Kids Book Corner

  • Goose Girl
  • Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH
  • Peter and The Shadow Thieves
  • Peter and The Star Catchers
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
  • Stella Brite and The Dark Matter Myster
  • The Island of The Blue Dolphins
  • The Phantom Toll Booth
  • The School Library Journal
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • Tuck Everlasting


Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday, Monday...

I just took a drizzly walk in the park. Only a couple of regulars on, at first, but about an hour later more folks showed up. I love watching the bluebirds swoop and skitter.

For those of you who have read The Poisonwood Bible the flair would remind you of Adah in her youth, so I thought it was perfect to begin my review. This was another one of those books that I found something quotable on many pages. I filled the book with my trademark torn pieces of paper, so I could go back and reference the ideas. The characters are a evangelical preacher, his wife, and 4 daughters who go to the Belgian Congo, which later becomes Zaire. The story starts in the early 50's and ends in the late 1980's. The setting moves back and forth a few times between Georgia and Africa. There are so many things the author brings into this book, which is written from the viewpoint of the wife and daughters. The story is politically and religiously charged. Our book group was polarized by how they felt about the book. I had not finished at the time of the group meeting, but was one that liked the book quite a lot.
The story has concepts of sin, redemption, forgiveness, hate, ethno-centricism, political systems versus economic systems, and what home really means. It is stated more than once in the book that, "...there are Christians and then there are Christians." The family that goes to the Congo are Christians in name but not actions.
The four daughters have very distinct voice and personality in the book, so without reading the chapter heading you would know who was speaking. Rachel is the vapid, oldest daughter, Leah is the follower, Adah is the reclusive one and Ruth May is ready to take on the world.
My favorite character, Adah, says this line on page 34, "It is true I do not speak as well as I can think. But that is true of most people, as nearly as I can tell." She later describes her mother as having a "...pagan's appreciation for the Bible..." That made me laugh.
The story of Methusaleh, the bird, added a bit of levity to the serious situation the family was in and acted as a metaphor in the book, as well. The book is laden with messages and metaphors. Saying I enjoyed the book would be the wrong characterization. I found it powerful on many levels. Though the woman in the book were often in positions were they felt powerless, they learned to work with the system, or to get rid of the parts that didn't work. This book can be used as an opportunity to access, or own level of ethno-centrism and true Christ-like actions. I highly recommend this book.

:::::::::::::::Another Page for Eve's Book:::::

There is actually journaling that includes the student names, but I didn't include them for the blog post.

::::::::::::::Aaron and Grampa:::

They worked on a Eagle Scout Project this Saturday. Grampa Jim blogged with photos.

Take care! :)


Michael Taylor said...

From what I've read so far the book seems to be just littered with symbolism. She obviously gives a lot of thought to every word.
I'm only a few chapters in but I'm eager to find out what the weaver bird who gathered so many sticks for her nest that it over-turned the tree symbolizes.

Chocolate Cat said...

Thanks for the review. Am putting it on my 'to read' list! after I finish the Twilight books of course, am onto the 2nd one now!!

Carol said...

A drizzly walk sounds just wonderful right about now. Send some my way will you!!! te he