Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More reading suggestions

All of that talk about Birmingham, Alabama reminded me of one of my favorite books ever. "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963" made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes; in fact it evoked a full range of emotions when I first read it in 1996. I've read it several times since, usually out loud to a classroom full of 4th graders straining to hear every word.

Christopher Paul Curtis won a Newbery Honor Award for this book, his first ever. Wow! He worked in a Detroit auto factory until his wife, a nurse, offered to provide for the family while he wrote this book. He would go to the library and sit at a table in the childrens' section to write each day. I was fortunate enough to hear Curtis speak at a reading conference during my teacher days. If you have not yet read this book, add it to your "To Be Read" (TBR) pile today.

I just finished "Flygirl" today. It is a winner of the ALA Best Books for Young People in 2010. Ida Mae "passes" for white so that she might become a WASP during WWII. This is historical fiction at its best. Ida Mae is sent to Birmingham to test fly the B-29 bomber as the men don't want to go up in another "widowmaker."

"'If a girl can do it, so can a man.' That should be the army's new motto," says Ida Mae. This is another book for your TBR pile. For a great review by DIL, Susan, go here.

This is author Sherri L. Smith's first attempt at historical fiction and her fourth book.

AND I just noticed that this is my 400th post. How did that happen?


Susan said...

I'm glad you liked FLYGIRL. I thought it was really interesting. My only disappointment with it was that the book WASN'T based on a real story. I really wanted it to be :)

Laurel said...

I guess I was okay with "it could have been." And who knows, perhaps there really was someone like Ida.

After reading so much about Thomas Jefferson, I realized that there were many who "passed" and in a real sense disappeared from one life and lived another. How much easier to live a life that can be congruent.

I read an article about an author who wrote the story of living with her mother's hoarding behaviors. She said the hardest part was compromising her friendships as she kept this part of her life a secret.

Nichelle said...

i want to read these! i will add them to my pile

Susan said...

Nichelle - Laurel has my copy of FLYGIRL (I think) and I have her copy of THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM. I'll bring it to you next time we all get together

Colleen said...
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