An autobiography for ages 9-13, ‘Fatty Legs” tells the story of Olemaun (Margaret), an Inuit girl from the north Arctic. The story describes her blissful childhood growing up on an Arctic island and then being brought to a residential school where she was treated very poorly by the nuns there. She had hoped to learn to read and write and convinced her parents to let her go. Reluctantly, they finally gave in. However, the school was nothing like Margaret (they gave her a Christian name once she arrived) had hoped it would be. Bullied and made to do daily manual labor, Margaret longed to return to her home. One nun in particular (nicknamed the Raven) was pointedly extra cruel to her. She wrote the book with her daughter-in-law. ‘Fatty Legs’ is a window on a hidden world not much recorded. I believe there is a sequel.
Month: February 2015
“The Brilliant World of Tom Gates”
billed as a British Wimpy Kid, this title has yet to do a lot of circulation in my school library. I am encouraging the Wimpy Kid, Pinnocula, Stick Dog, Middle-School/Patterson, Timmy Failure, Odd Squad, Loser List crowd to give it a try. The book has a handwritten font and doodles which helps Wimpy-kidlike appeal.
“The Kind Worth Killing”
by Peter Swanson. Told in alternating perspectives, Ted and Lily are Americans that meet in a London airport returning to Boston. Ted confesses he has discovered his wife is having an affair and wants to kill her. Lily says, “Why not? Of course.” It seems Lily knows Ted’s wife from college and believes her murder would be well-deserved. With lots of twists and turns, the reader is taken through the planning of the crime and the scene of the murder up in Maine. The police detective gets to tell his side of the story told, too, as does the intended adultress, Miranda. Will they get away with it? Have they covered their tracks? Read the story to find out. The author delivers a final last twist on the last page!
New Dr. Seuss book
Random House recently announced that it will publish a newly discovered manuscript with Dr. Seuss sketches on July 28. Theodor Geisel, Dr. Seuss, died in 1991. After his death, his wife was remodeling their home and found a box filled with pages of text and sketches. She put it aside and obviously didn’t remember what she had found. Recently, she came upon the box and was amazed at the amount of material in the box.
A Random House editor believes the book was probably written between 1958 and 1962. It features the same brother and sister in the Dr. Seuss book “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.”
Dr. Seuss books continue to be best sellers. Currently, three of his books are listed in the top 50 USA’s Best-Selling Books list.
Kristin Hannah’s newest book “The Nightingale” is a love story–love between husband and wife, love between parents and their children, love between sisters, and love of one’s country. Set in France during World War II, “The Nightingale” is a well-researched, emotional novel of how war affects women and what lengths they will go to save their families. No one in this story escapes the pain and loss of war.
In 1939, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband as he heads to the front. For the next six years, Vianne and her young daughter Sophie endure lack of food, lack of heat, loss of Vianne’s Jewish neighbors, and constant feelings of desperation. Vianne must provide lodging for German officers–Captain Beck and then the brutal, sadistic Sturmbannfuhrer Von Richter. Every move she and her neighbors make is closely watched by the occupying German forces. But in spite of this constant fear, Vianne risks her life trying to save her best friend Rachel, her son Ari, and nineteen Jewish children.
While Vianne and Sophie struggle to survive at home, Isabelle, Vianne’s younger sister, joins the French Resistance. At first, she delivers newspapers printed by the Free French, then she acts as a courier and ultimately, she leads downed Allied airmen across the Pyrennes into Spain.
Kristin Hannah has written a well-crafted, well-written novel. From the very first page, I was drawn into the tragedy and bravery of these women. Many years ago Beatrice Agnew told me about living in Europe during the war. In the conversation she mentioned that her older sister worked for the Resistance. As I read this compelling story, I couldn’t stopped thinking of Beatrice, her sister, and the brutality of war. “The Nightingale.” is a moving testament to all who endured such brutality and hardship.