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.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Laurie Halso Anderson wrote this YA novel on another sensitive subject: eating disorders. Lia's best friends Callie dies alone in a cheap motel room after pushing her anorexic body into systems failure with alcohol. Not an easy way to go. Lia, who is consuming under 500 calories a day in the hope of reaching her goal of 85 lbs., is haunted by her friend's death, but does not stop starving herself. I read this book because I am curious about what motivates these young women to pursue this punishing lifestyle. I don't understand it and I can't say the book helped me in that respect. It was a grueling read and seemed to express Lia's thought process very well without offering any formula solution. An intriguing story.

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