Sorry for the blog silence! I blame it on a combination of factors: vacation, writer's block, and too much to do, too little time. Let me try to kick it back into gear with some mini-reviews:
Sarah, Plain and Tall
by Patricia MacLachlan basically on a whim, because it had been a long
time since I last read it. It's a lovely story about two children who
anxiously await the arrival of their father's mail-order bride: will she
like them? will she stay? I recommend this award-winner -- and it's short
enough to read in one sitting.
The Egypt Game
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder is a Newbery Honor book that I don't think I
read as a child, but I would have enjoyed it then. Which is not to say
that I didn't enjoy it now! A diverse group of friends in a busy urban
neighborhood create their own secret world of imagination in a vacant
lot. I loved the interactions between the kids -- some parts of the plot
felt a little dated, but the way the characters felt and related to
each other is still fresh.
The Gypsy Game.
Though not quite as excellent as the original, I still found it worth
reading. It lacked the imaginative elements that made the first novel
stand out, but the characters were still well written.
by Hilary McKay is one of this author's earlier efforts, and it doesn't
quite have the depth of her more recent works. After being bitten by a
dog, Robin discovers that he is afraid of dogs -- even the pathetic
creature known as Old Blanket who belongs to the eccentric family who
move in next door. When he finds an even more pitiable specimen of
canine life on the beach one day, however, he begins to rediscover his
love for dogs -- but will he be able to keep this dog, or does it have
an owner out there looking for it? I'm a sucker for both dog stories and
McKay's writing, even her early writing, so this was a winner in my
book. And the scene where Beany serves dinner to the bed and breakfast
clients is the funniest thing I've read in some time!
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth
by E.L. Konigsburg. Elizabeth is a lonely only child until she meets
Jennifer, who claims to be a witch. This is a great story of a quirky
friendship, and I really enjoyed it.
That's all for now -- I have
several more books waiting to be reviewed, but I think I have more to
say about most of them that what I've posted here.
(Reviewed from copies borrowed through my library system.)