Read it and loved it. This is definitely the most realistic and compassionate book out there about natural family planning. I definitely wish I’d read it instead of all the “fields of flowers” books back when I was engaged, but would I have listened to its wisdom back then? Perhaps not. Anyway, if you haven’t yet read it, find a way to do so!
With the kids, I finished Julie, the sequel to Julie of the Wolves (my review of that book here). A great sequel, better than the first book, if that can be. The first book ended pretty dismally, with Julie dismayed at finding her Eskimo father has married a white woman and was the hunter who killed her beloved wolf Amaroq, who saved her life more than once when she was stranded on the Arctic tundra.
In this book, Julie realizes that her father was just doing what he thought he had to do to save his farm’s oxen, and she becomes determined to keep the rest of the pack from attacking the oxen by leading them to a new food source. The book’s other plot line is about Julie’s relationship with her new stepmother, who turns out to be a pretty amazing woman. Clearly the author prefers the Indian way of accommodating wild animals rather than killing them off, but she makes it clear that all the individual characters (white or Indian) are capable of love and moral strength. Julie herself adopts some of the practices of her white stepmother and wants to hold onto some of her native traditions. We all loved it and have now started on the third in the trilogy, Julie’s Wolf Pack, which tells the rest of the story from the perspective of the wolves.
I also just finished rereading Marie’s all-time favorite book to the K-2nd set:
William’s been reading a slew of books on early American history, and frankly I cannot keep up with him. I try to at least skim them before he reads them but two have stood out to me enough to read carefully.
The Corn Grows Ripe
Age range 9-12. A young Mayan boy who hasn’t yet found his place in his community has to take over planting the corn for the family when his father is injured. This story shows how the South American Indians syncretized Catholicism and the native religions; the family prays to the old Mayan gods but still wants to have their newborn baby baptized. The main character was very likable and the story well done.
The Sign of the Beaver
This is a Newbery Honor book for ages 10 & up. A 13 year old boy and his father head up to Maine to build a cabin and prepare their settlement for Mom and younger siblings. Dad goes back for the rest of the family and the boy, Matt, is left on his own. When a dishonest fur trapper steals Matt’s gun, he’s left defenseless until he is befriended by an old Indian who asks him to teach his grandson to read in exchange for food. The uneasy friendship that develops between the two boys, and the new perspective Matt develops on Robinson Crusoe (the book he tries to use to teach the Indian boy to read) is the stuff of classic literature.
That’s all for today. Happy reading!