It is the beginning of a new year and I was reviewing my garden journal, looking at the snow outside my window. It did not take long for me to crave the color green and there I was re reading Kingsolver’s book The Prodigal Summer.
It’s green cover and it’s first sentences take us into the lush deep green of the forest – into the heart of nature. This seems to be my go to book at the start of each year. No, it is maybe not her best but there are new layers that show themselves to me each time I read it. A bit like a walk in the woods. It is the same woods but I see new things each time I take my walk.
If you have never read it – it is about family, generations of family, the good and the bad of families. It is about nature and the need to understand how the natural world works so that we can protect it and enjoy it but also live with and from it. And it take place in the coming spring and into the heat of summer. A perfect read while sitting at a cold winter window.
The other reads that really belong in this children’s book review are:
- P.S. Be Eleven
- Gone Crazy in Alabama
I really enjoyed Williams – Gracia’s first book One Crazy Summer but had not gotten around to the next two. I really want to have read Gone Crazy in Alabama before the awards next week but decided I couldn’t read it until I read book two – P.S. Be Eleven.
I just began reading this so all I can say is the characters are the same crazy young girls I loved in book one. The voice is spunky, fun and thoughtful all at once. What I love is these books give us a look into the girls day to day lives. It gives a peak into a historical time and race is a factor but it does not drive the story like a tale of the underground railroad or slavery does.
This is a story of girls growing up, of girls coming of age within their community and family. These stories were harder to find when I first began teaching. I could find the white girl stories for my students but nothing else. It is a delight to know I can find and share books with students of color – books that are easy to find and reflect the world they know.
Can’t wait for next Monday – Award time here we come!