Saturday, October 07, 2006

A quick trip to the thrift shop

It was one of those quiet, sunny afternoons when nobody wanted Mama Squirrel around...sniff. So she quietly sneaked away and caught the bus downtown to her favourite thrift shop to check out the back book corner.

And came back with a few things. (A bag of books and a pink shirt, all for six dollars.)

(There, now I get to list some finds too.)

Alison Uttley, Tales of Little Grey Rabbit

Cyril Davey, Lady with a Lamp. This is a biography of Florence Nightingale, one of the Stories of Faith and Fame series published by Lutterworth Press, I think in the '50's, although this printing is from the '70's. (I think they must have been common as Sunday School prizes at one time, going by the inscriptions inside them.) We have four others from this series: Elizabeth Fry, Martin Luther, Robert Moffat, and William Carey. The ones we've read are well-written and interesting, and just right for upper-elementary students.

The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds, just because I know we are getting to a seed chapter pretty soon in the botany book.

Donald B. Kraybill, The Upside-Down Kingdom. Our own Sunday School teacher recommended this one.

Meindert De Jong, Shadrach. (Illustrated by Maurice Sendak.) About a boy and a rabbit. "A real, live rabbit! A little black rabbit, if possible. In a week, if possible. And this was in the Netherlands." I thought this might be one that Crayons could read to herself.

Gavin Maxwell, The Otter's Tale.

Janice VanCleave, Math for Every Kid. Lots of stuff here for Ponytails.

Walter Buehr, Knights and Castles and Feudal Life. You can't lose with Walter Buehr.

Two books for Mama Squirrel: My Name is Asher Lev (Chaim Potok) and Breathing Lessons (Anne Tyler). Mama Squirrel has read Breathing Lessons before (and watched the movie), but it has been awhile. Her favourite Anne Tyler novels are still Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Celestial Navigation...and Saint Maybe. And Ladder of Years.


Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Oooh, what fun. That's quite a nice list you have there!

Karen G. said...

I read My Name is Asher Lev this past year--in fact, this is the first year I've read anything by Potok and I like him a lot.

I've never read Anne Taylor...should I add her to my ever-growing list?

Mama Squirrel said...

DHM, yep, I had fun. Also because this weekend is Oktoberfest and there was lots of oompah going on downtown. The thrift shop just about drove me out the door, though, when they started playing Mitch Miller records over a loudspeaker. I can stand almost anything else, but going down by the old mill stream (not the river but the stream) wasn't what I had in mind for the afternoon.

Krakovianka, Queen Shenaynay asked me once if Anne Tyler books would be okay for teenage maidens, and I had to tell her that some parts of them were best saved for awhile...they're not explicit or shocking, but they're honest, if that makes any sense.

They're mostly about families--weird extended families, families trying to hold together, families recreating themselves. Anne Tyler once wrote that she writes because she wants more than one life, and some of her characters literally do that, in ways that stretch your imagination (and sometimes irritate me). The main character in Ladder of Years leaves her family, skips town, and starts a whole new solitary life somewhere else (hasn't everybody felt like that would be a nice idea, just ocasionally?)--but can't escape either who she is or her need to connect with other people.

There's another main character, Morgan in Morgan's Passing, who makes a hobby out of pretending he's somebody he's not--if someone asks if there's a doctor in the house, he stands up and delivers the baby, and so on.

But my favourites, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Saint Maybe, are more about families over a stretch of years, and what we do to and for each other.

Anonymous said...

I love the Walter Buehr books. I stumbled across them several years ago when I was looking for a suitable Marco Polo book for AO Year 2. Now I have all of his explorer-type books including the Marco Polo book.

I read My Name is Asher Lev about sixteen years ago when I had to commute to work by train. It was a great read. I still have it around here somewhere.

You guys are having too much fun finding books. My husband has taken to threatening our preacher because he keeps bringing me wonderful books from used bookstores and library book sales. According to my husband, we "don't have anyplace to put them". :p

tootlepip said...

Sounds like you had an enjoyable and profitable trip!