Saturday, February 26, 2011

Guest Post: The Witch Of Blackbird Pond

This is a good book that really gets you where it counts. The story is about Kit, who lost every thing she had back in Barbados, her home island. She finds it's hard to live in America. She wants to find someone like her who loves the sea; instead she gets a jealous cousin, a creepy boy, and an old friend who broke plenty of laws of the town. All she can hope for is a miracle. This book's time period was the Salem witch trials time.

(written by my 12-year-old daughter, Lily)

An Experiment

One of the biggest challenges I've noticed since getting my Kindle has been wading through the hundreds of thousands of books that are available through the Kindle store to find books that might actually interest me. At one point, I thought it would be useful to have some kind of sorting service that was a little more specific than Amazon's broad categories. Nan Hawthorne has such a service for books about the Middle Ages at Medieval Novels.com, and I thought it might be interesting and fun to create a similar listing for my favorite historical fiction. Mostly that will be stories about U.S. history, although I will also have categories for other time periods and cultures, as well.

I've started with one page, which you can see listed just below the banner for this site. This page focuses on historical fiction about the U.S. Revolutionary War (since Johnny Tremain holds such a cherished place in my heart, ha ha), as well as stories about the colonial period and the antebellum period. That's a wide-ranging time period, and I may later need to break it up, but Blogger only allows me 10 pages, so I must be sparing until I settle in on a format for this list. My plan is to list the books alphabetically and in sections for the different time periods. I hope that will make them easy enough to find.

One of the main things I've wished I had to help me sort through the many, many books available on Amazon was some sort of filtering device, so I've attempted to provide one of those in this list. Besides being grouped according to time period, I've included a brief summary of the history covered in the book, a synopsis of the story, and a reading level for each book. Then, because I'm a rhetorical critic and can't help myself, I've given my evaluation of the book (very briefly). I'm not rating the books, but if I think there is something I wish someone had told me going into this book, I'm going to include it as sort of a "warning label."

I will add books to the list as time permits. The semester is in full swing, so my time for pursuits like this is pretty limited. But I think it's going to be fun, and maybe it can help someone find some good historical fiction to read.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Was Cool...

I'm slowly, slowly working my way through The Yearling. Last night, I read the chapter in which the Baxters face an eight-day deluge of rain. Shortly after I finished and turned out the light, a little thunderstorm came through in real life. It was sort of a surreal moment, with the description of the story still in my head and the sound of rain pouring down outside my window. It made me extra thankful for my soft pillow, fluffy comforter, and warm husband to snuggle to!