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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

100 Days and 99 nights

100 Days and 99 Nights  by Alan Madison (hardcover May, 2008 from Little, Brown, and Company) joins Piper Reed, Navy Brat on my list of must-haves for military families. 


While Piper Reed is a favorite of grades K-2 at my school, 100 Days and 99 Nights will join them and also become a favorite book for middle-grade (3 & 4) students to cuddle with as they try to understand the larger concepts of duty and war.


In fact, all adults struggle with this, so go ahead and put this timeless novel in your collections, particularly if you live in a community where some student’s parents deploy and others don’t. This novel does not attempt to argue politics or solve the grown-up problems of the universe. It simply shows one family’s attempt to deal with duty, responsibility and doing your best while marking time. All from the perspective of 8 year old Esme.


Here are some of my favorite moments:


Esme and Martina whispering why there are so many single-shoes alongside roads.


FUSTILUGS – (you’ll have to read it, readers, to get it & hope I didn’t call you it)


The kitchen conversation:

“Duty” is what the army calls it when you have to do something that no one in the whole entire universe really wants to do.
“But why?” asked Ike, who was too young to understand the word duty and old enough to really love the word why?
Our minds raced around the short silence, trying to figure out possible reasons for his leaving.
“Because my commander says so, and when he says so, in the army we just do.”

 It might not hurt to have a hankie handy when you read about Esme’s doing her duty not to cry. I wanted to scoop up that whole family and pass out hankies.


To author Alan Madison, thank you for my quiet moments and happy ending. Turpentine to you.



144 pages
5-1/4" X 7-5/8"