Everyone In Their Place

Kindle 1576-84   “From the little neighborhood marketplaces rose the tone-deaf symphony of the vendors; for once, their cacophonous rumba was a pleasure to hear. Although no one saw it, if you looked closely the springtime was dancing on tiptoes, leaping from one hat to another, from one of the tress that lined the street to the next, from balcony to balcony.”

The quiet knowledge that a well-written mystery, in both style and story, sits on my bedside table like a sentinel awaiting my presence, is a deceptive joy: small in stature, yet generous in the giving. This week I am completing the second title in a series that I seem to be reading in reverse order – and with which I have absolutely have fallen in love.  The setting, the characters, and plot – all resonate with who I am.  But, the best part of what I love is that it is a translated book – Italian to English.  I realized this fact after I had read the first title (which is actually the third!) – Everyone In Their Place.

Pondering this preference, brought to mind my favorite lesson with my fifth grade students – “books in translation” – one I developed years ago & titled “Traveling by Translation.”  It changes and improves throughout the years as I grow and learn, and as more and more children’s books are honored for the skill required with these translations (see, Mildred Batchelder Award).

As a librarian, I remain in awe of how the personal life “translates” into the professional and the reverse.  As I read my second mystery title, Blood Curse, what comes to mind are those comments and questions from my students about idiomatic translation and the equivalent cultural expression. The teacher becomes the student, surely.


Giovanni, Maurizio, and Antony Shugaar. Everyone In their place: the summer of Commissario Ricciardi. New York: Europa Editions, 2013. Print.

Giovanni, Maurizio, and Antony Shugaar. Blood curse: the springtime of Commissario Ricciardi. New York: Europa Editions, 2013. ebook.

Hudak,Tina. “Traveling in translation,” The Bulletin. Washington, D.C.: St. Albans School, Spring 2012. Print.



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