professornana (professornana) wrote,

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road weary

Probably was not a good idea to squeeze in the USM conference knowing I had a 400 mile drive today and class tomorrow and another 400 mile drive Sunday, but I did. Thankfully, the better half is with me to make sure I stay on the road and not veer off into the ditches. It was a good day for driving, slightly overcast. The wildflowers are blooming crazily alongside construction, grazing cows, and cacti. And I brought along some audio. I think my choice for the drive down was annoying to the better half at first, but it did not take him long to get caught up in this story.

This was the only Newbery I had not read yet, so I was happy to take it along on the drive. Minli lives with her parents in the shadow of the Fruitless Mountain. They are poor, of course. One day, Minli purchases a goldfish from a vendor who tells her that it will bring good fortune. She spends half of the money she has in the world, something that does not sit well with her mother. This sets Minli off in search of the man in the moon who perhaps can tell her how to find treasure that will help her family. Along the way, she is assisted by twins, a dragon, a buffalo boy and some others. In a story that weaves in so many embedded traditional tales reminiscent of Asian and other cultures, we follow Minli on her search for treasure. Like Dorothy in THE WIZARD OF OZ (and there are some references to this story as well), Minli discovers where the true treasure lies. Bravo to the Newbery Committee for bringing this gem of a book to the attention of more readers. I would recommend reading some of it aloud as the language is simply stunning.

I have some thoughts on possible rungs for a reading ladder but they are out in the car and I am too tired to go fetch them. Will add them to this post later, kai?

And now, to prepare some more materials for class tomorrow.
Tags: audio, newbery
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