Ultra-brief Reviews – Tuesday 16 June 2009.
Once a Runner (Novel)
John L. Parker, Jr.
Hardcover: Scribner, 2009
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Prince Pehlay’s Wonder-full Alef-Beit.
Spiral Bound Paperback: Pomegranate Productions, 2008.
Order and More info: [ HERE ]
By Chris Smith.
I was super-excited to see that Scribner has brought John L. Parker, Jr.’s novel Once A Runner back into print. This cult-classic novel of runners everywhere, had two previous printings (one in the 70’s and one in the late 80’s) and was in super-high demand (I sold a used copy on amazon last year for over $130!). The essence of the novel is captured in its proclamation: “Quenton Cassidy was a miler.” Soren Kierkegaard famously noted that “Purity of Heart is to will one thing.” For Quenton Cassidy, that one thing was the quest to break the four minute mile. Once a Runner, is the raw tale of one runner’s determination in the face of a host of challenges. This novel will be most appealing to runners, but the running life and running culture it describes has a lot to teach us about focus and determination.
In previous school years, I have enjoyed teaching biblical Greek to elementary students in our church. The possibility of teaching Hebrew, however, never crossed my mind. Never, that is, until I recently received a copy of Mimi Fine’s excellent workbook Prince Pehlay’s Wonder-full Alef-beit. Complete with CD recording of its two instructional songs, this book is a superb and engaging resource – written from a Judeo-Christian perspective – for introducing the Hebrew alphabet to children. Stepping letter-by-letter through the Hebrew alphabet, Fine uses puzzles and traditional matching/fill-in-the-blank-type challenges to introduce and reinforce the memory of the Hebrew letters. Prince Pehlay’s Wonder-full Alef-beit is a wonderful place to begin teaching the Hebrew alphabet to yourself, your children or others!