Sunday, April 8, 2012

Good Books 2012 - 2

Farmer Boy Goes West by Heather Williams, 2012, 311 pages, ages 8 and up.

I always loved Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and when I saw this recently written sequel at the library I was worried that it would not live up to the original book. I am happy to say that there was no need to worry. It is really excellent. The writing style is very similar to the original book, and best of all, the characters are recognizably the same. This book begins when Almanzo is 13 and follows the Wilder family for two years. They go west to a new settlement where Almanzo's father thinks the farming prospects will be better. Almanzo has to adjust to a larger school and relatives who aren't sure they want guests. It's all based on the real history of the family and nicely fills in some of the unknowns that the original series left out.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward, illustrated by Marjorie Flack, 1939, 45 pages, ages 5 and up.

I hadn't read this for years and had forgotten it was even an Easter story until my youngest asked me today to read it aloud. Really, it should be a Mother's Day story. I like that the mother rabbit trains her 21 children (granted, too perfect to be real) to be self-sufficient helpers and then gets the chance to pursue one of her own dreams.

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, 1897, ages 14 and up.

I had never read this play before, even though I'd heard the story and seen the movie Roxanne back in my teenage years. I was surprised at how readable and funny it is. Cyrano has a monstrously grotesque nose and is sure no woman could fall in love with him, especially the beautiful Roxann. When a handsome but dense acquaintance falls for Roxann, Cyrano offers to help him by writing love letters for him, and Roxann falls in love with who she thinks is the letter-writer. There's no happy ending here. It's melodramatic but moving at the same time.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hi, I have an idea for a blog post. You've seen the trailer for the "Alive Inside" documentary? Very old people in nursing homes who seem nearly comatose get all spunky and talkative when they listen to music that they loved in their youth. You can watch it here: Warning: You will probably cry, but they'll be happy tears.

Ok, so my blog post idea is for you (and maybe lots of other people) to post their lists of "What To Put On My iPad When I'm in the Nursing Home." See, I'm slightly worried that well-meaning young'uns will just ASSUME that since I grew up in the 80s, I'm going to want to listen to Tiffany and Peter Cetera and "Careless Whisper" over and over again. (Oh man, how I hate "Careless Whisper.") So I think it's important to record your preferences while you still have the chance. For posterity, see?

So, what would spunk YOU up in the nursing home?