Archive for May 2011

TUNNELS!

May 31, 2011

As I was finishing up PENNY DREADFUL by Laurel Snyder last night, I realized it was the fourth book I’ve read this spring that features a tunnel  as an important part of the story.   That got me thinking about a blog post, so here we go:

PENNY DREADFUL by Laurel Snyder is about a ten-year-old girl whose life changes in very big ways when her father quits his job and the family  leaves their mansion and their wealthy lifestyle in the city for the little town of Thrush Junction, Tennessee.  She has never had a friend before, or an adventure;  and suddenly she is surrounded by unusual characters and situations.  At the end of the book she finds herself in a TUNNEL, searching for the legendary hidden treasure….will she find it?  Will she stay in Tennessee or return to New York?  This is a great summer read with a slightly “old fashioned” feel.

THE TUNNEL OF HUGSY GOODE by Eleanor Estes

This book is set in New York in the 1970’s and features a neighborhood full of kids of all ages who have fun without video games (not invented yet!) or television.  If you are wondering how that is possible, check it out and read all about the boys who discover a TUNNEL running under their street.  What do they do there? And what on earth does the RACCOON have to do with it all?!

F IS FOR FREEDOM BY Roni Schotter

This one is more serious and historical.  Set in Vermont in the late 1800’s, it deals with a family who helps aother family of runaway slaves reach freedom in Canada.   The ending is very suspenseful, as  Amanda, the imaginative young daughter, has the opportunity to save the day because she knows of a TUNNEL that may keep the runaways safe from the slave catchers.  Find out if she is successful by reading this enjoyable, exciting historical fiction book.

THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLINS by George MacDonald

A fantasy classic that has been loved for 150 years,  this book tells the story of Irene, a princess, and her friend Curdie who works in the mines.  There is a lot of exploration of the TUNNELS in the nearby mountain, tunnels where Curdie and his fellow miners make their living and which just happen to be populated by some pretty gruesome goblins with a plan that involves Irene.  This book has one of the most interesting grandmothers that I have ever had the pleasure to read about in a children’s book.  Check it out and see what an important role  Irene’s lovely, magical grandmother plays in this exciting adventure.

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A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park

May 11, 2011

Here is a true story for children old enough to handle an intense  situation.  There are two stories that alternate:   Nya, a girl living in Sudan, Africa, must walk 8 hours every day to bring water back to her dry village.  Salva is one of Sudan’s “lost boys”:  separated from his family by war in the 1990’s, he was forced to travel on foot through hundreds of miles of hostile territory.  He survived the desert, animal attacks, a crocodile-filled river, and spent years in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya.  His life, which was so full of tragedy,  took a hopeful turn when he relocated to New York, attended college, and returned to his home country to establish wells in remote villages that are in desperate need of clean water.  And that is where his life intersects with Nya’s.  As you are reading the two interwoven stories, you know that they are going to come together, and that is what keeps you reading despite the sadness.   This is a powerful book that will touch your heart and inspire you to reach out to others in need.