Every so often, a book comes along that leaves me speechless. The Secret River is one of those books. Originally published in 1956, it won a Newberry for Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. If that name sound familar, it's because she also wrote The Yearling for us. The story is quite simple, with a sweet lesson: when hard time hit, what we need to survive is inside us, we just have to look .
Sometimes message books can be somewhat obvious, but this one isn't. There's Calpurnia, the budding poet, who works a rhyme into every crevice of her life. There's the gypsy, Albirtha, and Calpurnia's hard working parents. A hosts of townspeople and animal dwellers round out the cast. Oh, I can't forget Cal dog, Buggy-horse whose back dips in the middle, and who has an enormously fat stomach,just like a little old buggy horse!
The illustrations alone are worth lingering over for a long, long time.
This galley arrived today. It will be my weekend reading. I'll report back!