Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nonfiction Wednesday and Slice of Life Challenge - Day 19 - Dairy Queen

I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row.
Florence Nightingale
Demi's beautiful illustrations and amazing account of Nightingale's contribution to medicine and nursing come together to inspire anyone who wants to make a difference in this world.
Now for my Slice of Life....
In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are participating in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs.  I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge. I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.
Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen, #1)     I'm listening to the audio book of Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock and am loving it.  I feel like it came at just the right time - when I'm writing memories about my country childhood.  Descriptions of baling hay and mowing the fields bring back fond memories (the character in the book, D.J., isn't narrating her experiences with fondness - she rather hates a lot of the things she has to do - ha).  Well, on second thought, I guess I didn't think of those chores all that fondly at the time, either.  Especially baling hay.  I did really hate that.  Baling always had to happen on the hottest week of the year (like the fair).  And I had many allergies when I was young (I outgrew them, thank goodness) - and hay was one of them.  Even though it was hot, you had to wear long sleeves and jeans if you knew what was good for you because otherwise, you'd be covered in red welts from the hay irritating your skin.  When you unloaded the bales into the barn, your lungs, nose, mouth, eyes, and ears would fill with hay dust.  It would choke you.  The heat would exacerbate it, making it almost impossible to breathe.  It was not a job I loved.  Mowing the field wasn't all that bad.  I could just chill for awhile.  I could do some thinking, some singing, some tanning.  I'm looking forward to listening to more of Dairy Queen!


  1. How fun to find a book to which you can so quickly relate! We have a friend who is a singer who always chose the mowing when given a choice of chore so that she could sing as loud as she wanted and no one complained. Maybe you'll write the next memoir of growing up on the farm?

  2. I have seen this one but haven't read it. Maybe I'll try the audiobook. And of course great nonfiction pb choice.

  3. I had no idea what baling was all about, Holly - what an experience. You really had to know what you were doing!

  4. The only part I would like about being a farm girl would be the sun. What hard work! I dated a milk farmer for a short - short while. Learned real quick that life wasn't for me. I love reading your farm stories!

  5. Hi Holly, both books are new to me. I have to say that Dairy Queen sounds really intriguing. I have no farming experiences to relate to, but I can imagine it is some really hard ( and stinky) work. ;)

  6. I did some of that on an uncle's farm long ago-such hard, hard work! Thanks for telling about it, Holly & about Dairy Queen. Have you read The Thing About Luck, about the wheat harvest!

  7. Hi Holly,
    I love how you Dairy Queen is supporting you as a writer. What a powerful experience to share with your students.

    On another note, I have always wanted to live on a farm - what an incredible experience.