This is all to say that reading has not been getting much play lately. I did, however, manage to finish off almost four books with all the waiting room and pre-op dead time. So, I will play some catch up here this morning before the pain is fully awake.
From Rod Philbrick comes this slim funny piece of historical fiction, THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG (Scholastic, January 2009). Homer's older brother Harold is sold into the Union army by his nasty guardian. Thus begins Homer's quest to find his brother and rescue him before he can be hurt or worse in the war. Philbrick's novel is fast paced and comical as events never turn out quite as Homer (or the reader) expects. Despite the rollicking adventure, there is still a great deal to be mined here. History teachers who want to utilize literature to make this period come to life will appreciate the details that flow naturally from the narrative. Homer is a likable and memorable character. His companions on the quest to find his brother run the gamut from a friend of the Underground Railroad to a bumbling minister and a snake oil salesman who is also a Confederate spy. Given the above reference to pain levels, you know this book was absorbing and compelling.
And then there is this lovely companion novel by Jacqueline Woodson.
PEACE, LOCOMOTION (Putnam, January 2009) brings back Lonnie Collins Motion (Locomotion) from Woodson's award winning LOCOMOTION. In a series of letters to his sister, Lili, growing up in another foster home after the death of their parents, Lonnie reflects on his new life and his concerns about Lili and his own foster family. Lonnie's foster mother has a son serving overseas, one who is injured in the war and finally returns home. Lonnie is worried about his foster brother, his sister's fading memories of their shared childhood, and more. However, once again he finds solace in writing. His letters are prose poems, reflecting the wonderful ability of Woodson to create a character for whom writing is part of his salvation. The letters sing and soar from the pages and provide the narrative flow of the novel, another small slice of Lonnie and Lili's lives.
Finally, here is a photo of hubby, me, residents of the back room, and soon-to-be college grad, Cali, on Thanksgiving.
Perhaps I will post about the other 2 books later. For now, there is some medication waiting.