Monday, October 29, 2007

Sarah, Plain and Tall

This 1986 winner by Patricia MacLachlan was beautiful. It was short, simple, and a very uplifting story. I think it would especially be good for younger readers (unlike many of the Newbery winners) - a great early chapter book for a 2nd or 3rd grader.

Joanne and RioFrioTex already said a lot of the stuff I thought, so I'm just going to quote a few favorite passages:
A log broke apart and crackled in the fireplace. He looked up at me. "What did I look like when I was born?"

"You didn't have any clothes on," I told him.

"I know that," he said.

"You looked like this." I held the bread dough up in round pale ball.

"I had hair," said Caleb seriously. (p. 4)
We slept in the hay all night, waking when the wind was wild, sleeping again when it was quiet. And at dawn there was the sudden sound of hail, like stones tossed against the barn. We stared out the window, watching the ice marbles bounce on the ground. And when it was over we opened the barn door and walked out in to the early-morning light. The hail crunched and melted beneath our feet. It was white and gleaming for as far as we looked, like sun on glass. Like the sea. (pp. 49-50)
You know, I could just keep quoting and quoting and pretty soon the whole little book would be here in my review. Almost every paragraph is that evocative and solid and shines in its own quiet way.

1 comment:

Michael said...

How can I find the Newbery Award Speech for Patricia MacLachlan?