Thursday, March 24, 2011
Link for the book @ Publisher:
Link for the book @ Amazon:
Published by Tate Publishing July 2009/364 pages
Non-Fiction---the story is based on the life of the authors mother
Book 2 in this series is entitled Cotton Mill Girl published June 2007
Link for my review of this book:
These 2 books---Singer of an Empty Day and Cotton Mill Girl are some of my favorite books. I love them!
They are Southern stories, Appalachian Mountain stories, early 20th Century stories. The time period for both books are 1907 through World War I years. The author is currently writing a 3rd book that will be a continuation of Cotton Mill Girl.
The only thing I disliked about the book is the price @$19.00, especially for a paperback that is difficult to hold open.
Selena "Sippy" Wright and her younger sister Marietta or "Met" live with their parents Jim and Rachel up on Utah Mountain in North Carolina. When the book begins it is 1907 and a tragic fire burns their cabin. They move in with Sippy's great grandmother and other family members. The cabin is small and inadequate for all of them to live in. Sippy's daddy then built a new cabin only a holler from family. Sippy's mother soon delivers a stillborn baby boy after being sick during much of her pregnancy, I feel she had toxemia. Sippy's father is gone for long periods of time working at a Cotton Mill in another town. Soon the family makes a big decision to move and leave all that they'd known and loved up on Utah Mountain.
Singer of an Empty Day is a story that I became completely involved in: it is a page turner, it is memorable, and it reminds me of my own grandparents and the stories they shared with me.
I learned about the typical food that they ate and the schooling that they had. How they survived the cold winters, including the sparseness of available food. I learned that they wasted nothing, everything was used-- from old newspapers used to cover the walls of their homes, to eating unfamiliar parts of animals.
The unavailability of close doctors made sickness and delivery of babies difficult. Even with having a midwife to deliver a baby, and using medicinal mountain medicine, sickness and death happened.
I learned it was common for men to work a job far away and only come home to family occasionally, always just in time to create a new baby.
I learned that it was the staunch determination of the women that kept the home, and the children fed and clothed and safe.
The life of a child during the early 20th Century is detailed and powerful. They did not live in a world of television and school sports, or the latest techno. gadgets and toys. They too worked hard and often suffered because of sickness or malnutrition, or because their parents did not feel they needed to attend school any longer but instead go to work. Going to work as a child brought its own problems as well, in that the children often worked long hours and were prone to accidents and abuse by adults.
Several Mountain songs are given in the book. Mountain songs were carried over from the settlers that came to the Appalachian Mountains from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
This is an eye opening book and one that a person of young adult years through adult years would enjoy reading.
Friday, March 4, 2011
After the Winter
by Claude McKay
Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire the shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.
And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.
I love this poem!
Not available on Kindle
Link for the book @ Publisher---plus a video interview with the author.
Website for the author:
Published September 2000 by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing/Aladdin Paperbacks
256 pages/For grades 5-9
Fiction/Historical Fiction/Colonial America
This book won A Lifetime Achievement in Literature For Young Adults American Library Association Margaret A. Edwards Award
This is my 4th book in the past year by Laurie Halse Anderson. The previous books read with reviews are:
Catalyst, Speak, and Wintergirls.
I loved this book and felt that it's an excellent book on the history of the late 1700's in Colonial America. It is of course a historical fiction book and based on the Yellow Fever outbreak that occurred during this time period.
Mattie (Matilda) Cook and her mother and grandfather own a coffeehouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The year is 1793 and it is late summer. The heat and humidity is stifling and unbearable. Insects including mosquitoes are swarming. Mattie's days are spent helping her mother and Eliza the coffeehouse cook. Mattie at age 14 at times feels like a child and yet an emerging young woman at the same time. Her mother pushes responsibilities at her and yet does not trust her with others. There is talk of people down by the river sick. The sickness seems to overtake a person quickly, causing high fever. Soon though this sickness takes over the city of Philadelphia and changes lives forever.
The character Mattie transforms during the story and I loved this. She is a character that "rises to the crisis that is before her". Her small family is all she has, they have been her security and comfort. The crisis of this disease changes her situation and she must make adult decisions. I felt that the author did a splendid job of showing Mattie in a realness; she is both a heroine and yet we see her humanity albeit a young girl.
I felt the fear in the situation that the characters were living through. A disease that no cure can fix. A disease that is often deadly.
I have recently become interested in Colonial America and this book added to my own education of this time period.