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Tall," by Joan Bauer.
G.P. Putnamís Sons, 2002, 182 pages,
Sam is 12 years old and stands
6 feet, 3Ĺ inches tall. He is the tallest seventh-grader in the
history of his middle school and the tallest 12-year-old his
hometown of Ripley has ever seen. At his middle school he is one of
the "non-athletic nobodies" who is unable to shoot a basket, even
with his height. These are some of the reasons people gave him the
nickname of Tree.
Sam is not comfortable with his
size, so the nickname just continues to rub this in. Even the people
that love and care about him, like his family, call him Tree.
His size and nickname are not
the only things that worry Tree. His parents have recently divorced,
and he desperately wants things to be the way they used to be. He is
the youngest of three boys, but his older brothers are in college,
so he is the only one the custody arrangement applies to. Even the
school gives him grief over the co-custody arrangement. His father
kept the house, and his mother took a small apartment in town. His
mother tries very hard to make her new home a home for Tree, but it
just isnít home.
One of the bright spots in his
life is his grandfather, a Vietnam vet who lives with Tree and his
dad. During the war, the grandfather was shot in the leg. He
continued to have trouble with it, and the leg has just recently
been amputated right below the knee. The way his grandfather deals
with this situation is a great inspiration to Tree. His grandfather
also compares a lot of things in life to war and being a soldier, as
he tells Tree, "Weíre all fighting a war whether we know it or not
-- a war for our minds and souls and what we believe in."
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Another bright spot is a new
girl at school named Sophie. She has been shuffled from one school
to the other for most of her life, and now she and her mother are
living with her Aunt Peach. The first time Tree became aware of her,
the popular girls were treating her very badly. Tree was very
impressed by the way she handled the situation, and they became
friends. She encourages Tree to be proud of his height and is always
telling him to "stand tall."
The story has a dramatic
conclusion with a flood that nearly destroys the town of Ripley. The
town rallies together in the face of disaster, and it is at this
time that Tree discovers that he has a purpose in life. He also
learns a lot about loss and healing.
Joan Bauer is the Newberry
Honor author of "Hope Was Here" and numerous other books for young
people. Bauer writes about themes that are serious but with her own
special kind of humor and wisdom. In "Stand Tall" we also learn
about small towns that "stand tall" and about their veterans who
fought bravely in a war that even they didnít understand.
book is recommended for grades six and up. For more information
about this book and others, please visit the library at 725 Pekin
St. or call (217) 732-5732.
[Linda Harmon, Lincoln
Public Library District]
Concert will feature winners of concerto-aria contest
NORMAL -- Five Illinois
State University School of Music students won the school's
concerto-aria competition Jan. 22 and will be featured performers in
a March 5 concert at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Performing Arts
Jurors in the competition were Roger
Garrett and Linda Farquahson of Illinois Wesleyan University.
This year's winners are junior
trumpeter Ryan Elliot of Saginaw, Mich., representing the brass
area; master's degree student and pianist Kristof Kovacs of
Budapest, Hungary, representing the keyboard area; Ying Wang, a
master's degree student and cellist from Beijing, China,
representing the string area; senior baritone vocalist Kevin Prina
of Washington, representing the voice area; and piccolo player Megan
Lomonof, a senior from Oak Lawn, representing the woodwind area.
Earning honorable mentions in the
competition were violist Colleen Kuraszek, a freshman from Lake in
the Hills, and flutist Elizabet Varga, a master's degree student
The concert March 5 will spotlight the
five winners. They will perform individually with the Illinois State
University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Glenn Block, director of
orchestras. The orchestra also will play Bernstein's overture to "Candide."
DECATUR -- Theatre 7 -
Decatur's Community Theatre will present the comedy "Epic
Proportions" in February at the Decatur Civic Center Theatre.
Tickets for the production go on sale to the general public
beginning Monday, Jan. 13, at the Decatur Civic Center Box Office.
"Epic Proportions" is set in the 1930s,
when brothers Benny and Phil find themselves in the Arizona desert
as extras in a huge historical epic film. Before they know it, Phil
is directing the movie and Benny is starring in it. To complicate
matters, they both fall in love with Louise, the assistant director
The Theatre 7 production is directed by
Cast members are Jayson Albright, Shawn
Becker, Doug Bishop, Peter Churukian, Amy Hoak, Tim Haworth, Alison
Logan and Matt Tucker.
Performance dates and times are Feb. 7,
8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. For ticket
information, call the box office, (217) 422-6161.
LCT 2003 season
Lincoln Community Theatre is
pleased to announce three productions selected for the summer of
Kicking off the 32nd season of live
theater for the Lincoln community will be the hilarious musical "Nuncrackers."
This fun-filled show is a continuation of the antics of the
dauntless, darling nuns of Mount St. Helen's Convent who delighted
Lincoln audiences in the "Nunsense" series several summers ago.
Audience participation, one-liners, a rum-soaked fruitcake, dueling
sugar plum fairies and dear Sister Amnesia will definitely start the
summer theatrical season with humor and fun.
The July production, "Steel Magnolias,"
is one of our best ensemble productions. The familiar, bittersweet
story touches all the emotional peaks and valleys of life in a small
Southern community. From wise-cracking Truvy to unsure Annelle, the
characters in this poignant play promise to touch everyone with both
laughter and tears.
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Ending the season on a patriotic note,
LCT's final production of the summer will be "1776," a stirring, yet
humorous musical featuring a large cast representing our founding
fathers. Humor abounds with fast-paced dialogue involving Ben
Franklin, Henry Lee and other early congressional characters, along
with catchy, patriotic music.
To kick off
the holiday season, Lincoln Community Theatre is offering holiday
gift certificates for season memberships for the summer 2003 season.
Certificates can be mailed directly to the receiver or to the gift
giver. Certificates for adult memberships are $20 each, and those
for children through eighth grade are $12 each. Requests for gift
certificates may be sent to LCT, Box 374, Lincoln, IL 62656. Further
information is available at (217) 732-7542 or by visiting the LCT
[Judy Rader, LCT publicity
Lincoln Community Theatre
Community Theatre's box office, phone
735-2614, is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through
Saturday for the summer season. The office is located in the lobby
of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of
"Dearly Departed" are scheduled for July 12-20, and "The King and I"
will be presented Aug. 2-10. Show times are 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8
p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln,
IL 62656; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LDC website at www.geocities.com/lincolncommunitytheatre/index.html.
Pictures from past productions are included.
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