Friday, December 5, 2008

Book Reviews

I said to Michael a week or two ago, "I need a real page-turner to read right now."

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows quickly became that book.

Set in the year following the end of World War II the book is meant to give a glimpse into life on the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation.

I was initially put off by the letter-format of the book, but it wasn't long before I was so into the story that the letter-format didn't matter anymore.

The book chronicles a writer looking for new writing material and her discovery of a war-time literary society on the island of Guernsey. It isn't long before she has become friends with the members and finds herself on a ship heading to Guernsey to continue her discoveries into life on that island.

The book reminded me a lot of something D. E. Stevenson would write. I also couldn't help thinking of the book 84, Charing Cross Road. If you enjoy books about England and World War II, you will certainly enjoy this one!

We decided to read Understood Betsy, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, aloud as a family. It tells the story of 9-year old, orphaned Betsy who begins life in a town with a very strict aunt who does everything for her. Betsy goes obediently through the motions of living.

When Betsy must unexpectedly be sent to an aunt and cousin in rural Vermont, her life begins to change. In Vermont Betsy must learn to think for herself, she is no longer babied but given responsibility. Betsy starts to discover true living.

This book is an endearing story, and one we all enjoyed. It was interesting to discover afterward that the author was perhaps one of the first to promote Montessori methods in the United States. Without saying so directly, this book was meant to show (vs. tell) the Montessori idea of guided discovery.

1 comment:

The syders said...

'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' sounds like a fab read...will be ordering this one for sure...I do love a good war time novel.