Tag Archives: Katherine Rundell

TGIF

20 Nov

At last, it is Friday. It has felt like it should have been Friday since Tuesday. I can hardly wait to do nothing tomorrow.

By nothing, of course I mean read and knit. I can’t talk about the knitting projects because they are top secret holiday gift items. Let’s just say I discovered a new yarn company, Biscotte Yarns, that I love.

This is the Morris Committees last weekend to discuss nominees and we will make our final pitches for books on Sunday. Next week, we vote to select our five finalists. They will be announced officially on December 1st, I believe. Then, the rereading begins. I need to know those five books inside out so I can articulately debate their merits when we meet in January to choose the winner.

In the meantime, I have a ton of good books on my to read pile, none of which are Morris related. This weekend, I hope to tap into a few of them.

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Have a great weekend. You’ve earned it.

 

Up on the Roof

14 Apr

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 “On the morning of its first birthday, a baby was found floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel.”

What an enticing opening line to Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.

This is how we meet Sophie, the heroine , whom everyone believes to be an orphan. She alone believes her mother is out there somewhere. Raised in England by her quirky male guardian, Charles Maxim,  Sophie is something of a free spirit. Alas, bureaucracy has no room for free-spiritedness, or with single male guardians. When she turns twelve, bureaucrats decide  that Charles is no longer suitable guardian and Sophie would be best served by an orphanage. Of course, they flee. Fortunately, they flee to Paris where that can investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the sinking of the boat that left Sophie floating int he English Channel. Along the way, Sophie meets real orphans who live in trees and on the rooftops of Paris.

Aside from a brilliant story, the writing is wonderful. Katherine Rundell manages to be quirky without being pretentious. In doing so she captures Sophie’s innocence and naiveté.

 

Orphans and Poor Children

8 Jan

Every year, I have the kids in my reading and/or writing group participate in the Library of Congress’Letters About Literature contest. The kids write letters to an author telling how a favorite book impacted their life. The letters are often poignant, but this year I had one that made me burst out laughing. The author, a girl, was writing to Elvira Woodruff to tell her how  The Christmas Doll changed her life. In the letter, the author tells Woodruff that use had long wanted to be a poor orphan, but The Christmas Doll cured her because their life was so difficult. The author reads a lot. Mostly books about poor orphans it seems. I read a lot about going to boarding school when I was in school and & wanted to go myself, so I totally understand her desire to be like the characters she reads about.

A few weeks after reading this letter a colleague asked me why there were so many books about orphans or that have a character who dies. She has a sensitive niece and they were trying to find a book that wouldn’t upset her too much.

I’m reading Rooftoppers  by Katherine Rundell right now. Orphans & poor children.

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It is a very good read, but reminded me of a number of other books, especially a few written by Eva Ibbotson.

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I just read The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson  and  The Real Boy by Anne Ursu. Orphans & poor children are there, too.

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So, I wonder, what are your favorite books with orphans and poor children?

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