Jake likes the back of the classroom. Amongst desks, diverse faces and decorated walls, he can blend in, at least on most days. But today is not most days. Today is presentation day, and on presentation day, even the frightened face the spotlight. Those like Jake, who are not only shy, but have something to hide, proceed with caution. The slightest misstep could reveal big secrets. For Jake, that big secret is his fin, which he tapes down beneath his shirt to avoid embarrassment.
Yet despite the planning, missteps occur, and when they do, Jake must stand small or stand tall. By standing tall, he learns that confronting your insecurities shapes you more than a fin ever could. It also inspires others
In addition to complimenting your soggy second layer of Cheerios, this book will send you into space, underground, and through the tapestry of time in between. Along the way, anticipate encounters. Fellows will emerge that seem strange… they probably are. Other fellows will emerge that seem fine…they probably aren’t. My advice is this:
Avoid aliens and intergalactic criminals, especially the moody ones. Before boarding a train, confirm its destination. Dine with sasquatches, but don’t be their dinner. And finally, watch your spouse, your in-laws and your employees.
Everyone…and everything, is up to something
Mooncalfs is a novel about a generation screaming through a dog whistle. It chronicles a day in the life of a young man suffering from the paralysis of mental illness, unemployment, and the aftermath of broken promises after college. In search of an escape hatch from the prospects of an unfulfilling future, his frustrations take him to his feet. The road ahead holds the American Dream. Yet it also includes its container, which, for the purposes of satisfaction, if not sanity, may best be left closed. With the passage of the day, and his exchanges with a rather odd and diverse cast of characters throughout, he learns his complaints, fears and concerns are not unique. Instead they are supplemental verses to an old song with an immutable refrain. Difference, it so happens, is born from sameness. And more than just millennials can hear dog whistles.
Swimming pools are fun for people- not for Beetles, at least at first. After he is shot out of his flower pot and into the water by a garden hose, Beetle faces the terror of being adrift in the open water, without knowing how to swim, and without being able to take proper safety precautions. Normally a shy loner, to save himself Beetle must open his mouth and do what is so hard for him- call for help.
Various backyard inhabitants answer his call. Their efforts, together with his own resolve, get Beetle out of danger. A nearby floating leaf serves as his initial refuge. Once aboard, Beetle begins a character transformation: he goes from shy to confident, from loner to leader, from rescued to rescuer.
Beetle’s courage is rewarded with a crew, all of which have their own skills. The spider that he rescues spins his web to make a sail. The centipede he rescues offers her many legs to row. Both acts of generosity surprise Beetle. Even though he never met a centipede or a spider, both bugs are negatively stereotyped. Overcoming these generalizations is a struggle that calls for courage. It is a call that Beetle answers, and quickly begins to pay off. For the basic life raft that he navigated alone morphs into a mighty ship that commands the very waters Beetle formerly feared. Work becomes play. The pool is now a playground. Scary strangers are now friends from other flower pots.
That calls for a celebration back at Beetle’s place…and everyone is invited.