Monday, April 12, 2010

The Ice Carnival - Janet Spaeth

HP #895

ISBN 978-160260-708-8

What has Isaac gotten himself into?

When Isaac Bering moves north from Florida to join his uncle’s medical practice, he cannot understand why Minnesotans would plan an outdoor festival for January 1886—when temperatures are fondly expected to be below freezing! His doubts about his new location, however, are minor compared to his growing doubts about his ability to be a doctor.

For Christal Everett, life is pleasant and peaceful. So why does it seem when Isaac arrives that she can no longer be satisfied with her simple life? Why does she suddenly see so much lacking in herself, and so little to desire?

Isaac and Christal both must learn to see the unique wonders God has placed inside them. Will they allow that glory to shine like the sun off the crystal walls of St. Paul’s ice palace, or will self-doubt keep them from His eternal plan?


In first grade, JANET SPAETH was asked to write a summary of a story about a family making maple syrup. She wrote all during class, through morning recess, lunch, and afternoon recess, and asked to stay after school. When the teacher pointed out that a summary was supposed to be shorter than the original story, Janet explained that she didn’t feel the readers knew the characters well enough, so she was expanding on what was in the first-grade reader. Thus a writer was born. She lives in the mid-west and loves to travel, but to her, the happiest word in the English language is home.

Question of the Day: Janet has given us a great memory from her time in first grade. Do you have a memory from first grade? Who was your first grade teacher?


  1. First I have to say HI JANET! and wave franticly from the Southern Dakota!

    My first grade teacher's name was Mrs. Aiken and the memory that stands out the most was the afternoon we churned butter in an old glass hand crank butter churn. When it was finished we ate it on crackers.

  2. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Woods. I mostly remember her being really nice and I really liked school.

  3. My grandma was my first grade teacher, so not only do I have memories, but I get to hear about my ornery antics way back when...especially since I am currently in pursuit of an elementary education degree myself!

  4. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Williams, and I remember learning to read silently, Big Chief red tablets and chunky pencils, and lining up alphabetically by last name to go everywhere in the school.

  5. I've been on a self-imposed sabbatical from anything not completely necessary until I finished book 3. Done, so now I'm back. I missed this blog.

    Great question. My only memory is getting turned around in the hallway and not being able to find my classroom. I stood there and cried until Mrs. Miezel, my teacher, found me. I'm still directionally challenged. Thank goodness for mapquest and GPS. I can get lost in the doctor's office. All those hallways.

  6. my first grade teacher got married...and all of the girls in her class went to her wedding!!!

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  7. Your book sounds great, Janet! ~ I was terrified of my first-grade teacher (an older lady who was very stern and seldom smiled). So when I became a first-grade teacher I was determined that no child would ever be afraid of me! Thankfully, I honestly don't think any child was---in fact, I probably should have been a little stricter than I was, LOL. ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  8. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!

    Rose--HEY! Waving back at you! It's great seeing you here!
    Linda--I can't remember my kindergarten teacher's name, but my 1st grade teacher was Miss McGregor, and in my memory, she's always wearing plaid!
    Kaitlin--How fun that you're going into Elem. Ed! I'm sure you'll know exactly what to do with those ornery kids--having had a bit of, ahem, insight!
    Erica--And flash cards, right? I saw my first flash cards then, and ohhh, I wanted some so much!
    Shannon--See, if you'd been born a few years later, you'd have had GPS on your Blackberry and you wouldn't have gotten lost in the hallway! LOL!
    KarenK--That's soooo cool! You'll never forget that, will you?
    CatMom--Bless your heart! You have a wonderful spirit, and every student of yours must have loved you!

    Wow, really fun comments--and I've loved reading them all! (Can you tell by all the exclamation points!?!?!?)

    April 13, 2010

  9. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Cooper in Orlando. She made us take off our shoes and dump out the sand after recess before we were allowed back into the classroom.

  10. My first grade teacher was Miss Wrobell, and I didn't have a very high opinion of her! She was nice sometimes and sometimes she'd get into a mood and get on our nerves! I do recall her teaching us about books and stories and math, though. I remember she wore red lipstick and had long, dark hair.

  11. Debby and Cecelia, isn't it weird what we remember? I also remember the space in the back where we hung our coats being called the Cloakroom, and wondering why it was called that since I didn't have a cloak. But Little Red Riding Hood did! Guess who was a teeny bit jealous! LOL!

    I also remember during a fire drill, we had to go outside and turn and face the building. We thought it was because we were so supposed to watch the building burn while thinking fond thoughts of the school! The entire class believed that. I'm guessing we misunderstood something....

    My second grade teacher was Miss Parker. She was so beautiful, with long dark hair, like your teacher, Cecelia! Miss Parker, though, never was in a bad mood. I had a bath powder box I treasured because it had the word Parker on it. I'd never seen anyone quite as lovely as she was. She even forgave me the time we got home from vacation so late that I had to wear a yellow Carlsbad Caverns tshirt and--horrors--jeans to school!

    The Gates of Memory have been opened! So many fun reminiscences!