Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thimble Summer

by Elizabeth Enright

Garnet Linden, a nine-year-old girl who lives on a farm in Wisconsin with her two brothers.  After finding a silver thimble, a drought ends, and she begins to have delightful adventures: being accidentally locked in the town library; hitchhiking to the nearest city, New Conniston; entering her prized pig into a regional fair.

This 125-page book, with charming line illustrations by the author, won the 1939 Newbery.  It’s told in clear, bright-eyed prose, with the wonder of a farm girl seeing extravagant exotic things like Ferris wheels, or the joy of finding “magic” treasure,” or the simple childlike fun of running in the rain.  There’s little drama and less despair in this book, just the ups and downs of a bright child who loves her home town and her family.  There are unfortunately several quasi-disparaging remarks about “fat” people in the book, which mars an otherwise kid-friendly tone.

four stars

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