirty million. The protesters were students,grandmothers, artists, businessmen and women, celebrities, nuns, veterans, children. In many languages, they spoke with one voice: "No War On Iraq!".... President George W. Bush and the US government didn't listen. On March 20th, 2003, American troops invaded Iraq."

March 20, 2003. March 20, 2009. Six years. Thousands (millions?) of lives in need of peaceful nonviolent protest.

Use this nonfiction, middle grade book of biographies in peace curriculum or to teach the Quaker SPICES of peace. (Quaker SPICES are the testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Service by which we live). The kidlit book blogger's nonfiction Monday roundup is hosted by L. L. Owens today. Go take a look!

Visit for an excerpt, posters, discussion/activity guide, and video trailer.

PASS THE PEACE: Inspired by After Gandhi, the Pass the Peace campaign is an effort to promote worldwide peace, tolerance, and nonviolent forms of protest. Charlesbridge Publishing has distributed posters to local companies, started a blog chain with a Pass the Peace widget, and donated money to Wangari Maathai's organization, The Greenbelt Movement, to spread the messages of the peacemakers profiled in the book. Feel free to post this widget to your blog, website, or social networking site, and forward it to others who may also wish to be involved.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Review: The Twentieth Wife

by Indu Sundaresan. Simon & Schuster, 2003. Library copy. I read this book after finding it recommended by Ali on the Diversity Rocks! Challenge blog in a list of historical fiction. The Twentieth Wife is a 17th century saga of Indian Empress Jur Nahan. The story opens when her mother gives birth to her in a tent during a raging storm in the desert. Her family is on the run after her father falls into disgrace in their Persian home city. They join a caravan of traders and by happy chance they manage to get into the good graces of the Emperor Akbar of India. Mehrunnisa, the given name of the future Empress, grows up beautiful, intelligent and charming. She falls in love with the Emperor's son at the tender age of eight and spends her life working towards her ambition to become his favored and most powerful wife.

The story is based on actual events in the history of India and the lives of some of the most well known Indian and Persian rulers. Sundaresan has shaped the story into a passionate and thrilling love story. Her descriptions of the desert wind, the intoxicating scent of blooming flowers, and the delicate flavors of rich banquets make the story a feast of delights. The plot follows a fairytale structure, where Mehrunnisa's poor beginnings are overcoming by her exquisite beauty, good luck and ambitious cunning. In general I have little patience for this genre, being far more practical myself, but this book drew me in and I found myself fascinated by the imaginative and vivid descriptions of the lifestyle and culture. If you enjoy romantic historical fiction you will love this book. Sandaresan has written a sequel called The Feast of Roses. You can read excerpts from all of her books at her website. She also has a fascinating essay about Mughal women and the building of the Taj Mahal here.

Other reviews:

Curled Up With a Good Book (interesting analysis from a feminist perspective)
Simon & Schuster

Friday, March 13, 2009

spring haiku

some sun

spring wind
ruffles puffs of dark clouds;
chasing the sun

paperwhites & aloe

paper white blossoms
bend over my windowsill
catching light

pussy willows

one day cold dry sticks
next day soft gray buds appear;
pussy willow paws

You can only imagine how delighted I was yesterday to find a well-used florist box on my porch after the mailman came by. My aunt had sent me this bouquet of pussy willow branches from her yard. I was just wishing I had some! The sun has been in and out of dark clouds all week. I am watching light play over the paperwhites on the windowsill.

This has been one of the most difficult & painful weeks that I can ever remember. Every kind word and encouraging comment has been deeply appreciated. Each day is a little better than the last.

The Friday Poetry roundup is at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

March 8 Haiku

field of purple

today's garden
the day after you raked leaves -
claimed by crocus

I am home again, recovering from surgery # 2. The pathology reports came back all negative. Doc says "no further treatments necessary". Hallelujah I am CANCER FREE!!! Thank you Jesus!!

Let the Springing begin!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Share a Story, Shape a Future

I'm looking forward to the second week in March because the kidlitosphere is celebrating reading with children in a stupendous round of posts. The very cool button artwork is courtesy of Elizabeth Dulemba and Brimful Curiosities.. Here's what they say on the site:
Through Share a Story - Shape a Future we hope to build a community of readers, by sharing ideas and encouraging each other. When the event opens on Monday, March 9, 2009, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to join us and share your ideas.
And here is the schedule of upcoming posts:

Day 1: Raising Readers
hosted by Terry Doherty at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, the Reading Tub blog
Day 2: Selecting Reading Material
hosted by Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone
Day 3: Reading Aloud - It's Fun, It's Easy
hosted by Susan Stephenson at the Book Chook blog
Day 4: A Visit to the Library
hosted by Eva Mitnick at Eva's Book Addiction blog
Day 5: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds
is hosted by Elizabeth O. Dulemba at

I am taking a short blogging break for health reasons, but I am counting on enjoying every day of these great posts.

Monday, March 02, 2009

March 2 Haiku

mar 1 013

outside snow flies;
on this side of the window
tulips open

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Review: Brass Ankle Blues

by Rachel Harper. Simon & Schuster, 2006. Library copy. Brass Ankles was recommended to me by Firemom about a year ago. I put it on my To Be Read list but didn't get to it until this past week. I didn't even know what it was about until I started reading it so I didn't understand why Jenna thought I would like it. It was a big Aha! moment for me.

Nellie is a 15 year old mixed girl traveling with her Black father and white 16 year old cousin, headed for the lake in Minnesota where her family has land and homes. They meet up there every summer, but this summer is different because her white mother is divorcing her father and not coming to the cabin with them. Jess, her cousin, has left her mom's home and doesn't know her dad at all (Nellie's mom's brother).

The story is about identity, growing up, crushes on boys, dangerous behavior, and anger/rage against one's parental units. Race and identity play a major role, which for me makes it far more interesting and complex than your typical coming of age in a falsely mono-racial world. One of the key passages is when Nellie responds to a boy's racial slur, calling her by tackling him and dunking him in the lake in a fit or rage. Later her 6 foot, Mahogany father talks to her about how best to deal with this all-to-frequent situation:

"How many times have you seen me hit somebody?"
I look away, hoping this is a rhetorical question.
"How many times?"
:What?" He cups his ear.
"Never. I've never seen you hit anybody."
"And why do you think that is? Do you think I never get angry?"
I sink into the wall, which feels as cold and pliable as clay. "I know you get angry."
"Right. And yet I never let that anger translate into violence. Do you want to know why? Because I don't want to give them an excuse. An opportunity to say I'm inferior or uncivilized, or to look at me as if I were a monster. I'm not one of them, you know that, but I'm playing by their rules - I have to if I want to succeed, that's the way this country was built." He leans in and lowers his voice like he's telling me a secret. "Listen, I'm not saying that he didn't deserve it. I'm certain that he did. But you shouldn't be the one to punish him, you shouldn't let his hatred become your own."

Whenever I read a scene where a Black parent is giving out this kind of wisdom I am all ears. Her dad is confused and heartbroken at the end of his marriage but he still has a well of strength, tenderness and light to offer his daughter. Most of the time he doesn't force it on her or pursue her trying to get her attention either. But he's always there for her when she looks around.

I'd recommend this book to young teens of any race, as it really speaks to the identity issues everyone goes through. Read a passage from the book at the author's webpage.

I didn't know the term "brass ankle" was an old slang expression for a mixed race person of Indian, Black, and white heritage. Harper quotes a passage from Edward Ball's book Slaves in the Family to explain it in the front of the book. Here's a site that talks about it in the history of South Carolina. Have you ever heard it?