First, WOO HOO to the NBA for selecting Philip Hoose's CLAUDETTE COLVIN as the winner for Young People's Literature. Nonfiction!!!! And Colvin was there. How I wish I could have seen that.
Second, I read a book on the plane, ELI THE GOOD by Silas House. (Candlewick, 2009)
The summer of Eli's tenth year is a momentous one. His father is returned from Vietnam; the country is getting ready to celebrate the Bicentennial. Eli's best friend's parents are divorcing; his aunt Nell is living with the family. This compelling story is all about the DETAILS. They serve to slow the story down, to make it move as slowly as those summer days of Eli's youth. As Eli notes, "Sometimes being still is the best thing you can do for yourself." (96)
Told in four parts, this is a story first and foremost about family. And family is not just traditional. Edie, Eli's best friend, is family. His sister's boyfriend is family. Family, war, friendship: all themes resonate here. This quiet novel is worthy of readers of all ages.