Guatemalan Monday: Fair Trade edition

Let’s talk about fair trade. If you don’t know what it is, here are two videos that explain the concept (and teachers, they are both on a level kids can understand too.)

 

Basically fair trade is like saying, Hey. It’s not cool to buy something at any price if the person who made it wasn’t paid a reasonable wage or had to work in bad conditions. Guatemala exports lots of products like coffee, chocolate, textiles, and fruit. Wouldn’t it be great if workers and farmers in those industries were paid a fairer wage?

Are you looking for fair trade coffee? Grounds for Change has a wide selection.  Want to start buying fair trade chocolate? Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan has a nice post where she rounds up ways you can make a difference. And if you’re looking for hand-made fair trade items from Guatemala, I recommend MayaworksTen Thousand Villages is also a chain of stores that sell fair trade items. There might be one near you!

 

 

Quotable Thursday

I love when someone writes the heck out of a sentence. On Thursdays, I try to post some of my favorites.

 

“Words in the air blow away as soon as you say them but words on paper last forever.”
~Vince Vawter’s Paperboy

paperboy

 

 

Wednesday: What I’m Reading

On Wednesdays, I vow to inconsistently list some good books I’ve recently read.

thatcher

The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by Jessica Lawson is an action-packed, hilarious and warm gem of a story. Becky is exactly what you want in a main character: brave, quick-thinking, funny, and smart. The voice in this novel alone would make for a great read-aloud. I loved this story to bits. If you’re looking for a fun read this summer–

Go forth and find this book.

Vince Vawter’s Rules for Writing

School Library Journal has a nice roundup of interviews with Vince Vawter, author of Paperboy. If you haven’t read this novel, please do.

paperboy

 

It’s a rare gem of a story that has something for everyone–readers of all ages. One of the many wonderful aspects of the story is that the main character is coping with stuttering. This is something that the author has personal experience with. I have a dear friend and a close family member who struggle with this same thing. This novel was especially moving to me because of the way he portrayed what it’s like to cope with stuttering. It’s not the focus of the book–the book has action and a powerful historical setting and lots of other wonderful reasons to read it–but the struggle with stuttering was what drew me in and what brought me to tears.

 

I’ll leave you with Vince Vawter’s three rules for writing. They are the best three rules I’ve encountered.

 

Photo Friday

photo 4

This our first summer in our new house. It’s fun to see what plants are popping up and blooming in our yard. Roses are always a nice surprise!

Quotable Thursday

I love when someone writes the heck out of a sentence. On Thursdays, I try to post some of my favorites.

 

“We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful.”
~Rachel Hartman’s Seraphinaseraphina

Wednesday: What I’m Reading

On Wednesdays, I vow to inconsistently list some good books I’ve recently read.

 

dust of eden

Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai is a novel in verse about one girl’s time in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. It’s a sparse, poetic story that is hard to swallow because of the awful truth it contains. If you’re visiting this blog because you read and enjoyed Caminar, this might also be a book you would like. If you’re looking for a beautiful story about hope, love, friendship, and loyalty–

Go forth and find this book.