March 2017 Mother Daughter Book Club Newsletter
- In This Issue Review: The Water and the Wild
- A New Film About the Bronte Sisters
- Encourage Empathy, Read a Classic
Book Review: The Water and the Wild
by K. E. Ormsbee
Lottie Fiske is an orphan, and her only friend is Eliot, who is sick with a disease the doctors cannot cure. But when she finds out how to travel to another world through the green apple tree in her hometown, she finds a doctor who may be able to save Eliot. She also learns of her own family, her mother and father who defied the restrictions of two worlds and paid a price. To save her friend, Lottie must confront a corrupt king and draw on the secret power she never knew she had.
To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters
Anyone sorry to see the end of the Masterpiece miniseries “Victoria,” will be happy to learn of a new film about the Bronte sisters.
Filmed near Haworth, the town where Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived with their brother and father, the drama focuses on the three-year period when the sisters were desperate to make money for their family as their father went blind.
Based on facts gleaned from Charlotte’s letters, viewers see how the three went from ordinary, unmarried women to becoming authors of some of the most sensational literature of its time. The trio even had to masquerade as men to get their work published.
The title of the film comes from a quote from Charlotte to her publisher. “I think if a good fairy were to offer me the choice of a gift, I would say-grant me the power to walk invisible.”
Tune in on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Check local listings for the time. Here’s the trailer.
P. S. — You’ll also notice that Charlotte and Emily both have books on my recommended list of classics below.
Encourage Empathy-Read a Classic
A few years ago researchers conducted a study in which they found that after reading literary fiction (as opposed to nonfiction or popular fiction) for even a few minutes, people were more likely to be more empathetic to and understanding of their fellow humans. It’s probably safe to say that in the current political climate we could all use a boost in those two areas at the moment.
While there is a lot of great contemporary literary fiction you can read, I encourage you look to the classics as well. The classics typically tap into universal themes experienced by humans no matter what era they inhabit. Yet they also reveal societal norms of the age they were written in, which can give you a little perspective on happenings today.
And classics aren’t just for adults. Many titles for kids are appealing to them precisely because they capture the human experience of love, loss, friendship and family so well, regardless of when they were written.
Here are some classics I recommend, 10 titles in each of three age groups. Younger readers should be able to grasp the beauty of the stories listed here even if they need someone to read out loud to them. Of course, that can be part of the experience too.
Read Alouds for Ages 5 to 8
Winnie-the-Pooh — A. A. Milne
Charlotte’s Web –E. B. White
Mr. Popper’s Penguins — Richard and Florence Atwater
Matilda — Roald Dahl
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle — Betty MacDonald
The Boxcar Children — Edith Nesbitt
The Indian in the Cupboard — Lynne Reid Banks
Make Way for Ducklings — Robert McCloskey
The Trumpet of the Swan — E. B. White
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — L. Frank Baum
Ages 9 to 13
A Wrinkle in Time — Madeleine L’Engle
Anne of Green Gables — L. M. Montgomery
Little House on the Prairie — Laura Ingalls Wilder
Peter Pan — J. M. Barrie
The Secret Garden — France Hodgson Burnett
The Hobbit — J. R. R. Tolkein
The Jungle Book — Rudyard Kipling
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — C. S. Lewis
Black Beauty — Anna Sewell
Treasure Island — Robert Louis Stevenson
Ages 14 to Adult
The Call of the Wild — Jack London
David Copperfield — Charles Dickens
Dracula — Bram Stoker
To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee
Jane Eyre — Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen
Of Mice and Men — John Steinbeck
The Count of Monte Cristo — Alexandre Dumas
Little Women — Louisa May Alcott
Wuthering Heights — Emily Bronte
As I wrote this newsletter the view from my window was blustery and wet. But just down the steps from my front door mini irises have bloomed and the grape hyacinths are not far behind.
These pops of color, along with snow bells and crocuses seen on daily walks around my neighborhood, let me know that spring is on the way.
I’m looking forward to seeing all the different colors of green that can be found in freshly unfurling leaves, breezes with a hint of warmth, and the first honeybees. How about you?
If you have any thoughts or suggestions for me please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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