Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It Was a Young Newbery Back Then!

I'm working on a new novel. As background reading I reread Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins, for the first time in *cough, indistinct* years. In the process, I re-loved these things about it: the stakes are high; understatement does much of the work; action and pathos blend so well. But I also loved that I could still hear the voice of my school teacher who read it aloud to us, a chapter an afternoon. I don't remember his name any more, but I do remember that I was furious he wouldn't let me take the book home and just finish it. He knew I'd bring it back. He knew I'd read it overnight. And (being a teacher, I guess) he knew it would be better if I had to wait. It was torture to have to wait for a single chapter a day, but I loved it.

I had eye surgery when I was ten or so, twice. As an avid reader, I also remember being frustrated at not being allowed to read. And I do remember my mother reading to me from Enid Blyton's Famous Five series, which was my fave. And I remember how mad I was when she had to go make a start on dinner, instead of reading another chapter. We found out this morning that, like Son, Daughter also needs glasses, and prismatic lenses, as we suspected. (Hey, at least they'll both appear to be bookish types!) I'm glad there are so many alternatives to eye surgery these days, after *cough, indistinct* years.

Still, I enjoyed Daughter's take at swim classes this week: I can't see. I need gobbles.


  1. Gobbles! LOL!

    THIS, btw, was one of my FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME when I was young. It haunted me, though. So sort of primitive and scary. But I loved that the female protagonist was so very smart and strong.

  2. (Just occurred to me: like another author's work we both love.)

  3. Ink: I knew we would have that in common! Our reading taste is officially aligned by that other author. I'm planning me a smart, female, 12 year old protagonist, and doing my reading.

    Sorry for the delay in comment reply: I'm on silly summer time!

  4. Yes, officially. It is.

    And I bet your protag will rock! Can't wait to read some of your books.