Summer Reading List

May 24, 2023 by Rose O'Keefe

I’ve kept up with my goal of reading all the Newbery Award winners. I  had seen the movie but  hadn’t read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, from 1972. Author Robert O’Brien’s admiration for rats and mice came through loud and clear.  What a wonderful story! Years ago, I didn’t have the patience to stick with Julie of the Wolves, the 1973 winner by Jeanne Craighead George. This time, I was ashamed of myself for that impatience and was awestruck by the story of a 13-year-old Native Alaskan fleeing an arranged marriage. How Miyax aka Julie learned to befriend a wolf pack in order to survive alone on the tundra, was fascinating. The contrast between her joys adapting to the change of seasons outdoors and the problems in town, was amazing. I had to scratch my head wondering how author Craighead George learned so much about wolf family life and what she had witnessed in the wild and in town during her summer of research near Barrow, Alaska. She shared a death knell for traditional ways that was hard to take.  

The article in the April/May AARP magazine on Big Family Vacations drew me in. Some families did tent camping, rented a large beach house, or went to Africa, I wanted what they had—fun and laughs! I did alright with AARP’s financial quiz about money management. The last page Big5-Oh kept my attention, with Willie Nelson and Carol Burnett at 90; Jet Li and Conan O’Brien at 60; Tori Spelling, David Blaine and Pharrell Williams at 50. Reassuring. #amreading; #summerreading; #USAToday; #theratsofNIMH; #RobertOBrien; #JeanneCraigheadGeorge; #Julieofthe Wolves; #NewberyAwards; #AARPmagazine; #Big5Oh;