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Posts Tagged ‘1960s’

The Bronze BowTitle: The Bronze Bow

Author: Elizabeth George Speare

Newbery 1962

This is a well-constructed and well-told story, but I am not sure that I can bring myself to recommend it without reservations.  I know that many Newbery winners are used in middle school English programs, but I would hope never to find this on a required reading list in a public school.  It starts out simply as historical fiction, but any historical fiction in which Jesus is a character becomes quickly unsimplified.  He is portrayed as the son of God, miracles and all.  A well-rounded and human son of God, but holy nonetheless, and the emotional focus of the book.

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Basil E FrankweilerTitle: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler

Author/Illustrator: E.L. Konigsburg

Newbery 1968

I evidently had never read this the first time around.  What a great find!  Similar to The View from Saturday, her kids are spot-on and Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a fabulous character.  The constant discussions of how much things cost and the lack of security at the museum are a bit dated, but I think most kids could get past that pretty easily.  It could be a great lead-in book to a unit on art history and the forensic process of proving artworks’ provenance, or to a trip to an art museum (preferably a very large, impressive one.)

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WrinkleInTimeTitle: A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeline L’Engle

Newbery 1963

A pleasure to return to this series. These books were some of my favorites when I was in middle school. I enjoyed this one just about as much now. I had not noticed the somewhat religious overtones before, though – a few Bible quotes, mention of God in a pretty clearly Judeo-Christian mode, etc. However, these mentions worked in the larger framework of the book, and are not too overt. The character of Charles Wallace is wonderful, as are Meg and Cal. There’s also a great 1962 mention of “large computing machines.” I may need to reread the whole series.

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