Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sap's Running! Five Classic Early Spring Reads

It's maple sugaring season in New England, and it looks as if we're in for a marvelous early spring.  For avid tween readers, here are five classic books with a strong sense of place and seasonal change. I recommend and re-read them every year:
  • Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (helps me believe again in the transformative power of place)
  • Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (always makes me want to skip rope while singing the doxology, even though I'd likely be related to one of the "natives" who die of cholera in chapter one)
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (no troubling comments about American Indians in Almanzo's lovely family, thank goodness)
  • The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright (an artist and a writer, the author knew how to engage all five senses--how I wished she'd lived a bit longer to pen more books)
  • Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace (my favorite example of changes in a place mirroring change in a character, a perfect read if you're in the "slough of despond")

A recent study found a decline in portrayals of nature in award-winning picture books. I hope the same isn't true among novels for children. Know of any contemporary MG or YA books that evoke spring so well I'd want to re-read them every year in late February?

Also, for your browsing pleasure, here are indie booksellers' Spring 2012 recommendations for young readers, featured by The Voracious Reader, one of my favorite bookstores on the planet.

3 comments:

kpolhill said...

I also enjoy Elizabeth Enright's work, as does my 9-year-old son. I have a tendency to adore the work of authors who wrote only one book(case in point, Madeline Babcock Smith and "The Lemon Jelly Cake," which I read every summer), so at least in Enright's case there is more than one book to read. :)

Jennie said...

Just last week, I was commenting on how Maple Sugaring wasn't a thing here in DC and my coworker (who grew up in the south) asked "Such a thing exists outside of Little House books?"

Thanks for this list and this post!

I miss living up North.

young adult author said...

A good list there.

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