Monday, September 6, 2010

Caudills filled with Nature

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost is an unusual adventure story because it has two styles of narrative: Concrete free verse and short chapters. Concrete poetry is poetry that has a significant shape that relates to the content of the poem. In this case the free verse poems are shaped liked the diamond shapes that appear in the bark of the diamond willow tree branches. The story is about 12 year old Willow who is a young musher and helps her father with the family sled dogs. While Willow is worrying about her life at school and making friends, she makes some bad decisions that result in a serious injury to her favorite dog. Willow is a brave and resourceful young person. In the face of this tragedy she is determined to make things right. In the process, she discovers parts of her life she never knew about, challenges her own parents have faced and the real meaning of friendships both human and canine. A great read for anyone who likes adventure and dogs. This one flies like a dog team on new snow.

If snow and cold are not for you, come join three bothers on a sailing adventure sure to leave you on the edge of your seat. Personal tragedy sets the stage for 15 year old Ben, 11 year old Dylan and 5 year old Gerry. The boys' father over come with the accidental loss of his wife and the boys' mom, decides to take them all on a sailing adventure through the Bahamas for an entire year. Each boy must learn to handle not only their nautical duties but their own grief as well the increasingly erratic behavior of their dad. Soon the boys find themselves completely alone on board their small vessel battling a huge storm, lost at sea and then castaway on a deserted island. Told from the point of view of Ben the oldest, you will come to understand his strong feelings about his father and his younger brothers, boys you will learn to admire. The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong is a modern survival story full of intense action, emotions and plenty of sailing.