Review: Trish Trash #1: Rollergirl of Mars

Trish Trash #1: Rollergirl of Mars I like the premise and the cover art is what drew me in. At times the story is hard to follow as it lacks transitional cues. And some of the page spreads seem hurried in their drawing. The secondary characters are never given a bigger role than supportive interaction with Trish. Hers is the only tale being told.

The story is about a young girl who dreams of escaping her life of poverty on Mars and join the ranks of the elite Roller Derby athletes. There are hints of additional story lines but those are saved for additional books.

The book was easy to read, especially in one sitting. Older elementary and middle school readers would enjoy the graphic novel experience and the book would appeal to both boys and girls, athletes and science geeks.

Trish Trash #1: Rollergirl of Mars by Jessica Abel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Book Review: Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression

I've always enjoyed and admired Lange's photography. This book is a good introduction for children but the illustrations do not carry the same visual weight as her original prints.

I actually learned more from the biography section in the back than the text. Perhaps the writing was too simplistic or haphazard to adequately convey Lange's hardships and skillful abilities.

Overall a good book to check out from the library.

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression by Carole Boston Weatherford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Road to Bethlehem: Romantic Getaway?

Country Lodging at Tel Teomim
Whenever you travel on vacation, there are a wide range of sleeping accommodations available. I like to tent camp and am looking forward to trying out hammock camping next summer. Maybe it's because there was "no room in the inn" that we assume Mary and Joseph were roughing it all the way down to Bethlehem.

I'm now about 41 km away from Nazareth, near the town of Tel Te' omim. There is little biblical significance to the town as it was established in 1982 after several moshavim were combined. This is a good reminder of the turbulent and conflicting claims to the land that have continued for centuries.

But nestled there along the way is a lovely oasis for a young couple: Zimmer Tov BeHava. These luxurious wooden cabins include a pool, spa Jacuzzi, shaded gardens and views of the nearby mountains. I encourage you to check out the photos, and read through the description.

But that only fuels my curiosity. What were the sleeping arrangements for Mary and Joseph? Would they have stayed at a cozy romantic getaway on the trip south? Was this considered a sort of honeymoon? Or did they simply wearily collapse beside the road after walking for hours?

Note: This is a virtual journey along a variation of the Nativity Trail. I'm matching my daily walking distances with Google Maps and exploring the areas nearby. You can learn more about the Nativity Trail at www.sirajcenter.org  

Road to Bethlehem: Death of a King

Death of King Saul by Elie Marcuse, 1848
Note: This is a virtual journey along a variation of the Nativity Trail. I'm matching my daily walking distances with Google Maps and exploring the areas nearby. You can learn more about the Nativity Trail at www.sirajcenter.org  

I've made it 36 km away from Nazareth to a small town called Beth Shean. This town sits at the junction of the Jezreel Valley (through which we've been travelling) and the Jordan River Valley. It's here that we begin to follow south between the river to the east and the hills to the west.

The biblical significance of the town is that during the battle at nearby Mount Gilboa, King Saul committed suicide rather than be captured. The Philistines then cut off his head and displayed his body (along with Saul's sons) on the wall of the city. You can read the story in 1 Samuel chapter 31. Later, the city is listed as part of Solomon's kingdom in 1 Kings 4:12.

There is another national park here that protects the Roman and Byzantium ruins of the city. It appears that they still use the Roman amphitheater for audio/video presentations of the archaeological discoveries. However there is not a campground and given my slow pace, I imagine that Mary and Joseph only refueled here, probably camping farther down the road.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons contributors, "File:Elie Marcuse saul.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Elie_Marcuse_saul.jpg&oldid=286434196 (accessed December 18, 2019).

Road to Bethlehem: Gideon's Spring

Note: This is a virtual journey along a variation of the Nativity Trail. I'm matching my daily walking distances with Google Maps and exploring the areas nearby. You can learn more about the Nativity Trail at www.sirajcenter.org  

I'm virtually 20 km down the road from Nazareth and just passed the Cave of Gideon in Ma'ayan Harod National Park at the foot of Mount Gilboa. This is the historic location where Gideon gathered his warriors and weeded them out by how they drank from the spring (see Judges 7). I love how the park has a campground too.

There is no way to tell but it's possible Mary and Joseph camped here after the first day. This would put them on pace to reach Bethlehem in a week. It's also a good reminder that Mary and Joseph were not grabbing a Slurpee at the corner station, but would have carried water jugs which needed refilled.