A note from an Optimistic Cynic

18 foot alligator with men proud of their kill
 For the last two weeks I've had the pleasure of meeting some really remarkable kids at a number of middle schools in Florida. As exhausting as a trip like this is/was, it was also invigorating. I came away feeling hopeful for the future of our society and our planet, in spite of evidence to the contrary. I'll do a post in a few days, once I'm caught up with mail and bill-paying. Meanwhile this is from the young man with a million questions in the front row. I'm grateful to Achutha, an autistic middle schooler, for his review. 

Lost In The River Of Grass, by Ginny Rorby, tells about an adventure in the Everglades of a girl named Sarah. While she, along with a fellow boy, Andy, and a baby duckling ,Teapot, become stranded on a small island they are forced to walk ten miles of swampland to reach safety. Unfortunately, with saw-like sawgrass, snakes, water moccasins, lots and lots of bugs, and of course, chomping alligators in the way, this may be impossible.

The author here is not just telling one story, but she is telling two, which compliments the Everglades’ beauty. Once, people thought that the Everglades will be wiped out and there’ll be lots of houses. But with conservation and preservation, the Everglades still lives to the present day. By telling Sarah’s story, the best and finest parts of the Everglades are in the finest details that attracts plants, animals and their naturalization with full glory.

Sarah is a lonely character who tries to make friends but she is disdained because her mother works in the school cafeteria. However, she does befriend Andy and is satisfied. But when Sarah, Andy, and a cute little duckling Sarah names Teapot struggle on the journey to safety, she likes and uses Teapot to conquer her fears. Personally, when I was a kid, I used Thomas the Tank Engine to understand the world around me.

I will best recommend this book to anyone who likes reading adventure stories and nature books.


I finally got to Hunter's Creek Middle School and met each and every one of Kellee's 60+ students.

Night, Night.