a vestige of thought...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Number the Walk Two Moons a Long Way from the Banks of Plum Creek

Somewhere around the time that I was ten or eleven, I decided that I wanted to read all the books that had won a Newberry Medal. I never made it. In fact, I think I read one or two of them before moving on to other things. Periodically I have tried to pick it up again, but my tendency to go through a book every day or two meant that I often ran out of Newberry books on hand and would often start reading something else that distracted me from my goal once again. Eventually, when I started buying and reading classics from the thrift store, I stopped going to the library altogether.

Yesterday I happened to pick up one of Lisa's books and start looking through it. Before I knew it I was 50 pages in and figured I may as well read the whole thing. When I finished it last night, I started on another. Further, I discovered that such books are excellent for ten minute work breaks, while it's difficult to get into the harder books I'm used to reading in that period of time. So, I have decided that now is as good a time as any to catch up on my children's literature. I will try to make note of the books I read here, along with a quick review based not only on its value for children, but its merit for older readers as well.

Yesterday I read Counting On Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop. I originally picked it up because the picture on the cover, a young girl in a cotton mill, intrigued me. I did a report on child labor a few years ago and the topic has interested me ever since. The nice but not terribly unusual story tells of a 12-year-old girl and her friend who have to leave school to work in a cotton mill. Winthrop's intent to inform the reader about the history of child labor in America is obvious, but I didn't learn anything that I (or anyone else who has had a good high school history course) did not already know. As a result, the story is perfect for its intended audience, but doesn't reach any further.
posted by Christy at 10:07 AM

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