Have about two more Stine books to go, must start my death march through the Silmarillion, and have several Sutcliffe books to read, but I'm heading on to the end of the alphabet. After six years of reading my way through the library collection, I'm nearing the end. It's a little sad, because there won't be any more surprises.
Not all of the surprises are good. For instance, why is there a copy of Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales on the shelf? In picture book format? No one has ever checked it out, and I can understand why. It's an odd book, very poetic (makes sense) but much too stream of consciousness for the lower level readers, who might be tempted by it. I think it will move on to a better home.
Theodore Taylor's Maria: A Christmas Story was rather nice. A Latina girl who is friends with the daughters of neighboring wealthy landowners feels bad because her family never puts together a float for the Christmas parade because of the expense. She enters the family in the competition, and although reluctant at first, they come through with a more spiritual and authentic float. This is a very short book, and one which my reluctant readers will appreciate. Taylor has been gone for almost two years, but his web site is still maintained at:
I feel as if I should reread The Cay, but have very vivid memories of reading it in the fourth grade. It was only a few years old then!