The Copy Cat

Coming March 2020

A thank you to Julie and a prescription for hope: books


It’s been a long week.

Apart from the election results which shocked me, I was dealing with a death in the family.

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 3:30 to the news of a new President. I was heading to a funeral. I was sad, and mad, and bewildered.

It was like a total eclipse of the sun.

And then I went on to twitter and a tweet by author Julie Leung literally got me through the day.


She tweeted a passage from Tolkien’s The Two Towers, one of my favourite books, and literally, it picked me up off the ground:



“Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”



It made me think of our children, and how books can be such a comfort to them in times that feel dark.

If I was a doctor I’d prescribe heavy doses of C.S. Lewis, I’d toss in all of Tolkien, some Adam Silverman, Jacqueline Woodson, Rita Garcia Williams, Some Louisa May Alcott, some Kenneth Oppel, I’d make sure they had Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, so they could see that even a child can vanquish evil. And Harry Potter, always Harry Potter.

They need those stories. We need them.

I’m Canadian. Heck I couldn’t even vote. But I can send love and hope.

There’s good in this world. And thank god there are books that help us navigate such choppy waters.

Julie didn’t know what she did for me yesterday with her tweet. It reminds me how we can all pay it forward.

And yes, I would love your prescriptions for books that would make me and other children feel better this week.

xoxo Wendy

6 thoughts on “A thank you to Julie and a prescription for hope: books”

Lynda Homer

Great post Wendy. Thank you for paying it forward! I agree that we must keep up our courage, recognize that there is still so much good in the world and remain hopeful. Lynda


HI Wendy,
I am copying a message a wrote on Gigi’s blog.
For months, I have had the BBC as my homepage. The American news has just made me too anxious.
My son (tearfully) said that we need to just hope 4 years goes by quickly. I told him, we need to make these 4 years count, and in an organized, pragmatic fashion, we need to make sure that our current elected officials are fully aware, each and every moment of their days, what their constituents expect, whether or not we voted for them. Four years of stunned complacency will not benefit anyone.
As you may be aware, I am always working, and I need to make the time for this. It is too vitally important.
Watching the Gilmore girls from beginning to end has helped me. I never saw it the first time, so am thoroughly enjoying my “Stars Hollow” respite now!
My hours with Lorelai have helped me as I work. I am sorry I don’t have time to read more than a few pages of anything.
At work, my favorite books to read with students are any of the Kevin Henkes books, for little kids- especially “Chester”, and “Chrysanthemum “, for older kids,” The Lightning Thief “series and “Wonder”.
I love your involvement in our election, and I enjoyed our trip this summer to Quebec City more than I have enjoyed almost any vacation with my family. Your country is gorgeous. Believe me, my boys are thinking about staying there : )

Wendy McLeod MacKnight

Thanks for this Pat! This means the world! I believe we all have to fight for what’s right, and any policies based on fear will only breed fear, in my opinion. So I am with you 100% and I hope you come to New Brunswick next time!

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Author of Children's Literature