It took me awhile to get through 1929. Some of these books were great. Some of them were not.
I could not get into Tod of the Fens and Clearing Weather. Tod of the Fens is supposed to be a farcical type story, and I could see where there was humor in it, but I got too bogged down in language and what I thought was not a great pace. I skimmed it.
I wasn’t crazy about Clearing Weather either. In a nutshell this book is about building a ship and sailing it to Jamaica. However there’s nothing remotely “in a nutshell” about this long-winded book. People of color do not fare well in this book which I guess is not surprising given the time in which it takes place and the time in which it is written. To put it briefly, every page I read in this book just made me tired, and I gave myself permission to put it aside (permanently).
I wrote about The PIgtail of Ah Lee Ben Loo in another post. The best thing about this book (for me) was the amazing illustrations. I also wrote about Millions of Cats and The Boy Who Was. These were both excellent books.
Another book I really liked was Runaway Papoose. This book was just delightful. Nah-Tee, the main character, is a Native American girl who lives in a pueblo in the Southwest. I like how Grace Moon writes. For example, she describes riding through the loneliness of the desert: “This was a jolly loneliness – it was a sparkly daytime loneliness, and there wasn’t a fear thought hiding away anywhere. Somehow, there was a smile in everything.” Nah-tee and Moyo are two heroic children who work together to complete their quest. There is adventure, humor, and great love in this story. This is one of my favorites so far (I think I say this a lot!).
And finally – the Winner!
The Trumpeter of Krakow, by Eric P. Kelly, is an exciting book that takes place in the 1400s in Krakow Poland. It’s a very fun mystery and adventure story. I always love a mystery with a good story behind it. Alchemy is an important part of the story which was fun too. I really liked this one.
I am glad to put 1929 behind me. I try not to apply my 2016 perspective to the literature of the 1920s, but these books seem inconsistent. There are some books that I can not imagine a child ever slogging through, and then there are some books that are wonderful and a delight to read. It will be interesting to see what the 1930s bring!