Beyond Boundaries · Essays and tidbits from Nancy Bo Flood

No more thirsty lawns! Xeriscaping is the answer.

December 29, 2015

Not all plants are greedy water gobblers. Xeriscaping is the art of planting only drought resistant, low-water-use plants, which can cut water consumption by 60 percent. Here’s an introduction to the art of “dry” landscaping:

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Rodeo excellence begins with the right lariat

December 24, 2015

In Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo, entrants may get to know their favorite lariat almost as well as their horses. Is a rope just a rope? Not in rodeo!

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Young rodeo competitors seek a trophy they can wear

December 22, 2015

In Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo, young entrants learn that champions are rewarded with decorative belt buckles. In the early days of rodeo, many contestants were former boxers. If a boxer could win a belt, why not award a rodeo winner with a buckle?

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Coconuts sustain Warriors in the Crossfire

December 17, 2015

Find a coconut, find hope. That’s how Joseph and Kento respond to stockpiled coconuts, all while worrying about food and freedom. Modern cooks might deal with the coconut differently, turning their kitchens into workshops.

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Ghost crab materializes in Warriors in the Crossfire

December 15, 2015

Joseph and Kento find their island of Saipan becoming a World War II battleground in Warriors in the Crossfire. As they hide on the beach, a ghost crab is one of the first surprises they encounter. The ghost crab stays hidden most days. When it emerges, the crab’s look and behavior make it one memorable…

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Italian marble links past and present in No-Name Baby

December 10, 2015

Sophie’s grandfather’s World War I death was marked with a small headstone of Italian marble “from our homeland,” said her Nonna. The famous marble has a history dating back centuries.

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No-Name Baby highlights olive oil’s magic

December 8, 2015

In No-Name Baby, Nonna and Aunt Rae treat a bottle of olive oil like a magic potion. The family baptized their new baby with the prized oil sent by a relative in Italy. These days, people still use olive oil for a lot more than salad dressing!

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Will water bring an unhappy ending to the story of Shishmaref, Alaska?

December 5, 2015

Climate change. Climate disruption. Coastal erosion. What does it all mean? To the people of Shishmaref, Alaska, it means EVERYTHING.

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Brownstone staircase

Marveling at the mystery of sandstone

December 3, 2015

“From one grain of sand, I became a mountain.” Those words are part of my tribute to sandstone in Sand to Stone and Back Again. Beginning in the late 1800s, New York City began forming the same way a mountain range would, using a sandstone variety known as “brownstone.”

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Meet the Monument Valley ‘mittens’

December 1, 2015

Between the borders of Arizona and Utah, two wind-carved sculptures look like giant, matching mittens. The pair provided inspiration for Sand to Stone and Back Again. In fact, these buttes have been movie stars!

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An author’s thankful Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015

I’m thankful to teachers, librarians, booksellers, fellow authors and (most of all) readers on this day we give thanks. May you feast on good books throughout this festive time. Enjoy your holiday!

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Esther Williams

Remembering Esther ‘Million Dollar Mermaid’ Williams

November 24, 2015

She made generations dream of being in the water. Esther Williams was ready to compete in the 1940 Olympics, only to see World War II cancel her dream. Hollywood helped her create a new dream, as she swam in more than two dozen movies. When someone says “synchronized swimming,” many people still think of Williams’…

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hand on ceiling

Cave paintings inspire in Sand to Stone and Back Again

November 19, 2015

In my canyons they built their homes, Painted pictures, carved messages, and left handprints. (from Sand to Stone and Back Again, page 6) Who were the cave painters. All men? Many believe otherwise.

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Lori Piestewa

The hero who inspired my newest novel

November 17, 2015

I’m excited to share the first news about my novel coming from Charlesbridge in the spring of 2016. Lori Piestewa, a member of the Hopi tribe, died while serving in Operation Desert Storm. She was one of many inspirations for my story. Here’s a tribute to Lori from the U.S. Army entitled “The Story of…

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Pro Rodeo

A Hall of Fame for Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo riders?

November 12, 2015

Since the rodeo season wound down in September, young riders will have a winter to dream of 2016 competitions. Or, they could imagine themselves as future members of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, a Colorado landmark since 1979.

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Irving Berlin Stamp

No-Name Baby features big-name song

November 10, 2015

When is a song something more? Sometimes, music can unlock memories. Main character Sophie discovers Alexander’s Ragtime Band is a link to the past for Aunt Rae. Writer Irving Berlin earned his first hit with the song in 1911. Berlin, like the family in No-Name Baby, had roots in another country. He emigrated from Russia…

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Rain’s surprise role in water pollution

November 5, 2015

When rain falls on concrete, asphalt, tilled fields or barren soil, it is immediately recycled as surface water; there is no time for cleaning. Currently, the biggest contributor to pollution in the United States is run-off water carrying herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers from yards and fields.

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Cowboy Up! by Nancy Bo Flood

Pleased to meet you, Farmington

November 3, 2015

The public library of Farmington, New Mexico has deemed me their “star author” for Nov. 2-3. A library presentation for parents and teachers, followed by workshops at McCormick Elementary and Ojo Amarillo School, are filling my days with delight.

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water is water

Savoring Miranda Paul’s refreshing water book

October 29, 2015

I’m pleased to have Miranda Paul on my water team. She has written Water is Water. This is an excellent picture book, beautifully illustrated by Jason Chin. This title will engage the very young or early reader, showing the big picture of the water cycle. See what other reviewers are saying about the book.

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Going out costs a lot (of water)

October 27, 2015

A lot of water is necessary to manufacture “things,” such as the shirt you are wearing. That shirt? About 700 gallons. How much water does it take to make a hamburger? Try 4,000 to 18,000 gallons for one thick, juicy hamburger. How much water would you carry to eat one hamburger? (p. 47, Water Runs…

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Happy birthday, Clean Water Act!

October 22, 2015

America celebrated an important birthday this week. The Clean Water Act turned 43. Essentially, the law said water belonged to everyone. Public waterways couldn’t be used by businesses as liquid garbage dumps any more. America’s waterways found incredible bipartisan support in Congress. The Act passed the Senate without a single vote against it. The House…

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The USBBY ‘war panel’ spoke for peace

October 20, 2015

This smiling trio might be named “the war panel.”  Nancy Bo Flood, Lyn Miller-Lachman, and Terry Farish presented different perspectives about three war situations and the disconnecting effects on children here in America, as well as the over forty million children now living as refugees.  One step toward healing from war is telling one’s story…

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water fountain girl

Talking about why water matters

October 15, 2015

Sharing water. Sharing ideas. Read Water Runs Through This Book, then check out these questions. When you’re discussing this book, you’re discussing our future.

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carrying water

Water on your head? An umbrella won’t help here

October 13, 2015

One gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds (3.76 kg). Hold that on top of your head and walk around for a few hours. Not fun! How much water would you use if you had to carry every drop? (page 40, from Water Runs Through This Book)

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