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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Newbery Reading Challange Review: 1961 and 1986 Winners

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
1961 Newbery Medal Winner

from PaperBackSwap:

In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.
This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building a shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.

What I didn't realize until finishing this book is that it is based on a true story. I find that incredible! The way O'Dell describes the land and the animals on and around the island is amazing. I feel in love with Karana. Hers is a story of survival but also of love - for the family she misses, for her people and for her island.
A wonderful read.

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
1986 Newbery Medal Winner

from PaperBackSwap:


"Did Mama sing every day?"
Caleb asks his sister Anna.
"Every-single-day," she answers.
"Papa sang, too."
Their mother died the day after Caleb was born. Their house on the prairie is quiet now, and Papa doesn't sing anymore. Then Papa puts an ad in the paper, asking for a wife, and he receives a letter from one Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton, of Maine. Papa, Anna, and Caleb write back. Caleb asks if she sings. Sarah decides to come for a month. She writes Papa: I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall, and Tell them I sing. Anna and Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she like them? Will she stay?

This book is adorable. It's short enough for adults to read to young children in a few sittings and the story itself is so cute. It's a very rich story. I loved Anna and Caleb's conversations. Sarah is such a strong character that you can't help falling in love with as her new family does. I can understand why it was make into a movie.
A feel good book and I can see myself reading over and over again.

2 comments:

  1. I love both of these books, though "Island" is my favorite of the two. It's such an incredible story (I couldn't believe it was based on a true story either).

    ReplyDelete



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