Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Where there's smoke...

Another story from my mornings walking the dog...  Lev (our pooch) and I were walking through our neighborhood early this morning when a lit cigarette came flying out of a window above us. We couldn't believe it! Seriously, we both instinctively jumped back and looked at one another incredulously. You know, you warn your kids about the evils of smoking and caution them about the danger of secondhand smoke but who would think of warning them about lit cigarettes being tossed from apartment building windows? Our daughters have enough trouble walking down the street without tripping or bumping into things. What a disaster it would be if they had to keep an eye on what might be falling from the sky while they're already looking ahead, trying to avoid bumping into people and looking down, trying to avoid the dog poop our neighbors have neglected to scoop. The danger associated with cigarettes knows no limits. Just Say No!

Here's a middle grade (meaning 9-12 year olds) book to consider that allows me to tie in both smoking and pets - consider Mavis Jukes' Smoke. The title character is the 12-year old protagonist's cat who goes missing after his young owner, Colt, is transplanted to a new home. Smoke was given to Colt as a gift from his dad when he was little and helped him feel connected to his dad after his parents divorced and he and his mom moved away. Smoke gets lost and the search for him puts Colt's life in danger, offering a whole new twist on the harm caused by smoke. Per the publisher's website, this story offers a "captivating look at cowboys, courage, and community, this is a tender tale about family and friends pulling together, and what it really means to be a man."

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