This year we skipped fall and went from a heatwave right into winter, my favourite time to read. One book I found of great interest was American author Wally Lamb’s novel ‘I know this much is true’ — not always easy but certainly fascinating.
This book is about an imperfect family, as so many of our families are, and the relationship of identical twins, Dominick and Thomas, one of whom develops schizophrenia.
It isn’t simple, but these things DO happen, mental illness pops up in so many of our families as difficult as it may be and we need to deal with it. It seems that every photo I found of Wally Lamb shows him smiling, although some of what he writes is painful to read.
Sometimes books I need to read fall into my hands like magic and that’s how next I came to read Kate DiCamillo’s ‘The Tale of Despereaux’, a book for children or for the child within. I loved it! I can’t wait to read it again with my favourite 8-year old reader, Naomi.
Despereaux is a little mouse, born too small with ears too large — even his own mother is unhappy with him. His behaviour is not mouse-like and the other mice are so disturbed by his unusual behaviour, they banish him to the dungeon where the big rats live. Don’t worry, he ends up saving the princess and becomes a hero. Just what we need these days, a REAL HERO!
DiCamillo’s book won the John Newbery Award, and as often happens, one thing led to another. I wanted to know who John Newbery was. Mr. Google says he was a publisher of children’s books who lived from 1713-1767. Can that be? Do you know? If you do, please let me know.