Archive for the ‘Sharon Creech’ Category

For some reason, I always have trouble summarizing a Sharon Creech book and The Great Unexpected is no exception. So, maybe I’ll just give you a sample from the book.

Naomi and Lizzie are 12 year old best friends in Blackbird Tree. On the first day of school their teacher gave an assignment to write about their families. “So the next day, we straggled in with our precious essays about our ragtag families. She made us read aloud. Well, the first five people, that is. Angie lived with a foster family with eight children and four donkeys and seven cats and three snakes. Her real parents were still in jail. Lizzie lived with her foster parents, who were definitely going to be her adoptive parents…Her real mother had had headaches…; her father died ‘of the maximum grief’. Carl lived with his uncle, who lost both his legs in a car wreck, and so Carl had to do all the cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping and it wasn’t too bad except when his uncle got ahold of the liquor. Delano said he wasn’t allowed to write about his family while they were under investigation. And then there was me. I told about my mother givng birth to me and on the second day of my life, she looked at me and said, “Gosh, I feel peculiar,” and then she dropped me on her stomach and died of a blood splot that went where it wasn’t supposed to go. I started to tell about how my father died of an infection, but the teacher stopped me.”

What does this have to do with anything? Well, one day, Naomi is walking in the woods and an unfamiliar boy falls out of a tree and knocks her over. This opens the door to Ms. Creech introducing interesting characters in both Blackbird Tree on this side of the ocean as well characters in Ireland “Across the Ocean”. And there is a connection, that, through fantasy and innuendo and wonderful writing, Ms. Creech makes credible and fun. And, I’m sure you can guess, by the sample of the book I gave you, it’s all about family.

Sharon Creech is one of a handful of authors, who writes wonderful books for that hard to write for age, 8-12, along with Joan Bauer (who maybe writes for a slightly older age bracket), Kathi Appelt, Rebecca Stead, to name a few. Give your children and yourself a treat with The Great Unexpected.

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The Wanderer by Sharon Creech is a honey of a book. It’s not new. It was published in 2000, but sometimes you need to go back to some of the older gems. My daughter, again, suggested I read it.

“The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me.” This is the start of an unbelievable trans-Atlantic sea voyage for young Sophie, her two cousins, Cody and Brian, and her maternal uncles, Mo, Stew and Dock, aboard a 45 foot sail boat. While 45 feet sounds big in general, amid the vastness of the ocean, it sounds small to me.

The sea means many things to Sophie, as you’ll find out as you traverse the ocean with her. At voyage’s end awaits her Bompie, her grandfather, who she’s never met. It is a voyage that changes everyone on board.

Narrated by both Cody and Sophie, The Wanderer portrays some very strong, young characters, characters you’d like to meet and learn more about. Both Cody and Sophie are endearing youngsters, one seemingly lackadaisical and the other dreamy, questionning everything. Yet when disaster strikes, they show what they’re made of.

I’ve been told I reveal too much of the plot so I’m trying to rein myself in. Suffice it to say, The Wanderer is a wonderful middle grade book. It even had me sniffling once or twice towards the end. Enjoy!

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