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Posts Tagged ‘1950s’

doorinthewallTitle: The Door in the Wall

Author/Illustrator: Marguerite de Angeli

Newbery 1950

This is a sweet story, but doesn’t have very much meat to it.  It follows a sort of classic ‘disabled people have something to contribute to society’ format, with the slight twist that it takes place in the Middle Ages.  However, I don’t get the sense that the author did very much research before placing her story in that time period – there are details that don’t ring true with better-researched books I’ve read.  The ambient religiosity may be uncomfortable for some readers, though it is historically accurate.  There are better historical fiction books with more accurate representations of this time.

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Witch of Blackbird PondTitle: The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Author: Elizabeth George Speare

Newbery 1959

Given my review of The Bronze Bow, I approached this one with some trepidation.  This story, however, has all of the good points and none of the religious heavy-handedness of its successor.  Kit is a relatively well-developed character, and the Puritans are not flat caricatures of themselves.  They are real people, just a little over-straight-laced.  The ending is a little too pat, but it’s nice to have a book that ends well for everyone every once in a while.   This book would be great, as it is often used, as a fictional introduction to a unit on early American history.

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GingerPyeTitle: Ginger Pye

Author/Illustrator: Eleanor Estes

Newbery 1952

Kids’ books used to be so much simpler and yet richer.  Over the course of this book, very little “happens,” plot-wise, but it fits a child-like sense of time, space, and wonder.  The children in this book are very accurate – once they’ve decided what the Unsavory Character looks like, they are looking for a guy with a silent-movie-villain moustache, for example.  Ginger pup is very cute, and his humans are cuter.  It takes place a decade or two before it was written, so there is some nostalgia there, as well, though it is not overt.

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