- 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.