The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj by Anne de Courcy Harper, 2014 335 pages To know me is to know that I am somewhat obsessed with Victorian England. I picked up a copy of A Christmas Carol at age 7, was mesmerized by the imagery and language and characters, and never looked back. Since … Continue reading The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston; ill. by Barbara Clooney Dial, 1989 32 pages Christmas is a tricky holiday. Commercialization is not exactly a new problem (the Victorians sent cards, gave presents, and decorated their department stores, too), but it is a pervasive and pressing one, particularly where children are concerned. … Continue reading The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg Houghton Mifflin, 2010 40 pages Did you ever wonder who first had the crazy idea to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel? That honor belongs to a 62 (yes, 62)-year-old woman named Annie Edson Taylor, who dreamed up the stunt as a get-rick-quick scheme in 1901. … Continue reading Queen of the Falls
Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure by Shana Corey; ill. Hadley Hooper Scholastic, 2012 40 pages I know it sounds curmudgeonly, but kids don't get outside enough these days. We parents are too scared of catastrophe; kids are too enmeshed in devices (also … Continue reading Here Come the Girl Scouts!
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum; ill. W. W. Denslow George M. Hill Company, 1900 280 pages (Numerous contemporary editions are available, including a beautiful centennial edition issued by HarperCollins and an annotated edition issued by Norton.) MGM's 1939 film The Wizard of Oz is so ubiquitous--such a cornerstone of American pop … Continue reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace; ill. by Lois Lenski Thomas Y. Crowell, 1940 113 pages As the parent of a school-age child, I'm all too aware that bullying is a hot topic. My daughter's school handbook has a section on bullying (they call it "harassment" or "assault," depending on circumstances). The parenting blogs I read … Continue reading Betsy-Tacy
Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson; ill. by Terry Widener Atheneum BFYR, 2003 40 pages I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley in the 1980s, a good decade for Southern California baseball. My grandparents were Angels fans, but the Dodgers were the team of choice for me and my … Continue reading Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings