Greetings! Thank you for joining we Quills this month as we explore books we love.
Kristie Kiessling, author of Sanguis Dei, is currently unavailable, but you can find out more about Kristie on her site here.
That means that Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is up next. So, Robin, what books do you love?
When I was a little girl, about ten years old, one of my book-loving big sisters gave me the book Scarlet Sails, by Alexander Green/Grin (Aleksandr Stepanovich Grinevskii in his native Russia). I knew nothing at all of his popularity in his country and would probably not have been impressed at such a tender age. Nothing about the book cover lured me to explore between the covers. But… it was a book. And, since I got it for my birthday, it must be a special book.
Read more from Robin here.
It seems that childhood favorites is the theme this month. Thus, I have a book to share with you . . .
I came from a very big family. That is not so unusual for someone in my age group, but when I say “big family," I am laying claim to a rather exceptional one in that I have seven—yes, count them, seven—sisters. If that wasn’t enough, the age span from oldest to youngest is only ten and a half years. We grew up in the middle of pretty much “nowhere,” and had to find ways to entertain ourselves. We’d take out our instruments and have parades, play “Harriet the Spy” and spy on one another—complete with our spy notebooks, and we acted out plays. We also drew “moving picture” stories of books we loved. Essentially, this was to take a long roll of paper and draw the scenes end-to-end, then roll them out to show-and-tell the story. One of our favorites was Mio, My Son, by the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, first published in 1954. That book got passed back and forth between us all—repeatedly. Curious many years later about what it was that had so attracted our attention as children, I tracked down a copy and had another “look-see.”
Mio, My Son reads like a fairly tale. It tells of a young boy adopted by an elderly couple that dislikes boys. (Ooops.) Not wanting him around, the boy is left alone and lonely. But then, magic enters the story in the form of an apple, a neighborhood shopkeeper, and a genie. The boy is taken to a faraway land where he learns that his real name is Mio and that he is the son of the king. Life is grand for Mio with his new best friend, and with his very own horse, Miramis, until Mio learns of the evil knight, Kato, who threatens the kingdom. Mio must fight the knight to save his land and the children in it.
I frequently hear people ask for recommendations for avid readers in the mid-to-late middle grades. Often these young people have the skills to read a more adult story, but there are not many such books in the market that do not have too many adult issues that parents may not want their children to read. Thus it is that I try to keep a mental list of those books I can recommend for these young people. Mio, My Son, most certainly makes that list.
Please do join us again next month!