April 28, 2011
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I loved the format of this historical fiction! It's comprised entirely of letters sent between the residents of Guernsey (members of the "Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society") and Juliet, a writer in London. She wanted to know more about the German occupation of Guernsey during World War II. They wanted to share their stories of hardship and triumph. And so the plot unfolds! Juliet's witty writing reminded me of some of my favorite blogs... if she was around today (and a real person!), I just know she'd have one.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
You know a book is a good one, when every girl on the train is reading it on the way to work, and when Wade said he'd seen lots of people with "The Help" in tow, I knew I had to add it to my reading list. (My friend loaned it to me, so that helped too!) Set in Jackson at the start of the civil rights movement, it's the story of three women who become the unlikeliest of friends as they work together to write an eye-opening book about the reality of Jackson's young white women and the black maids they employ. Loved it. And Hooray! I saw that it's been made into a movie and coming to theaters this summer. The entire time I was reading, I was imagining what a good movie it would make.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book! (It wasn't part of my high school English syllabus, and though I'd recognized the title, I didn't know anything about it until a friend recommended it.) First published in 1943, "Tree" tells the story of Francie Nolan, a bright, but lonely girl growing up in the Brooklyn tenements at the turn-of-the-century. Living in poverty, she had very few possessions and lived a pretty tough life, enduring hardships no child should ever have to face. But she had a vivid imagination and found simple pleasures in even the littlest things. Betty Smith's writing through the voice of a child is so beautiful and memorable and makes this book easily one of my favorites.
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
The last few weeks or so, this book has been at the top of our pile of bedtime books. Sometimes it's actually the only one we read because before I even have a chance to say "the end," Henry and Amelia are already asking with great insistence for "moh, moh, moh!" Most nights we read it five or six times before they've had their fill (and I've managed to convince them that the little mouse has gone to bed). Thank goodness it's a cute story and with even cuter illustrations, otherwise I'd go crazy reading it so much!