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Groovy Girl, Handsome Husband and I stopped for a
In the meantime I scanned the new elementary fiction section for something inspiring and The Girl Who Circumnavigated... popped out at me on the shelf. Literally I think it moved a few inches out to attract me. My friend V and I had recently skyped with our three kids to talk books and this was one we discussed. She hasn't been able to get it from the Little Rock Library and here it was popping off the shelf for me. I tucked it under my arm and hummed just a little.
Mind you, I haven't finished it so this is not a review per se but Groovy Girl and I have read 4 chapters the last three nights and I'm in love with the writing. It reminds me of one of my favorite books, Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. The main character's name is September. She has conversations with the Green Wind, Latitude and Longitude, two witches named Goodbye and Hello and rides on the back of a flying leopard. And if that isn't cool enough the language is thrillingly descriptive and beautiful.
It was difficult to choose just one but here is a sample:
The Leopard of Little Breezes yawned up and farther off from the rooftops of Omaha, Nebraska, to which September did not even wave good-bye. One ought not to judge her: All children are heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb tall trees and say shocking things and leap so very high that grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. but, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless at all. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown. And so September did not wave good-bye to her house or her mother's factory, puffing white smoke far below her. (4)and this from what we just finished with tonight...
The full moon shone jubilantly as September strode up over the dunes and into the interior of Fairyland with her belly full of witch-cake. She smelled the sweet, wheat-sugar of sea grass and listened to distant owls call after mice. And then she suddenly remembered, like a crack of lightning in her mind, check your pockets. She laid her sceptre in the grass and dug into the pocket of her green smoking jacket. [given to her by the Green Wind] September pulled out a small crystal ball, glittering in the moonlight. A single perfectly green leaf hung suspended in it, swaying back and forth gently, as if blown by a faraway wind. (38)
It is hard for me not to read ahead after I tuck her in...