Wednesday, 11 January 2012

two great books to read aloud

The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw was a fantastic read for our family.

Imagine you have a beautiful baby, healthy, happy and peaceful.  Imagine one day it starts screaming and screaming and screaming and doesn't stop and none of the usual remedies will work.  And imagine having to put up with the sort of superstitious nonsense people sprout about fairy folk changing your child for one of theirs that they've rejected.  And then imagine that it is not nonsense.  And then imagine that you are that changeling. "Neither one thing nor yet quite t'other".

The dedication in this book reads,

"To all children who have ever felt different."

and it is a wonderful gift from this author to those children.  She uses the world of fantasy to powerfully and sensitively explore themes of prejudice, difference and acceptance.  It is well written and had some beautiful heart-wrenching father-daughter moments.  I thoroughly recommend it.

My daughters really enjoyed it and were able to see parallels in their own situation.  We're not ni-Vanuatu and we're not quite Australian either.

Heartbeat by Sharon Creech is written in free-form verse and reading silently is not allowed.

Annie is eleven and everything is changing.  Her mother is pregnant and her Grandfather is growing old.  Her best friend, Max, wants her to join the track-team.  Annie just wants to run for fun.

Annie loves to run and run and run.  Her bare-feet thump in rhythm and set the rhythm of the novel, a novel of life and of change.

Heartbeat is heart-warming and affirming of friendship and family relationships across generations.  Recommended.

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