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

Banned Books Week: Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George; ill. John Schoenherr Harper & Row, 1972 155 pages Next week is Banned Books Week, when libraries, bookstores, and schools set up displays and hold events to call attention to books that have been censored in some way. Typically, these are books that local authorities have removed … Continue reading Banned Books Week: Julie of the Wolves