Chramingly Headstrong

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Wordery.com

“At times, young man, you tread a precariously thin line between being charmingly headstrong and insufferably pigheaded.”

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Movie opens September 30th!

True Taxonomy of Homo Sapiens

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Wordery.com

“The composition of the human species is infinitely more diverse than most humans suspect,” she began. “The real taxonomy of Homo sapiens is a secret known to only a few, of whom you will now be one. At base, it is a simple dichotomy: there are the coerlfolc, the teeming mass of common people who make up humanity’s great bulk, and there is the hidden branch—the crypto-sapiens, if you will—who are called syndrigast, or “peculiar spirit” in the venerable language of my ancestors. As you have no doubt surmised, we here are of the latter type.”

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Movie opens September 30th!

What Walter Taught

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Walter made me understand why we have to reform a system of criminal justice that continues to treat people better if they are rich and guilty than if they are poor and innocent. A system that denies the poor the legal help they need, that makes wealth and status more important than culpability, must be changed. Walter’s case taught me that fear and anger are a threat to justice; they can infect a community, a state, or a nation and make us blind, irrational, and dangerous. I reflected on how mass imprisonment has littered the national landscape with carceral monuments of reckless and excessive punishment and ravaged communities with our hopeless willingness to condemn and discard the most vulnerable among us. I told the congregation that Walter’s case had taught me that the death penalty is not about whether people deserve to die for the crimes they commit. The real question of capital punishment in this country is, Do we deserve to kill? Finally and most important, I told those gathered in the church that Walter had taught me that mercy is just when it is rooted in hopefulness and freely given. Mercy is most empowering, liberating, and transformative when it is directed at the undeserving. The people who haven’t earned it, who haven’t even sought it, are the most meaningful recipients of our compassion. Walter genuinely forgave the people who unfairly accused him, the people who convicted him, and the people who had judged him unworthy of mercy. And in the end, it was just mercy toward others that allowed him to recover a life worth celebrating, a life that rediscovered the love and freedom that all humans desire, a life that overcame death and condemnation until it was time to die on God’s schedule.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Star-Finding Storyteller

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“He wore old soft clothes and sat in an old chair on an old green porch and told stories. The stranger they were the truer he looked and I believed every one.”

My Friend the Starfinder, written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Stephen Gammell

Just Need A Door

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I slammed out of the Priest Hole and started walking, heading nowhere in particular. Sometimes you just need to go through a door.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Movie opens September 30th!

Little Wolf Loves School

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“We learned a song and how to count. We made pawprints and played hide-and-seek!” Little Wolf said proudly. “And do you know what else I learned?”
“Tell me,” said his mother.
“I learned that I can hardly wait for a second day of school.”

-Little Wolf Goes To School, written by Mary Packard and illustrated by Lisa McCue

Frightening Fishmonger

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Kev was out running an errand, and because asking one of his drunken regulars to chaperone me seemed like a bad idea, I went into the nearest shop to ask someone who was at least gainfully employed. The door read FISHMONGER. I pushed it open to find myself cowering before a bearded giant in a blood-soaked apron. He left off decapitating fish to glare at me, dripping cleaver in hand, and I vowed never again to discriminate against the intoxicated.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Movie opens September 30th!

South Florida Punk Redneck James Dean

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Wordery.com

I emerged into the sticky-hot evening to find Ricky smoking on the hood of his battered car. Something about his mud-encrusted boots and the way he let smoke curl from his lips and how the sinking sun lit his green hair reminded me of a punk, redneck James Dean. He was all of those things, a bizarre cross-pollination of subcultures possible only in South Florida.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Movie opens September 30th!

Old Eyes

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Seen in profile, his face was ageless. But his eyes had spent more than forty years looking at drunks, at knife fighters, at victims, at what happened when pickup trucks hit culverts at eighty. They were old eyes.

People of Darkness (Navajo Mysteries Book 4) by Tony Hillerman

I Am Allowed An Opinion

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Barnes & Noble

I’m not going to stand here and tell you war is bad or wrong, we shouldn’t do it, and we should work for peace instead, because it would be too easy for people like General Branigan to say I’m naïve, I’m just a kid. To blow me off and act like nothing I say could be important. But if you think about it, I have more right than anyone to talk about what’s going on here, to have an opinion about it. I think if I’m allowed to stand up here and talk at all, then I’m allowed to have an opinion that matters.

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn