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A Death Observed, Part Four

This is a short series on my mother’s death.  It’s meant for folks who may be facing the death of their own loved one, with symptoms they may face, my suggestions to caregivers, and a brief sketch of what I felt and experienced. Part One. Part Two. Part Three.   Hours to Minutes Before Death, […]

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A Death Observed, Part Three

In case you missed them, here are Part One and Part Two of this series on my mother’s death. One to Two Days Prior to Death, Symptoms: May be a surge of energy, followed by recurrence of symptoms. Breathing starts to be a big issue at this point.  As the body begins to shut down, […]

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A Death Observed, Part Two

In April, I began this series of reflections on my mother’s death.  A few weeks before she went to be with the Lord, I received a little blue booklet called Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience (The Dying Experience) by Barbara Karness.  I found it very helpful–brief and to the point, written with compassion–and […]

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A Death Observed, Part One

Today is Good Friday, so in meditating on the passion and redemption of Christ, I thought it a suitable time to begin a series on my mom’s death last December.  No other event in my life has, so far, made me feel my need of Christ’s strength and grace so much.  But I would also […]

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Should Christian Kids See Harry Potter?

Or for you parents, will your kids be going to see the final Harry Potter movie released to theaters this week?  If so, for what ages do you think this movie is appropriate? Given the focus of Janie’s interview yesterday on Chris Fabry Live!–Teens and Dark Fiction–it seems to be a question many parents are […]

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Turn On the Light

At least twice a year, it seems, there’s a controversy blowing up in the Young-Adult book trade.  The latest brouhaha began with an article in the Wall Street Journal by Meg Cox Gurdon, entitled “Darkness Too Visible.”  Ms. Gurdon, who used to write on culture and parenting issues for National Review and now writes about children’s […]

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Sex, Cats, and Stereotypes

Just when you thought we’d done a pretty good job of knocking down stereotypes, a new study (those three words have to be among the most irritating in the English language these days) shows that gender disparity is still rampant in children’s books.  True, there’s been some progress since the 1990s, with an almost-equal balance […]

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Looking For Love: The Paranormal Teen Romance

Several years ago I started noticing references to a new YA novel that was enjoying sensational sales, especially among adolescent girls.  As months passed, excitement seemed to build and build, anticipating–of course–the sequel.  The cover featured two hands clasping an apple: simplicity itself, but loaded with cultural baggage.  Original temptation, original sin.  What the heck? […]

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Stalking the Elusive Boy Reader

Supposedly, one of the most-asked questions in children’s publishing divisions is, “Will boys read it?”  Will boys read anything?  Or only books that have “butt” or “fart” in the title?  Or only supposed diaries featuring kids with bad attitudes, illustrated by stick drawings?  Or only comic books (or, in their more literary manifestation, graphic novels)? […]

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Young Adult or Adult “Youngs”?

Once upon a time there was no such thing as YA in the publishing world.  That may be because there was no such thing as teenhood.  A youth began taking on adult responsibilities somewhere between the ages of 12 and 18, and adults, young and old, read the same books–either openly or furtively.  (I’m old […]

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Dystopia, Part Three

Part One. Part Two. What’s the problem with a glut of grim, futurist fiction on the YA bookshelves? Maybe nothing. Youth is resilient, and most young people are smart enough to know that fiction is fiction. If their reading is balanced, and they get out in the fresh air often enough, no harm done. Too […]

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