Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan HarperCollins, 1985 58 pages For most of my childhood, my family attended a church that had a lending library. Among the books were novels about pioneer-era mail-order marriages, which I completely devoured. They were trite and fluffy reads, but through them I caught a glimpse of something serious: … Continue reading Sarah, Plain and Tall

Super Secondaries: The Women of Middle Earth

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Allen & Unwin, 1954-55 I don't just talk about Lord of the Rings, I gush. J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy about the fictional realm of Middle Earth is one of my desert-island books, a work of art that comes closer to my own personal definition of literary perfection than … Continue reading Super Secondaries: The Women of Middle Earth

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White; ill. by Garth Williams HarperCollins, 1952 192 pages Growing up, I read very little contemporary children's literature. Instead, my personal syllabus was full of Victorian and early 20th century authors: Dickens, Alcott, Montgomery, Lewis, Tolkien. I loved their flood of words, the historic texture of their stories, the feeling of … Continue reading Charlotte’s Web

The Gift of Inspiration: The Little House Books

Little House in the Big Woods and others by Laura Ingalls Wilder; ill. by Helen Sewell (first editions) and Garth Williams HarperCollins, orig. pub. 1932 I was trying to decide what to post today--something I've stockpiled? or a freshly written review? what age group or genre?--when I realized that I would be posting right before … Continue reading The Gift of Inspiration: The Little House Books

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr; ill. Ronald Himler G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1977 80 pages About four months ago, when I posted for Banned Books Week, I mentioned that inspiring books often push our boundaries or make us question long-held assumptions. In many cases, they challenge our ideas about what the world … Continue reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes