I did it again. I was emailed “the book is here, please pick it up” and I said, “What book?” “Why this book? How did it get on my radar? Who was I when I thought this sounded interesting? When was this request done? Where was I sitting when I thought to request?” Okay, not that one. But the other questions (maybe) happened.
But regardless of the who, what, when, where, why and how of it all, I am glad I did request Catching a Storyfish by Janice N. Harrington as this prose poetry story was the mix of idealism and seriousness I was looking for. This sweet story about catching the “you” that is inside of yourself is relatable to most people. It is about the fact you are a piece of the picture and the picture, too. You are made of the stories of your family, the past, the present and what you see, find, learn, and tell. You are the one who needs to learn to be quiet and patience and listen while fishing (and that could be fishing for the catfish of your Grandfather’s stories, or fishing for a friend). You are the one that needs to speak up and tell that story, or two or ten, as it is swimming inside of you.
Obviously, the metaphors of fish, fishing and water play a role. But also playing its part is the fact our main character Keet has a lot going on in her life. She has moved from her beloved Alabama home to live near her grandfather in Illinois. She opens her mouth to be the parakeet she is, telling her tales, but “Alabama mouth” comes out: yella for yellow is the least of the teasing. Keet learns how to be a friend, how to adapt, and how to realize that she is not Keet if she is not telling her stories.
Best for ages 10 and up, but younger can do it. Over 13-14, however, might find it a bit young. A small spoiler/trigger the grandfather does have a stroke. but this story is, in its seriousness lighthearted, so it is handled well and even a bit “romantic.” And of course, the bullying is overall “mild,” but it is there. There is an annoying younger brother who you will probably like (even if I was tired while reading about him! He has a lot of energy) and but the characters are a family with the growing pains we all deal with sometimes.
And in the end, I found a good book and a CBR15Passport for a new to me author.