Tag: Time Quartet series

{Book Chat} #1: One Book Everyone Should Read | Once

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 9 Comments

The Book Chat | Sweet Green TangerineOne Book Everyone Should Read | Once (in their lifetime)

I agree with our fearless hostess, that the book we choose to recommend to read this week, should be one that has etched itself into our minds, our hearts, and into the fabric of our being. Characters, of whom, have instilled inside us memories that haunt us long after we have met them, and of whom, re-define our perspective of how we see and view the world around us. Narrative prose that erupts as clear as lightning, permeating our mind’s eye with a hearty imaginative state where we can fully see the world that is knit and stitched together by the writer’s capacity for endeavouring us to see their world as they intended us too. A story that has a girth of knowledge and positive impression of lessons learnt are always best understood after we have transitioned through them. Yet. It’s not an easy question to respond too, because the life of a book reader bent on the written word, is hard to pin down and pick out one book that stands out amidst the shadows of all the other lovelies that we have come to know! I’ve never been one to play favourites and so, this task is rather a difficult choice! I yield to simply referring to one book I think any reader would be happy to become acquainted with, if only for one reading whilst their hunkered in to their own reading affairs and adventures therein!

Before I make my selection, I want to talk a bit about the type of books that I am always anxious to meet and am forevermore blessed to have my path crossed with theirs! You see, there are several books that come to mind, books who strong heroines have touched my life at precisely the right moments to give me a lift of spirits and a breath of a world that has always felt enchantingly familiar!

The Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinI had the benefit of growing up in a house where literary inspiration was at the forefront of discovery! Long before I could sort out how each word was meant to be said by voice, I had the pleasure of ‘listening’ to stories (of all varieties and forms) become brought to life by my Mum! She had a knack for knowing exactly how to empathise each syllable with articulation and clarity! I marveled at how I would ever grow into shoes large enough to understand how to purport the ‘telling of’ a story in the same manner of how I ‘heard her’ speak them to me! It’s an ongoing process even now! What I loved about Silverstein’s poems and visionary genius is his ability to cleverly etch into his collective writings the wit and banterment of a life filt with humour! He gave the best gift you can give to children: thought-provoking rhymes, poems, and stories of characters who ‘teach through their actions’. In this, I have always held close the fond memories of his books. As once I could sort out the words, I could not help but soak into his collections breathing in the world as he saw it through his creative eyes!

The Secret Garden & A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson BurnettBy far, The Secret Garden was more than a mere story for me, as the life of Mary Lennox was one that nestled inside my heart from the very first moment I became acquainted with her circumstances! She had this genuine ability to draw you out of yourself and into the world as she perceived it from a different set of eyes than most. Curiously keen on everything happening around her and yet, with such a graceful measure of innocence that bespoke of a childhood we all hope every child can experience. She was searching for stability and of a place to call home; where roots could grow as strong as she would soon mature! Her friendships with Collin and Dickon are lessons knitted together from the simple truths we all need to accept if we are meant to grow inside our own journey. Whereas with A Little Princess I felt rather akin to Sara Crewe, feeling her thoughts, her emotions, and her uncertainties as she was quite unceremoniously deposited into such a difficult situation without the benefit of protection from a guardian! Where Mary Lennox was independently spunky, I always felt that Sara truly needed a little extra confidence to know she could stand on her own feet and survive. They are each living shattered lives where circumstance and ill-will of those around them start to affect their happiness. These were the stories that compelled me to seek out the depth of historical fiction and epic multi-generational sagas. To see the underpinnings of how characters grow into their shoes so to speak and the passageways they have to walk in order to arrive inside their futures.

Mandie {series} by Lois Gladys LeppardI was quite young when I first began to read the Mandie series as what attracted me to the premise was the fact that a girl who was in search of her father, grandmother, and origins of birth found unforeseen comfort in her Uncle Ned, a Native American. I loved how Leppard moved between the different cultures, as much as how she showed how Mandie’s grandmother influenced her grand-daughter to have a world-view based on experiences, adventures, and travel opportunities. She instilled in Mandie a true sense of freedom which comes from knowledge, empathy, charity, and faith. Mandie is the type of ‘best friend’ you always hope to meet whilst your growing up due to how genuine of a friend she truly is! I liked that she was a bit spunky in some ways too! She never found a challenge too difficult to overcome nor did she pass up a good mystery to solve! She was a girl a threshold ahead of her time, set in the historical past to where even growing up in the 20th century you could see the frameworks of her living world as it was painted so very clearly for you to observe!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryI suppose you could say you have noticed a trend in the type of lead characters and stories that I have been drawn too since I was a child! Anne of Green Gables is the epitome of a heroine whose spirit and mirth of life will long outlast all of us who have come to know her as intimately as though we were childhood confidantes! Montgomery gave us a real portrait of life and living through Anne’s eyes, and kept Anne rooted in her unique personality whilst the Anne we knew and loved grew into a woman with her own means and family. She dared to step out of the comfort zones of society and willed herself to achieve what many I think in her plight might have simply given up on obtaining at all! She’s the inspiration for all young girls to realise how strong women can be at the times in life we need to assert ourselves and stand strong!

Little House in the Big Woods {Little House series thereof} by Laura Ingalls WilderI still remember curling up with my boxed set of paperback novels by Ms. Wilder wildly lighting my imagination with frontier life! Her stories were so real to me, that I would always make a bit of a tradition out of when I would read the Little House books! IF I could wing it, I would always like to begin them in the early murmurings of Autumn, when the weather would feel unlike Summer! I was fascinated by the simple inclusions of Laura’s life such as the biscuits in her pocket to keep her hands warm and the method of making ‘candy’ out of snow and maple syrup! How many days and years I longed to attempt that recipe myself yet never experienced more than an hour’s worth of frost on the windshield? When the tv series was well on its way of finding its own heart of inspiration from the stories in the books I held close to my heart, I found myself living by extension of the original stories through everything that evolved in the teleplay! I realised years later that there were creative liberties taken, but for me, both Little Houses will always be felt with warm affection! They each in their own way gave us so much more than we could return in thankful notes of gratitude!

A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensAh, Ebenezer! Who doesn’t know of Ebenezer Scrooge! I must have read this story numerous times to the brink that each time it was re-made into a tv mini-series, tv movie, and/or theatrical released motion picture; I would always have the general aspects of his story pop back into my mind! I must say, that there each new variation of this story I see something new and wholly different from the others. Each adaptation if you will focuses on something else that Dickens was attempting to impart on the world. I have not come across one adaptation I haven’t enjoyed and if I may be so bold to lament: I hope there are several more variations in the future still yet to come! The best life lesson to give any child is the one of generosity without the expectation of returned gratitude. To give without conditions is the greatest gift we can give each other! And, to remain humble to all walks of life and circumstances whilst we traverse our lifepaths is an even greater philosophy to aspire towards!

White Fang by Jack LondonI remember when I first started to mention to my teachers I wanted to read the works of Jack London, I was deeply surprised by their reactions! IF they were not explaining to me that they were meant for ‘boys’ not ‘girls’ they were trying to persuade me to read lighter fare! The truth of the matter is I have always felt such a natural curiosity and attachment to the natural world, that it was a natural progression for me to discover White Fang! I never understood why there had to be such strict perimeters when I was growing up! Boy. Girl. Gender this, gender that! Goodness! What I loved about the book (as my parents noted my desire and took me to the bookshoppe to pick out a copy!) is the pure and raw adventure to it! I loved it beyond what words could express and when I saw the motion picture — it felt as though I had come full circle! Very impactful for a young girl!

A Wrinkle in Time {Time Quartet series thereof} by Madeleine L’ EngleThis particular book didn’t greet me until I was in my twenties as I was seeking out a way to jump-dive into reading quantum physics! The full story is hidden within the link I’ve just provided! What I wanted to say in this post is that I would love to complete my readings of the Time Quartet to see what occurs ‘after’ they return home! I remember wondering ever so curiously what would happen next and even, how what they had experienced with their cheeky and quirky visitors would affect the rest of their lives? As each new experience alters your perception and how you proceed forward. In this particular case, its a rather extraordinary excursion! I suppose I shall remain patient until I can gather the remaining three books! I still stand by my declaration that this is the best introduction to Flatland which can serve as the next stepping stone into any quantum physics or mechanics book of your choosing!

The Indigo Notebook {book one: The Notebook series} & What the Moon Saw by Laura ResauAround the age of nine and twenty, I stumbled across Ms. Resau’s books at my local library! Intrigued I started to pick them up and read them. Before long I realised I wanted to read more, so I started to generate purchase requests to keep up with her publication schedule! Until one day I realised, my goodness! The breadth of what she writes into these tales is not only for the emotionally mature young adult (due to the story-lines and character arcs), but they are for the reader who likes to transcend out of the regular offerings and seek out something a bit heartier to chew on! IF you like to ruminate about your readings and allow the heart of a story to soak into you, I can give you no higher recommendation than seeking out a title by Laura Resau! The fact that she writes about cultures in Latin America only warms my heart more being that I have traveled to Mexico myself and saw such a keen insight into the foods, culture, and traditions that I had observed myself!

The Sixty-Eight Rooms {book one: The Sixty-Eight Rooms series} by Marianne MaloneAh, adventure through time travel which stems out of a museum! How many of us read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil F. Frankweiler when we were younger!? Hoping to have the courage to sneak away, tuck into a museum and see what happens when you turn on your torches? (flashlights!) The fact that I had the chance to stay-over at a Children’s Museum for a Night Away made this book even more exciting because I truly did ‘live that adventure’ even if I was surrounded by chaperones! You know children always find a way for ‘alone time’ and let their curiosity get the better of them! Laughs. Back to the story here, this is one of the books that sparked my interest into seeking out more stories of the French! I won’t spoilt anything and tell you why at this junction in time,… but if you are curious about Chicago’s Art Institute’s Thorne Rooms, look no further! Dig in!

The Golden Hour {book one: The Golden Hour series} by Maiya WilliamsIf you are reading carefully you will have noticed I provided a guiding map of which books to read in order and which to proceed into next. However, to make it easier to follow whatever you do, do not feel the inclination to read this book *ahead!* of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil F. Frankweiler & The Sixty-Eight Rooms! You will thank me later! Of course, technically you could read A Wrinkle in Time either ahead of the first of three in this sequence or have it proceed directly after The Golden Hour! Reason being, there is a play on themes that are integral to each of these stories! And, yes, this one has a French connection as well! I think what I loved about this one is the plausibility factor of how time is treated and shifted around. Alas, plausible in the sense if you have already accepted elementary truths of science fiction!

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline KellyCalpurnia Tate took me by complete surprise around two years ago! I was holding off checking out this novel for the longest of times, until one day I realised why not? IF I felt the story was not one I could readily soak into the only thing I’d have to do is return it directly in other for another reader to give it a bit of a go! Inside this coming-of age tale is a spunky (eh, smiles!) wholly true-to-herself girl who is striving to make a connection to a family member who is not readily understood or accepted in her family unit. I felt anguish along with Calpurnia whilst the events unfolded for both of them and I felt my heart grow as the ending chapters brought me to my farewell of her life. I must confess, I could have entertained another installment if only to see what ‘came next’ in her ‘evolution’.

Red Thread Sisters by Carol Antoinette PeacockMy book showcase review of this novel paints my feelings and thoughts in such a deeply personal way that I know it can stand on its own as to express my gratitude for finding this story! However, what I felt I should impart right now is that how powerful we can give children the ability to accept and process all families at a young age! Orphans and children without families are rather commonplace in today’s world, but how many children who grow up with a family know of their fears, hopes, and dreams? Or, how difficult it is for them to accept a ‘new’ family when they were not fully sure if they wanted to leave behind the only home they had ever known? Peacock writes a compelling story of two girls who befriended each other at a group home in China and how their evolving lives would remain entwined!

The clever observer will note immediately that I have chosen to focus on books that we are generally meant to read during our growing years, and of course, I haven’t spotlighted all of them (from my own readings OR generally known by others), but I have picked out the Lucky 13 (it is 2013, after all!) Picks, which holds within the list the selection I shall showcase in a moment! Each of them are interconnected on the level that, in each story, the main character(s) are undertaking a transition in their lives. The shape and nature of the transition is as widely unique as the characters’ themselves, yet each boy and girl featured in these lovely books has to dig a bit deeper than they ever thought possible to even hope to understand the unique situations and circumstances that start to affect their personal worlds directly! They must take on adversity and circumvent outcomes that might not have been as keenly positive if they had not found the true strength to carry-on through what crossed their paths!

Having said this, the one book that I would refer someone to read to have a reading experience that would give them the benefit of all of these stories combined is:

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Mr. Silverstein has the ability to transport us through a portal of literature, by which, our curious and innocent eyes remain fully intact. Even if we are re-visiting this story as adults, who may or may not be jaded by life experiences, or as a new reader, who never had the proper chance to read this story in their growing years. It’s a book that is not hinged to one particular age or another, but rather is universal in its message and at its very core, is a lesson that substantiates all the other titles on the list! For you see, if you never were introduced to “The Giving Tree”, you might not be as readily accepting of the themes, subjects, topics, and climaxes that these other stories contain! Do you not agree?

{*NOTE: All books featured in this post are listed under *Children’s Lit: The Undiscovered Frontier*, for the express purpose of highlighting my work-in-progress to stitch together reviews of the books I have written down on that page! As for each book &/or series listed, there is a world of transformative literature awaiting the reader!}

This post was originally intended to be shown on 21 September 2013!

{SOURCE: The Book Chat badge is provided by Sweet Green Tangerine
for participants to show their solidarity!}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by jorielov in Adoption, Book Chat, Brothers and Sisters, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Family Life, Illustrated Poetry, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Poetry, Quantum Physics, Revolutionary France, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Siblings, The Natural World, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Wilderness Adventures, Young Adult Fiction