professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Summer's End, winter's beginning

Greetings from chilly and snowy Pittsburgh as the NCTE and ALAN conference draw to a close. In the past 2 days, I listened to Don Gallo, Joan Bauer, Laurie Anderson, Caroline Cooney, Jeanette Ingold, Andrew Auseon, Pete Hautman, Han Nolan, Elsie Aidinoff, Nancy Garden, Linda Oatman High, Pete Marino, Chris Lynch, and so many others. Got to exchange book picks with Walter Mayes and pick through our bag of books for ones I had not read.

Tonight I finished SUMMER'S END by Audrey Couloumbis. Set in the era of Vietnam, this is the story of Grace's thirteenth year. It was to be a memorable one, complete with a party, until everything changes. Grace's brother, Collin, flees the draft, splitting the family loyalties. Grace simply hates him to destroying her party plans at first. But as she talks with other family members, she begins to understand that Collin's decision is right for him even if it might be wrong for others. Couloumbis has captured perfectly the self-centered, self-righteous, and self-absorbed attitude of the thirteen year old Grace. her growth is incomplete as it should be; she still has a long path to take toward adulthood and adult understanding.

Seems to me there have been a few books recently that are set in this time period. I wonder if some of this is because of the age of the authors who are now distant enough from this era to be more objective. I also wonder if in part it is because we are once again at war, more than likely a war we will not win.

I have set a few books aside for tomorrow's travel as it will be a frenetic day for all. See you after the holidays.
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