Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Summer Reading Programs

Summer reading programs at the libraries:

Reach out to your local public library. Brookline and Boston have programs starting to encourage summer reading. 

Barnes and Noble

Every year Barnes and Noble provides incentives for kids in grades K - 6 to do some summer reading. Fill out a simple form showing you read 8 books this summer and turn it in to any Barnes and Noble store. You can then choose one free book from a list! 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Summer Reading 2021!

Summer reading lists have been posted! None of these books are required, but the librarians believe these titles are the best of the best and will keep you reading all summer! Check them out at your public library or at a local bookstore (The Children's Bookshop and Brookline Booksmith

Have a great long weekend, everyone! 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Book suggestions

Halfway to Harmony by Barbara O'Connor

Walter Tipple is looking for adventure. He keeps having a dream that his big brother, Tank, appears before him and says, “Let’s you and me go see my world, little man.” But Tank went to the army and never came home, and Walter doesn’t know how to see the world without him.

Then he meets Posey, the brash new girl from next door, and an eccentric man named Banjo, who’s off on a bodacious adventure of his own. What follows is a summer of taking chances, becoming braver, and making friends―and maybe Walter can learn who he wants to be without the brother he always wanted to be like. Middle grade realistic fiction. Every chapter is a page turner! 

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte

Twelve-year-old Cici has just moved from Taiwan to Seattle, and the only thing she wants more than to fit in at her new school is to celebrate her grandmother, A-má’s, seventieth birthday together.

Since she can’t go to A-má, Cici cooks up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids’ cooking contest to pay for A-má’s plane ticket! There’s just one problem: Cici only knows how to cook Taiwanese food. A graphic novel. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Book suggestions + end of the year library info

Wrapping up the year!

With five weeks of school left, this is a reminder to return overdue books to the school library. The library will close on June 8 in order to get all materials back on the shelves in proper order and in good condition. Please look around at home for any books with the Lawrence School Library barcode and return them to school as soon as possible. 

After June 8 I recommend that you look into the public library's new browsing routines, found here on their website. They will be opening for limited browsing starting June 1--just in time for summer reading! 

Book suggestions:

The Magic in Changing Your Stars by Leah Henderson 

Ailey is disappointed when a tryout for his school's production of The Wiz doesn't go as planned. He quickly has to put his disappointment aside, however, when his grandfather falls and ends up in the hospital. In a conversation with his grandfather, Ailey finds out about some special tap shoes that his grandfather entrusts him with. When Ailey puts them on he finds himself back in 1939 meeting his grandfather when he was a boy. This time travel/ historical fiction mashup will keep you turning pages. How will Ailey get back to 2010? Will his grandfather take a chance and change the direction of his life? 

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly

Marisol Rainey’s mother was born in the Philippines. Marisol’s father works and lives part-time on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. And Marisol, who has a big imagination and likes to name inanimate objects, has a tree in her backyard she calls Peppina . . . but she’s way too scared to climb it. This all makes Marisol the only girl in her small Louisiana town with a mother who was born elsewhere and a father who lives elsewhere (most of the time)—the only girl who’s fearful of adventure and fun. Short chapters, a fun beginning to a new series! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Book suggestions + new public library info

Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick

Things never seem to go as easily for thirteen-year-old Frankie as they do for her sister, Tess. Unlike Tess, Frankie is neurodivergent. In her case, that means she can't stand to be touched, loud noises bother her, she's easily distracted, she hates changes in her routine, and she has to go see a therapist while other kids get to hang out at the beach. It also means Frankie has trouble making friends. She did have one--Colette--but they're not friends anymore. It's complicated.

Just weeks before the end of seventh grade, Colette unexpectedly shows up at Frankie's door. The next morning, Colette vanishes. Now, after losing Colette yet again, Frankie's convinced that her former best friend left clues behind that only she can decipher, so she persuades her reluctant sister to help her unravel the mystery of Colette's disappearance before it's too late.

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter

April didn't mean to start the fire. She wasn’t the one who broke the vase. April didn’t ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don't understand that April isn’t like them. After all, April’s mother is coming back for her someday very soon.

All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever. Book one in a new series! 

The Brookline public libraries are opening on June 1st for browsing! Patrons may visit for up to 30 minutes to browse the shelves and check out their own books (something we haven't done in over a year!). Hooray! Read all about it on their website

They also are adding book bundles for kids of all ages (and not just for school vacation weeks anymore!).  Ask about it the next time you're at the library! 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Sora Sweet Reads!

Sora, an app that's available through your Google account, has lots of books ready for spring and summer reading! There's a list of "Sora Sweet Reads" which are ebooks and audiobooks that are always available-- no waiting! And then there are thousands more that you can borrow with your PSBMA account. Very easy to use! 

Go to your "waffle" in PSBMA.

Scroll down to the end and look for "Sora" 

The first time you login you will need to tell Sora which school district you're from: "Brookline Public Schools". After that first log in, it will remember who you are! 

Please let Ms. Moriarty know if you're having trouble logging in. kathleen_moriarty@psbma.org

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Author visit + book suggestions

Sarah Lynne Reul visited Lawrence K -2 students today on Zoom! Here's her website for more information. We learned about how an author and illustrator creates a book and played a storytelling game in which each class got to contribue to the story. 

Poisoned Water by Candy J. Cooper and Marc Aronson

Through interviews with residents and intensive research into legal records and news accounts, journalist Candy J. Cooper, assisted by writer-editor Marc Aronson, reveals the true story of Flint. Poisoned Water shows not just how the crisis unfolded in 2014, but also the history of racism and segregation that led up to it, the beliefs and attitudes that fueled it, and how the people of Flint fought―and are still fighting―for clean water and healthy lives. Amazing nonfiction for middle schoolers. 

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer Holm

Bell has spent his whole life - all eleven years of it - on Mars. But he's still just a regular kid - he loves cats, any kind of cake, and is curious about the secrets the adults in the US colony are keeping. Like, why don't have contact with anyone on the other Mars colonies? Why are they so isolated? When a virus breaks out and the grown-ups all fall ill, Bell and the other children are the only ones who can help. It's up to Bell - a regular kid in a very different world - to uncover the truth and save his family ... and possibly unite an entire planet.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Author visit + Poem in Your Pocket Day!

 The week after vacation is a busy one! 

Author visit! 

Grades K - 2 will have a Zoom visit on Tuesday, April 27th with Sarah Lynne Reul, author of Allie All Along and The Breaking News among other books. Thanks to the PTO, the classrooms will also be getting a few of Ms. Reul's books for students to enjoy before and after the visit.  Read more about this author and illustrator on her website

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Students will learn about and celebrate Poem in Your Poeket Day on Thursday, April 29. Here's some more information about this national celebration of poetry. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Book bundles for vacation!

The Brookline Public Libraries will be offering book bundles again for April vacation! Yay! Stop by the week of April 12 and ask for a Teen or Tween bundle, a Picture book or an Early Reader bundle. Prepare to be surprised by the books you will receive! 

More information can be found at brooklinelibrary.org

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Cook Prize + book suggestions

Cook Prize for Nonfiction: Students in grades 2 & 3 can vote for their favorite of four nonfiction books by going to the district's library webpage and choosing "grades 3 -5". Under "Cook Prize: Your Place in the Universe" you will find the link to submit your vote! A video is provided for each of the books in case you missed any of them. 

Book Suggestions:

Red, White and Whole by Rajani LaRocca 

Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family’s traditions and holidays. But Reha’s parents don’t understand why she’s conflicted—they only notice when Reha doesn’t meet their strict expectations. Reha feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma, although their names are linked—Reha means “star” and Punam means “moon”—but they are a universe apart. This novel in verse will keep you turning pages! 

Clockwork Crow
by Catherine Fisher

Orphan Seren Rhys is on her way to a new life at the remote country mansion of Plas-y Fran when she is given a package by a stranger late at night in an empty train station. The package contains a crotchety, mechanical talking crow, which Seren reluctantly brings to her new home. But when she gets there, the happy Christmas she had hoped for turns out to be an illusion—the young son of the house, Tomos, has been missing for almost a year, rumored to have been taken by the fairies. With the Crow’s reluctant help and a little winter magic, Seren sets off on a perilous journey to bring Tomos home.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

book suggestions + poetry month

April is fast approaching and it is Poetry Month! Think about entering the annual poetry contest at the Children's Bookshop; keep a poem in your pocket (at least on April 29, Poem in Your Pocket Day!), and read some poetry this month! 

Here are some newer poetry titles you might enjoy:

Woke: a Young Poet's Call to Justice
by Mahogany L. Browne

The Proper Way to Mreet a Hedgehog and other How-to Poems
by Paul Janeczko

Whoo-ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story
by Maria Gianferrari

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage
compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

All of the above are available in our school library and through the public libraries. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Book suggestions

 Book Suggestions

Lupe Wong Won't Dance by Donna Barba Higuera

Lupe Wong is going to be the first female pitcher in the Major Leagues.

She's also championed causes her whole young life. Some worthy…like expanding the options for race on school tests beyond just a few bubbles. And some not so much…like complaining to the BBC about the length between Doctor Who seasons.

Lupe needs an A in all her classes in order to meet her favorite pitcher, Fu Li Hernandez, who's Chinacan/Mexinese just like her. So when the horror that is square dancing rears its head in gym? Obviously she's not gonna let that slide. I loved this book! Lupe is funny and has a quirky and loyal group of friends to help her get through the challenges of middle school. 

Starfish by Lisa Fipps 

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she's been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules--like "no making waves," "avoid eating in public," and "don't move so fast that your body jiggles." And she's found her safe space--her swimming pool--where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It's also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie's weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life--by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue

Twelve-year-old Katie is dreading the boring summer ahead until she realizes the mysterious neighbor who hired her to catsit is one of the city's greatest supervillains. This graphic novel is a page-turner! 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Book suggestions + more!

 Book suggestions:

A Game of Fox and Squirrels by Jenn Reese

Samantha and her sister Caitlin arrive at their aunt's home because life with their mother and father has been hard. Caitlin's arm was broken in the latest round of violence and instability which caused the social workers to decide that the sisters should live with their aunt. Sam is given A Game of Fox and Squirrels, a card game, when she arrives. Then one day the fox from the game, Ashander, shows up in Sam's room and offers her an adventure and a promise: find the Golden Acorn, and Sam can have anything she desires. But the fox is hiding rules that Sam isn't prepared for, and her new home feels more tempting than she'd ever expected. As Sam is swept up in the dangerous quest, the line between magic and reality grows thin. This book is a balance of realistic and fantasy fiction -- equal parts of both. 

Isaiah Dunn is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist

Isaiah is now the big man of the house. But it's a lot harder than his dad made it look. His little sister, Charlie, asks too many questions, and Mama's gone totally silent. Luckily, Isaiah can count on his best friend, Sneaky, who's always got a scheme for getting around the rules. Plus, his classmate Angel has a few good ideas of her own--once she stops hassling Isaiah. And when things get really tough, there's Daddy's journal, filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, who gets his superhero powers from beans and rice. Isaiah could use those powers right about now! This short novel is based on a story found in the collection called Flying Lessons. Realistic fiction. 

Smithsonian Digital Jigsaw Puzzles & Coloring Pages! 

Try this link which connects you to lots of different images from the Smithsonian's collection of images. Select how many pieces your puzzle should have and move the pieces around to complete the image! 

Color some of the images from the Smithsonian. Click on the link and print out the black and white PDF-- then add your own color with crayons, colored pencils, markers, whatever materials you have at home! 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Library class updates

Despite this unusual year I have been meeitng with K - 3 classes regularly and we are making progress through the topics I would address in a "regular" year. Here's what we're up to:


I see kindergarten classes weekly in person. Hopefully as the weather improves we can have some outdoor storytimes as we did in the fall. 

We have been reading the Bear and Mouse stories by Bonnie Becker. We're reading four titles in the series: A Visitor for Bear; A Bedtime for Bear; A Birthday for Bear and A Library Book for Bear. These are fun stories with repetition that the kindergartners now know to expect and reminders about being flexible and not making up your mind as to whether you like something or not before you try it! Bear is a particularly inflexible character so we can all learn some lessons from him about trying new things! 

First Grade:

I was seeing first graders over Zoom on their at home days, but now that they're all in person I can see them at school! We have read Caldecott possibilities and some nonfiction titles. Now we are reading some of my favorites like Alfie the Turtle That Disappeared and The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. We will read some insect-themed books soon, too, to coordinate with students' study of insects in class. 

Second Grade: 

We meet weekly on Zoom on students' at home days. We learned about the Caldecott Medal and read some books that might win the Caldecott. We also read a series of folktales called "pourquoi tales" because they answer the question how or why about something in nature. We read books like How Chipmunk Got His Stripes and Coyote Places the Stars. We have recently begun a series of four nonfiction books that are candidates for The Cook Prize

Third Grade:

We meet weekly on Zoom on students' at home days. This winter we learned about the Caldecott Medal and voted on our favorite Caldecott possibilities. We recently finished a sequence of mystery picture books including The Mystery of Eatum Hall and Grandpa's Teeth. Students were very motivated to pick out suspects, clues and red herrings! We are about to read a series of four nonfiction books that are candidates for The Cook Prize

Fourth and Fifth Grade:

Fourth and fifth graders are encouraged to participate in the Massachusetts Children's Book Award. Students read from a list of 25 titles and then we'll vote in April on our favorites. I have several students who are making great progress through the list! We own many as ebooks and audio books and students can certainly also request a print copy of any of the MCBA books. 

I have also seen fifth graders about once a month for book talks. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Book suggestions

Book suggestions 

Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén Nava’s Amá is his Superwoman—or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved.

But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

Now more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.

Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen

Beloved author Gary Paulsen (Hatchet) portrays a series of life-altering moments from his turbulent childhood as his own original survival story. If not for his summer escape from a shockingly neglectful Chicago upbringing to a North Woods homestead at age five, there never would have been a Hatchet. Without the encouragement of the librarian who handed him his first book at age thirteen, he may never have become a reader. And without his desperate teenage enlistment in the Army, he would not have discovered his true calling as a storyteller.

Museum of Science at Home: The Museum of Science provides a rotating group on online activities for those learning at home. Current activities include: videos about the journey to Mars; a link to their daily livestream of "birds of prey" or their "virtual planetarium". See the schedule and all links when you click on the link above. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Mystery book suggestions

Mystery suggestions: 

Encyclopedia Brown:
These classic mysteries have stood the test of time! Encyclopedia is a boy detective who helps his father the police chief solve crimes. Each short mystery is presented in a chapter and then readers turn to the back of the book to find out how the mystery was solved. Fun for those who like to have a chance to solve the mystery themselves! 

The Mystery of Eatum Hall
by John Kelly

This picture book mystery gives readers plenty of clues in the illustrations. A clueless pig and goose are invited to a mysterious stranger's mansion for a weekend of delicious meals. The only problem is: their host is missing and he may be a WOLF!  Clues in the words and illustrations will lead readers to come up with their own conclusions about the mystery of Eatum Hall. 

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence
by Holly Webb

Twelve-year-old Maisie is a noticing sort of person. Thats why she is convinced she would make an excellent detective if she ever got the chance! But instead of detecting, she spends her days polishing the banisters at her grandmother's boarding house or fetching fish for the lodgers' dinner. In The Case of the Stolen Sixpence, Maisie's big chance to prove herself finally arrives when crime strikes her Victorian London neighborhood. While the grown-ups turn a blind eye to the whodunit and justice goes un-served, Maisie and her canine sidekick, Eddie, search the streets for clues to crack the case.

The Ruby in the Smoke
by Phillip Pullman

“BEWARE THE SEVEN blessings . . . ” When she first utters these words, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart doesn’t know their meaning. But when an employee of her late father hears them, he dies of fear. Thus begins Sally’s terrifying journey into the seamy underworld of Victorian London, in search of clues to her father’s mysterious death. This book is the first in a young adult mystery series. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Adorable animal cams and new books

Need some cheering up? Brighten your day with live cams from all around the United States! https://explore.org/livecams Pandas, manatees and kittens are among the animals you can view. 

Tween and teen book bundles are back now through Saturday! 

Visit the Brookline Public library branches during their pickup hours to pick up a group of 5 books for vacation! No need to reserve the books, just go to any one of the Brookline branches and request a bundle. Kids' bundles are for grades 3-4, tween bundles are for grades 5 -7 and teen bundles are for grades 8 - 12. 

Book suggestions

This is a new chapter book from Jacqueline Davies! Sydney and Taylor Explore the Whole Wild World

The readers' guide includes fun activities to accompany the book. This is the beginning of a new series. 

Sydney is a skunk and Taylor is a hedgehog, but no matter how odd the pairing may seem, their friendship comes naturally. They live happily in their cozy burrow . . . until the day Taylor gets his Big Idea to go see the Whole Wide World. 

American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar

As the only Indian American kid in her small town, Lekha Divekar feels like she has two versions of herself: Home Lekha, who loves watching Bollywood movies and eating Indian food, and School Lekha, who pins her hair over her bindi birthmark and avoids confrontation at all costs, especially when someone teases her for being Indian.

When a girl Lekha’s age moves in across the street, Lekha is excited to hear that her name is Avantika and she’s Desi, too! Finally, there will be someone else around who gets it. But as soon as Avantika speaks, Lekha realizes she has an accent. She’s new to this country, and not at all like Lekha.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Cozy book suggestions

Got to Get to Bear's
by Brian Lies

Bear has sent her friend Izzy, the chipmunk, an urgent request: come quickly! So despite a bad snowstorm, Izzy starts off for Bear's. Along the way she gets some help from her other animal friends and they arrive at Bear's just in time for a surprise! A cozy winter tale with a surprise ending and a message of friendship. 

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

Elizabeth, eleven, spends Christmas break at Winterhouse hotel under strange circumstances, where she discovers that she has magic, and her love of puzzles helps her solve a mystery. 

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

It's hard to imagine what happens to animals in the winter. How do they stay warm despite the snow and cold temperatures? This nonfiction book explains it all! Beautiful pictures of what's happening above ground and under the ground will help you imagine what you can't always see in winter! 

Lunar New Year Collection

Lunar New Year begins on Friday, February 12. Here's link to a new collection of the books for all ages at Lawrence Library that are all about Lunar New Year. You can login and put them on hold or request them from the library by emailing Ms. Moriarty: kathleen_moriarty@psbma.org 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Newbery Winners!

2021 Newbery MedalWhen You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Newbery Honor books: 

A Wish in the Dark
by Christina Soontornvat

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom
by Carole Boston Weatherford

Fighting Words
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

We Dream of Space
by Erin Entrada Kelly 

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team
by Christina Soontornvat

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Vacation plans and book suggestions


Vacation week art classes online via the MFA!

The Museum of Fine Arts is offering online art classes for kids during the February vacation week. Check here to see if any interesting classes are open for registration! 

Book suggestions:

Millionaires for the Month by Stacy McAnulty

Felix Rannells and Benji Porter were never supposed to be field-trip partners. Felix is a rule follower. Benji is a rule bender. They're not friends. And they don't have anything to talk about. Until . . .

They find a wallet. A wallet that belongs to tech billionaire Laura Friendly. They're totally going to return it-but not before Benji "borrows" twenty dollars to buy hot dogs. Because twenty dollars is like a penny to a billionaire, right?

But a penny has value. A penny doubled every day for thirty days is $5,368,709.12! So that's exactly how much money Laura Friendly challenges Felix and Benji to spend. They have thirty days. They can't tell anyone. And there are LOTS of other rules. But if they succeed, they each get ten million dollars to spend however they want.

The Last Human by Lee Bacon

In the future, robots have eliminated humans, and 12-year-old robot XR_935 is just fine with that. Without humans around, there is no war, no pollution, no crime. Every member of society has a purpose. Everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

 Until the day XR discovers something impossible: a human girl named Emma. Now, Emma must embark on a dangerous voyage with XR and two other robots in search of a mysterious point on a map. But how will they survive in a place where rules are never broken and humans aren’t supposed to exist?

Caldecott Winners 2021

Be sure to check out the district-wide library website! Caldecott winners will be announced on Monday, February 1st along with Brookline's Mock Caldecott results. Library website

Kids' Magazines -- Now in Overdrive

A new feature in Overdrive (through the public library) is their magazine section! Scroll through 70+ international magazines for kids. You can read them on an iPad or other device-- no wait list for any of the issues! The section includes everything from Minecraft magazines to The Week Junior, a weekly news magazine for kids. Check it out! You'll need your public library card number to view the magazines of your choice. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Inaugural poet + winter book recommendations

Inaugural Poet

Today Amanda Gorman will become the youngest poet to write a poem for the inauguration of an American president. She recently graduated from Harvard University and is 22 years old. Like our new president, Joe Biden, she also struggled to overcome a speach impediment. Here's a video of a poem she presented for the Fourth of July in 2019. 

Winter book suggestions

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. 

Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre

With gorgeous photo illustrations, award-winning author April Pulley Sayre sheds sparkly new light on the wonders of snow. From the beauty of snow blanketing the forest and falling on animals’ fur and feathers to the fascinating winter water cycle, this nonfiction picture book celebrates snowfall and the amazing science behind it.

Winter According to Humphrey
by Betty G. Birney

The holidays are coming and Humphrey is unsqueakably excited. He loves to hear about all the different ways his friends in Room 26 celebrate and to watch them make costumes and learn songs for the Winter Wonderland pageant. (He even squeaks along!) But with so much to do, will the holidays go according to plan?