Hello, hello! It’s been a while since I wrote a post for the blog, and if I’m being honest, I kind of the break. I had always promised myself that this was a passion project, meant to be fun, and never meant to feel like homework. So, while May and June were a beautiful whirlwind, I had a lot of proverbial homework. Between a new (literacy!) promotion at work, concluding a school year, working for the Boston Book Festival, and everything in between, I was slightly burnt out. In any narrative story, this can only mean one thing… time for a hiatus.
The formal definition of a hiatus is a “pause or gap in a series or process.” When it comes to literature, I read hiatus as “the moment when a protagonist’s life is at a bit of an impasse and the need to get away is paramount.” I was fortunate enough to go on an incredible hiatus with my family to the sparkling city of Madrid, the orange-scented atmosphere of Seville, and the artistic dynamo that is Porto. It was the trip of a lifetime, and we had an incredible time. Yet I’ll tell you something… by that last day, I was ready and excited to return home and write a blog post! See, the knowledge that a hiatus is truly meant to be a pause indicates that there will also be an un-pause. Real life picks up again. This might feel akin to bubble bursting, but I see it as an opportunity for gratitude. As Winnie the Pooh says, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” A hiatus provides opportunity for reflection, for that carpe diem energy (or, as the Spanish say, aprovecha el día), and for moving forward.
The Unsinkable Greta James, by Jennifer E. Smith, places Greta on a hiatus in the form of an Alaskan cruise ship – the exact opposite of the rock n’ roll stadium tour venues she is so accustomed towards. Meanwhile, Amara in Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson has been begging her parents to get out of suburban Oregon and explore her roots in Harlem, New York. Journey by Aaron Becker is a beautifully detailed, wordless picture book from the view of one girl whose red crayon takes her out of her bedroom into an enthralling magical adventure. Finally, Meredith’s annual vacation to Martha’s Vineyard provides both closure and a new chance at love in K.L. Wather’s The Summer of Broken Rules. Each hiatus may be complete by the book’s denouement, but the takeaways linger.