Sunday, January 17, 2010

Road To Tater Hill

A few weeks ago I received several boxes of new books at school. I love getting new books, but for some reason I have had a lot to do every single day since Christmas break. I have hardly had time to look at any of the new things. I did bring home a few picture books to read at bedtime, but that's about it.

This weekend I took a chapter book, knowing that I have way too many books started right now, but still hoping I would somehow get it read. Road to Tater Hill by Edith Hemingway was a great read. Set in 1963, Annie and her mother are spending the summer at her grandparents' in North Carolina while her father is in Germany with the army. Everyone had been looking forward to the birth of Annie's baby sister, who is born too prematurely and dies. This leaves everyone extremely sad, especially Annie's mother who just can't carry on after her loss. Annie spends a lot of time by herself and finds herself befriending Eliza McGee, fresh out of prison for killing her husband. She discovers there is a lot more to Eliza's story than most people know and Eliza is able to offer some words of wisdom to her new friend that help Annie understand what is happening at home.

I enjoyed the time period this story is set in - the connection between Jackie Kennedy's premature delivery of her son, Patrick, worked well.

I also enjoyed how much reading meant to Eliza and Annie, who shared books and talked about them from time to time. And, there was also a little suspense thrown in, the way in which the author worked that in was also interesting, and I so appreciated it didn't match what I was predicting was going to happen.

This is one book I will be recommending and book talking to my upper elementary students. I can see several of my girls snatching it right up.

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