Book Pairings

Despite having worked in a K-2 environment, I generally read older elementary fiction. I have my favorite authors all of whom tend to write either with an old fashion style or with a knack for puzzels. One of the hazards of being a librarian is that you are always looking for pairings. Perhaps a fiction title that complements a non-fiction account, or two stories about the same place only the settings are a century apart. Recently I found two pairings that I wanted to share with you... even though I highly suspect that this is really for my own sake than yours.

The first pair is about Maine. Jeanne Birdsall recently published her third book in the Penderwick Sister series titled The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. This delightful romp not only continues the story of these four loveable girls, it also describes the joy of the Main coastline. The Canning Season by Polly Horvath tells the story of a girl who is sent to live with her ancient relatives for the summer. While the flavor of this book varies greatly from Birdsall's tale, the two have a quirkiness that would be perfect for summer reading the 9-12 age group...or any adult wishing for a return to childhood.

The second group is around Darwin and takes place in two drastically different settings and period. A couple months ago I listened to The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. Set in Texas at the cusp of the 20th century, this story follows a young girl as she observes the natural world around her and bonds with her Grandfather as he teaches her about Darwin and his Theory of Evolution. Currently, I am listening to The Danger Box by Blue Balliett. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Balliett's previous stories and was eager to start this book. When the book started out going across Pennsylvania into Ohio and then into Michigan, I was intrigued. When it started to reference Darwin my homeschooling mama side immediately went into overdrive.
"Oh my word! We are going to have to listen to this on one of our trips to Michigan to see David's family when the kids (assuming we have another) are older. AND we can also listen to Calpurnia Tate and a little further research on Darwin, maybe a biographical sketch and we'll turn our 9 hour drive into 9 hours of school!"
Yes, sometimes I get carried away. Sigh. Seriously though, check these books out. They are simply good fun.

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