Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Writing History

OK, I'm not really writing history...what I mean is historical fiction--reading and writing. I love it and always have. In my 11th grade American History class we could score extra points with my teacher Mrs. Brown for books read. And historical fiction counted. Can you believe that?

The first really long book (1037 pages) I read was Gone With the Wind.

So I love the genre and think it's a great way to get kids excited about a time period. Who knows, maybe they'll even turn to a non-fiction book about the period. Stranger things have happened.

I just finished THE LACEMAKER AND THE PRINCESS, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Picked it up at the local library because the cover intrigued me and it was standing on the "new arrivals" shelf. Although not brand-new (2007 pub date), it was new to me. And I can't remember ever reading a kid's book set in Versailles, 1788. The French Revolution for young readers! Of course, it's really about a friendship between two young girls, one of whom just happens to be the Princess. Marie Antoinette figures in there and though she never actually says "Let them eat cake!" you do get the picture. A fast, well written book.

One children's literature text in my collection, by Donna Norton, says this about historical fiction: "It is not just dates, accomplishments and battles; it is people, famous and unknown." Of course.

Next up on my reading list? Brooklyn Bridge. Click here for an interview with Karen Hesse. Last night I got to page 6 and laughed out loud. "Uncle Meyer is a free thinker. He, Mama, Papa, they sit around the kitchen table. Yakita, yakita. The world twists its ankle in a pothold, Uncle Meyer calls a meeting." What a great voice.

How I love to relive the past, vicariously. Thanks, Mrs. Brown.

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