CURIOUS? READ! is the question and the invitation given to boys and girls this year during National Children’s Book Week November 17–23.
Any day of any year, excitement, pleasure, and new friendships are awaiting those who read good books. There are adventures to share, new places and things to explore, comfort for us during troubled times, help in solving our problems, and a greater understanding of ourselves and others. Of course, books can also tell us things we should know and teach us how to live happier lives.
Here are some new books that you are sure to enjoy, and a few old ones that you might want to read again.
MY CASTLE by Florence Parry Heide (McGraw-Hill) is a sad but beautiful book about a little boy whose mother has to leave him each day. It tells what he thinks and how he spends his time. The lovely illustrations have the appearance of a young child’s picture book, but it has a message and a feeling for people of all ages.
SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER by Bette Greene (The Dial Press; Bantam, paperback) is a story of war and its possible effect on the lives of people, as seen through the eyes of a twelve-year-old girl and a German prisoner who was interned in an Arkansas POW camp. The prisoner escapes but, before he is recaptured, he teaches Patty that she is “a person of value,” something she desperately needs to know.
An old favorite that can be read again and again is CALL IT COURAGE by Armstrong Sperry (Macmillian; Collier Books, paperback). Every boy and girl can thrill to read of Mafatu (Stout Heart) who is taunted for being a coward because he is frightened of the sea and of how he proves to himself and his friends that he is not. We all need courage many times in our lives. Discover how Mafatu finds it.
THE UPSTAIRS ROOM by Johnna Reiss (T. Y. Crowell; Bantam, paperback) is the true story of two refugees in Holland during World War II. It is exciting to read about how they overcome their personal problems as well as what happens during the war. This is a book to read with pleasure and reread with understanding.
ALTOGETHER, ONE AT A TIME by E. L. Konigsburg (Atheneum, hardback and paperback) contains four short stories. Each one is about a boy or a girl who has a problem. One tells of Clara who is exceedingly fat, another of Lewis who finds something very interesting about his grandmother. “Inviting Jason” is a humorous story. Stanley didn’t want to invite Jason to a party—but he did! You’ll be surprised at what happened next. The fourth story tells about “mamma” who is an artist. All four stories have something special to say, and you’ll enjoy finding out what it is.
JOHNNY TREMAIN by Esther Forbes (Houghton Mifflin; Dell, paperback) is a book that will help you appreciate the meaning of the Bicentennial Celebration of 1976. The book tells the story of a boy who lived at the time of Paul Revere and of how he helped to insure his country’s independence. Although it was written several years ago, this adventure-history book is especially relevant today.