I didn't think I'd be reading this book so soon after it arrived on my doorstep, but once I picked it up, perused the beautifully crafted business card inside, and visited Ms. Latham's engaging blog, I knew I'd give it a go immediately. I must say, it was a terrific treadmill read: the hour flew by! (Although I jogged more or less lethargically along.) Latham captures Ludelphia's earnestness and genuine naivete, and that's what engaged me. And I suspect it will hook and hold young people as well.
Teacher-flag: For those who - like me - are perenially on the lookout for books that might complement or supplement To Kill A Mockingbird, this one offers a similar setting and a narrator of like age to Scout, with some related themes as well, so it's fair game for our classroom bookshelves, I think.
1. Offer it to my fellow English teachers to read for themselves.
2. Spend one day going barefoot in my house, and try some of it with one eye patched. (channeling Lu)
3. Clean out my quilting stuff and give it to someone who will use it. (I admire quilters and their useful-artful creations but have tried to get interested in actually constructing them many times, to no avail. It's tediously precise work, at least the way I've been taught, and I simply haven't the sustained interest. Crafters who live near me: Call it!)
Just the Jist List
Title: Leaving Gee's Bend
Author: Irene Latham
Genre(s): historical fiction for young adults or middle readers
Book's Website: http://www.irenelatham.com/novels.html
Author's Website: http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/
Year Published: 2010
When was it read? January 15, 2011
Perfect Matches: young people interested in Alabama history, sharecroppers, issues of race and class; To Kill A Mockingbird teachers and students; quilters who also enjoy fiction; all readers who enjoy a well-told tale
Perfect Timing: quick read w/period details, TKAM overwhelms w/vocabulary & euphemism - looking for a more straightforward read, and from an African American perspective
Perfect NOT: not interested in US history, not interested issues of race and class in America
Content Fab Scale (1-5): ***
Why? Interesting details re: the customs of the time period, straightforward story, likeable protagonist and supporting characters
Action Fab Scale (1-5): ****
Why? Plenty could be researched here, from time period to contemporary issues to quilts and witches
# Yellow Stickies: 0
Why? Read it at the gym: no stickies to hand.