Take a look at my newest blog site, literacylessons.wordpress.com  It should be easier to find, and it has a new look. If you have not checked out this particular blog before (I have posted some things on both sites, but some are original to LL.) you will find postings by students of Advanced Writing classes, statistics and thoughts on reading and writing, and comments on how schools and the teaching of literacy have changed in 50 years. In 2019, I will post books written by preK-2nd graders at the school where I volunteer on Tuesdays and stories of a new challenge at the Family Community Center where I volunteer on Thursdays. Even though I have officially retired from university teaching, I will continue to teach, but will not be paid for it. Come join me on my new adventure.

View original post


I am indebted to my blogging friend, Rachel Poli, for the refreshingly quick format to place “out there” a book I’ve read recently and enjoyed that I don’t have time to properly review.

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by John E. Pendziwol, published in 2017

How I got it or came to read it: The book was reviewed by a blogging friend, and it sounded interesting enough for me to order from my local library.

Synopsis: Elizabeth, a blind resident of a nursing home meets Emily, a delinquent teenager in foster care when Emily is assigned community service painting out the graffiti she sprayed on the home’s fence. When Emily begins working for Elizabeth as a personal aide, together they undertake the restoring and reading of Elizabeth’s father’s journals which tell of his years of service as a light keeper on Porphyry Island on Lake Superior.

First Thoughts: The novel appealed to me because age-crossing experiences such as the relationship that develops between Elizabeth and Emily are a common experience in my own life. Also one of the settings, before and during WWII, is my favorite.

Writing Style: Daughters is written with passion and heartfelt emotion,which comes across to the reader as touching, not “sappy.” The tales of twin daughters being raised on the island, described in their father’s journals, through shipwrecks, stormy weather, and dense fogs keep the reader alert.  Plenty of action is provided.

Final Thoughts: I left the book with a profound feeling of, “I didn’t see that coming”! The dramatic ending grabbed me and solved the many mysteries and questions the unlikely researchers had.

As the critic’s blurb on the back cover stated, “[The book] takes readers on an enthralling journey to an unforgettable place.”