As a child, I always welcomed summer because I could finally enjoy lots of uninterrupted reading time — so August seemed to be the perfect month to celebrate books for children and young adults in the Reading New England challenge.
And there are plenty of books to celebrate. New England has long been a favored setting for children’s literature, often in a pastoral or farm-based mode: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Charlotte’s Web, and Understood Betsy spring to mind. The American Revolution is a perpetually popular subject, from classics like Johnny Tremain to the brilliantly revisionist The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, but there are many other aspects of history to explore: the Lowell mills in Lyddie, for example, or maritime pursuits in Carry On, Mister Bowditch.
For those looking for books with a more fantastical flavor, how about The Diamond in the Window, Nick of Time, Magic or Not, or Centaur Rising? On the other hand, more contemporary and realistic stories can be found in books like Homecoming, Anastasia Krupnik, and Maybe a Fox.
So there’s absolutely no excuse not to grab one or more of these terrific books, find a couch or a hammock or a tree house to curl up in, and lose yourself in the wonder of reading.
Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, I’d really like to sample the following (all of which can be found on the New England Book List):
- New Hampshire: Absolutely Truly
- Maine: Small as an Elephant
- Vermont: Faraway Summer
- Massachusetts: The Penderwicks
- Rhode Island: The Art of Keeping Cool
- Connecticut: Strawberry Hill
Have you read any of these, or do you have any other childhood favorites to recommend? Do please share them with us.
In order to get plenty of reading done, I’m taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks. I’ll be back around August 16. Enjoy the rest of your summer!