Washed Up in the Waves
If you're wondering why the sea is salty or why oysters find people faulty, what "stonish nests" you should not crunch, or what a hammerhead wants for lunch, go for a swim at this book's beach! (Just watch for pincers, claws, and teeth.)
-Lesley Wheeler, author of Radioland
With verve and humorous delight, weaving informative detail into neatly rhyming lines, Margo Solod’s poems about sea creatures and the sea itself will make any reader tug and beg to go to the beach. I love books that entertain and captivate as they teach—this surely is one.
—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of The Turtle of Oman
What happens when you are a 13 year-old girl who lives on a very small island and your best summer friend for practically forever finds someone else she’d rather spend time with? Well, if you are Jessie Silva, you go adventuring! And sometimes, when you go looking for nothing in particular, you can find more than you bargained for. In Jessie’s case, it’s a den of coyotes, and coyotes just happen to the the one thing the islanders are determined to get rid of. Jessie has to figure out a way to save the coyotes from being hunted down and killed, and it looks like she might have to do it alone.
Coyote Summer is a realistic, pure adventure story with an emotional subplot. No witches, vampires or werewolves, no swordfights or far-away worlds, just a young girl on the brink of growing up, dealing with the realities of life that have suddenly invaded her almost perfect island. In Jessie Silva we have a heroine who’s a normal 13 year old girl, but the island she lives on has allowed her freedom that is almost unimaginable in this day and age; freedom to roam alone, to explore and to have experiences and adventures most 13 year olds can only dream of.
Cuttyhunk: Life on the Rock
I watch my 15-year-old nephew, Matthew, load the last of the file boxes onto his golf cart and haul them off to the burn barrel. My father’s attic is now empty, at least of Allen House papers. Thirteen boxes in all, documenting my life at the Allen House: from those first days building the public bathrooms with Hunter to the final days of the sale of the property. Thirteen boxes my sister Nina and I have spent two weeks combing through: every scrap of paper, every packet of restaurant checks, and every guest accommodation sheet to make sure no bit of memorabilia or important documentation is accidentally tossed. What to keep to commemorate fifteen years on this island, the beginning of a new chapter in the life of this one-hundred-year old inn, and its ultimate and unexpected end?
Old menus, the original handwritten guest book, pictures: all these are carefully set aside. But how to choose among the letters from guests and employees, work schedules, employee newsletters, and lists of most-often-asked guest questions, the series of ever-changing staff handbooks? In the end, everything of possible value is bundled into one box that I take away with me. I designate myself the official documentarian of the rise of the Allen House from a boarding house to an inn and restaurant written up in newspapers, magazines, and National Geographic, to its surprising and underhanded demise. What goes into this book is mine alone to decide—the amusing, the poignant, the sad. There are thousands of stories and hundreds of recipes from our time running the Allen House; I have tried to pick and choose among the best. But I have little to go on besides my memory, and that of my sister, Nina, who worked beside me for twelve of those years. These are my recollections, and I apologize in advance if they do not match yours.
For Dad, who made it possible. I wish you had made it to publication.
And for Nina. Without you, I’d never have made it at all.
Some Very Soft Days
Poems in Some Very Soft Days focus on human relationships, witnessing the wounds we inflict on each other, the healing of those wounds, and life in the Shenandoah Valley, especially the work of becoming native to the 68 acres of mountainous land that Margo and Deborah care for.