Thursday, March 04, 2010

The L words

A couple of books I've recently finished feature the same letter in their title: L

Leo and the Lesser Lion by Sandra Forrester

Twelve-year-old Bayliss and her older brother Leo are a pair. When both encounter accidents on the same day, Leo dies and Bayliss is revived. She must overcome both the physical pains of the accident and the emotional distress of life without Leo, all the while trying to figure out why she was spared.

When her parents take in two young girls, Bayliss struggles with their intrusion in her family.

Set during the Great Depression, this wonderfully woven tale of family captures the essence of life in this small community. Forrester describes what life was like during the time period without being too dismal. There are several heavy topics in this book, but with the love portrayed by the family and the humor showcased by the writing, Forrester artfully deals with the subjects.

Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo

This delightful audiobook won this year’s Odyssey award. The story is written as a picture book.

Louise longs for adventure and heads off in search for it. The story tells of three of such adventures. After each one she realizes she longs to be home in her nest, where she returns and sleeps the “deep, dreamless sleep of the truly adventurous.”

The narrator’s strong vocals expertly tell the tale. With appropriate background music and noises, the listener can visualize herself sailing the seas, walking on a highwire and enduring captivity with Louise. It is no wonder that the Odyssey committee chose this excellent production as the best of the year.

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