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The Librariest

I'm an elementary librarian in need of justifying the amount of books I reads aimed at eleven year-olds by organizing them on a nifty website.

Currently reading

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
Daniel Pinkwater, Jill Pinkwater
Dinosaur Trouble
Dick King-Smith, Nick Bruel
Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters
Rachel Vail, Matthew Cordell
The Coming of the Dragon
Rebecca Barnhouse
The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm
Patricia MacLachlan
Les Miserables: Complete and Unabridged

Up a Road Slowly

Up a Road Slowly - Irene Hunt Up a Road Slowly is a love story. Not a boy meets girl kind of story, but a girl meets maiden aunt kind of story. Julie is seven when her mother dies and she and her older brother are whisked of to live in the country with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster school teacher with a ram rod posture and a ram rod distinction between correct and not. Julie and Cordelia are instantly at odds. They rub against each other for the next ten years where they find that they have rubbed off on each other to the betterment and delight of both. I spent the first three quarters of this book in giddy-sycophantic love. Hunt's writing is lovely and precise. Her character development three dimensional to the point of yearning to look for real estate next to the Bishop homestead. Uncle Haskell is the unrepentant alcoholic black sheep of the family. He is painted with an affecting clarity and humor. When he writes Julia a note after the death of a school mate, its honesty and grace broke my heart into a million pieces. It took awhile for me to realize that even if I had read this book as a child there is no way I could have appreciated it as I was at present. I believe that a child and an adult will walk away with completely different experiences. I'm afraid to say that there may not be much to keep today’s young readers enthralled. For all of its beauty, it is a quiet story. The one element that drove me to distraction was that I could not determine what time period the book was set. It won the Newbery in 1967 but seemed much to sedate for the time period. I couldn't tell it I was reading a period piece or if Hunt was consciously being coy with the year. I might hand if off to one of my students, and then hold my breath that she would appreciate a fraction of what I found to love.