Newbery Update April 15th

It's time for another Newbery Challenge Update! Check out Watch.Connect.Read for a description of this challenge.

I’m focusing on two types of Newbery books in April – rereads (part of my effort to join in with the Teacher Mentor Text “A-Okay toReread in April”) and audio books. I’ll be back on track with the earlier Newbery books in May. I left off at 1934.

The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman  (1996)
     I love this book every time I read it. It's a quick and easy read, but with a lot of historical information. Not for the faint of heart - or the very young - as there is a decent amount of (not too gory) childbirth information in there!
     I'm fascinated by the middle ages and by herblore, so I just love this one! It’s a “starter” historical fiction, without a ton of heavy historical data, but I think it will hook readers into wanting to learn more about the time.

Miracles on Maple Hill  by Virginia Sorensen (1957)
(I listened to a full cast recording)  finished 4/14/12
     Sweet book, though it had some odd parts. It's funny how easily a realistic fiction can feel "dated".
The gender roles were so firmly fixed (though Marley does make some attempts to stand up for girls and their rights to get out there and do a few things boys do, it doesn't feel like the point of the story like it would if it were written today as historical fiction).
     The other thing that stood out was the author's consistent use of the adjective "queer". So often, so very often. Yes, I know it meant something different then, but it just really stood out. Again, clearly a realistic fiction written in that time and not historical fiction written now about that time.
     Still, compared to some of the other Newbery books I've slogged through, it was sweet and fun to read. I really enjoyed all the bits about the flowers and types of nature she saw. Excerpts could easily be used to go along with nature study units in science in elementary school.


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