Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Summer Reading

Over the past four days, my family has been celebrating my father's 90th birthday. Seventeen of us gathered at a large house on the salt marshes of Chincoteague Island, Virginia. So, steeped as I am now in the sights, sounds, and scents of the island, I have to begin by mentioning Marguerite Henry's books, Misty of Chincoteague and Stormy, Misty's Foal, both of which fostered my own childhood love of horses, as well as my children's and now my grandchildren's. We've been reading them together.

As for my summer reading, I would highly recommend State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett. The "story centers on Dr. Marina Singh's quest to investigate the death of a colleague who went deep into the Amazon to check on the efforts of a Dr. Annik Swenson -- a research scientist and former teacher of the heroine who has gone AWOL while developing a drug that prolongs fertility in women into advanced ages. Marina must confront her former mentor, her own medical skill and use all the nerve she possesses to discover many more truths than she bargained for." Not only was the plot compelling, but the ethical questions raised in this novel make for some interesting discussions.

A book I am currently reading and chose for it's unusual, alternating points of view is A Dog's Way Home, by Bobbie Pyron. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this "is an unforgettable tale of the many miles, months, and mountains that divide two loyal friends—but that can't possibly keep them apart." The voice I find most compelling is that of the dog, a sheltie named Tam. I am amazed at the way the author has managed to get into the head of the dog in a realistic and unsentimental manner.


Christy said...

I didn't read the lovely Misty of Chincoteague books until I was a parent, but I loved dog books when I was in elementary school. I'll have to check out A Dog's Way Home. What strikes me in your reading and writing is the strong sense of place you're drawn to, and you create. It's no wonder!

Happy birthday to your father! I enjoyed meeting your parents when I visited for the SCBWI conference.

Lauren said...

Happy Birthday to your father, Edie! What a wonderful age to arrive at. I just finished A State of Wonder and wish I had a group of people to discuss it with-- there is so much to talk about with this book!
Meanwhile, I have never read any of the Chincoteague books, but plan on it thanks to you! I agree with Christy, YOU do have a very strong sense of place in both reading and writing.

Edie Hemingway said...

Thanks, Christy and Lauren. Yes, setting is very important to me in both my reading and writing. And thanks for the good wishes for my father. He really enjoyed the large family gathering in such a special place.

Diane Adams said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate your dad's 90th! I also agree with your book choices, especially A State of Wonder. Excellent book!

Mark said...

What a wonderful milestone for your father, Edie. I'll bet his favorite part was having his family gathered together to celebrate with him. And, as I'm always looking for a new "dog" book to read, thanks for the recommendation!

David LaRochelle said...

I'm happy you've had your father around so long, Edie. I didn't meet him, but I got to see his house this past summer, and its view was incredible.