Sunday, December 12, 2010

Frontier Stories

I've always liked pioneer stories, stories of girls on a wild frontier. Some books stay with you, no matter what. this is the tale of one such book.

This attraction is likely a result of my Great - Grandma Lucy. She was a young girl on the plains. She traveled the Oregon Trail. She made it to Chimney Rock, Nebraska. She had a book of autographs and quotes from the her school chums. We would sit and read from the book. The book was kept in her back bedroom closet on the high shelf. It was the one thing special I asked for from her house after her passing. I was heartbroken when my Grandfather said there was no book. I was given her framed Chimney Rock. It remains a treasure.

Years ago, with a young niece, I recalled reading a favorite story about a girl and her friend at a creek. The boy taught her to carve. No luck locating the book then, no matter who I asked. The search fell to the wayside. Again, I have young nieces and they enjoy reading frontier stories. The book is back on my radar, and I have made a break through in recalling a critical word, willow. I now know that the book was The Willow Whistle., a family genealogy of the author states: "
But her stories are always something more than historical fiction. Each one carries a theme idea for any generation. Indeed, Cornelia Meigs manages frequently, in [her] stories of the past, to illuminate certain problems of the present." I'd say so as the book has stuck with me for all these years.

Next step, using ILL to locate a copy to read.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Worth Repeating

Some books are so good they deserve to be read twice. Some books should be read because at different stages in your own life the book has a new message for a reader.

Today I completed a second reading of a book - because once begun I KNEW I had read the book, but for the life of me could not recall HOW it ended....

My conclusion...
Sometimes a book will find you, because you NEED the message it has to share.

Today I completed a second reading of a book because I wanted to experience the story, again.  The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is a young adult novel set in a dreary future.  Everything has become the same in efforts of security and security.  This sameness has eliminated the need for memory and thought.  Everyone acts and reacts in expected ways.  Hills have been smoothed, color has been extracted, weather has been controlled.  Everyone is assigned to appropriate life tasks at the time of their twelfth year.  In this process, Jonas, is selected for a unique position.  He must accept a role outside the boundary of same.  In becoming The Receiver of Memory Jonas learns of pain, grief, hunger, and war.  He also learns of color, snow, rain, family and love.  In receiving these gifts, Jonas begins to question the ways of his community.  The value of sameness.

This book is part of a trilogy and now, a fourth title.  I plan to re-read the trilogy to be prepared for the title "Son," which was published this year.

I stand by my original conclusion. Sometimes a book is in your life just when you need the message it shares.  Jonas, as he learns the meaning of family and love, seeks his family as he now understands them.  Sadly, his family is not available to him, as they have no understanding of the emotions that bind us.