Sunday, May 1, 2022

~ MMGM OLD TOWN IN THE GREEN GROVES ~

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~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY HISTORICAL
FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'OLD TOWN IN THE GREEN GROVES'  --
AUTHOR CYNTHIA RYLANT
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, 
Author Bio & Review~

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ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote nine Little House books about her childhood growing upon the western frontier. But there were two years she didn't write about, two missing years that take place between On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake. Now, Newbery Award-winning author Cynthia Rylant has imagined what those lost Little House years were like, based on Laura's unpublished memoirs. The result is the first Little House novel about Laura as a young girl in almost 60 years, and a wonderful addition to the classic series.

When the grasshopper plague returns to Plum Creek, Pa knows all the crops will be destroyed again. He decides to take the family east to Burr Oak, Iowa, where he has found work running a hotel. But Laura longs to return to the tall-grass prairie and the unsettled west, to a place where Pa can play his fiddle in the open air and where she can feel free again.

Old Town in the Green Groves continues the story about Laura Ingalls -- a story whose wonder and adventure have delighted millions of readers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Goodreads}:

An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she is the creator of contemporary novels and historical fiction for young adults, middle-grade fiction and fantasy, lyrical prose poems, beginning readers, collections of short stories, volumes of poetry and verse, books of prayers and blessings, two autobiographies, and a biography of three well-known children's writers; several volumes of the author's fiction and picture books are published in series, including the popular Henry and Mudge easy readers about a small boy and his very large dog.

Rylant is perhaps most well known as a novelist. Characteristically, she portrays introspective, compassionate young people who live in rural settings or in small towns and who tend to be set apart from their peers.

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MY REVIEW:

I didn't know this book existed until I came face-to-face with it as it sat on a book stand in the children's section of a small branch library in our county. As a child I read--and reread--all of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A few years ago, I reread them all while performing research for a project I have not yet published.

The book is set between the winter of 1875 and the winter of 1877, which means Laura was eight-years-old when this story begins. Laura Ingalls Wilder did not write about this period in her life when she wrote the other Little House books. This period falls between book 4, 'On the Banks of Plum Creek,' and book 5, 'By the Shores of Silver Lake.'

The author, Cynthia Rylant, shares in the Foreword of this book that Mrs. Wilder ". . . penned only a dozen pages about this part of her life, and those pages were never published." Cynthia Rylant used the few written notes Mrs. Wilder left to write this book when she was requested by the publisher to write about this period in Laura's childhood.

The book was an enjoyable read, and I got some answers to questions I had about the differences in characters in the Little House television show versus the books. At one point a statement is made in this book about Laura's personality that didn't mesh with my interpretation of her character traits in the nine books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This got me to thinking about how readers may interpret characters differently than perhaps the author intended them to be. As an author, these thoughts sent me down a very deep rabbit's warren . . . I know, I sometimes wonder if I think too much!

This story includes many sad events and misfortunes, some catastrophes caused by nature, and other misfortunes caused by poor decision-making. I feel readers who immerse themselves in this story will experience some tender emotions along with some fun while reading about the Wilder's family lifestyle, travels, and strength when faced with adversity.

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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.
 
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4 comments:

  1. My sisters were big fans of this series so I forwarded your review to them. I have that same problem of thinking too much!

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  2. I never read this series, but I'm glad you found a new book in the series that dealt with the gap in years in the original series.

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  3. I used to love this series when I was a kid. I didn't know Cynthia Rylant added a missing piece! Thanks for featuring it!

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  4. I read and re-read all the Little House books as a child and have read them as an adult. I've never heard of this book. I will have to find a copy. What an interesting project this must have been for Rylant. Thanks for telling me about it.

    ReplyDelete

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