In the beginning...

...there were The Flyaways, a family who traveled in their miraculous flying machine having daring adventures with Goldilocks and Cinderella. The first in the 3-book series by Alice Dale Hardy was published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1925 and copies are almost extinct. Few people remember Ma and Pa, Tommy and Susie Flyaway now.

I became acquainted with them on my grandfather's lap, my dear Grandpa Baker who read and read and read to me every evening for as many years as I can remember. I would hold my breath as each chapter ending neared, hoping he would not stop. I would keep begging for "just one more" chapter until his voice got so hoarse I would have to run to his room to get his throat lozenges.

Over the years we covered all of Uncle Wiggly and Honey Bunch, the Bobbsey Twins, the Five Little Peppers, the Wind in the Willow series, some of them more than once. He read to me until long after I could read everything for myself, until I was into Beverly Gray, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I was safe and happy snuggled up on the couch with him and that feeling has never left me. I still read and read and read, and it still makes me feel safe and happy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Living Dead Girl

I laid back and zipped through two books yesterday and today, staying up til 4 a.m. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott is a YA novel that has caused a lot of controversery in the kid lit world over the subject matter. It is written from the perspective of a normal happy ten-year-old who is abducted while on a school field trip. It is a heart-wrenching story of the abuse she suffers and the final resolution of her experience. Uniquely told and vague enough in the details, I found it unoffensive, but then I guess you would put me at the liberal end of the spectrum. I don't believe in shielding children from the realities of life and teenagers could certainly handle this. It is too bad that many libraries don't want to carry it.

My second fast read was a good old Sharon McCone mystery written by Marcia Muller. I tired of Sharon for a while but found myself enjoying her again in Burn Out, where she is getting some needed r&r on Hy Ripinski's ranch. Sharon is bonding with a horse and solving murders while coping long distance with problems at her agency. It was a pleasant and undemanding read. Muller, btw, is married to Bill Pronzini, a fine crime writer in his own right.

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