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.