Friday, January 14, 2011

Thimble Summer

Finished Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright. It won the Newbery Medal in 1939. Set in 1930s Wisconsin, it is the story of Garnet, a girl who lives on her family's farm. Garnet longs for adventure and worries about the family's finances. One afternoon while bathing in the river with her brother Jay, she finds a silver thimble in the mud along the shore. Wonderful things begin to happen. The long drought ends, her family takes in an orphan who becomes another brother and Garnet's pig wins the blue ribbon at the fair. Garnet herself gets into numerous scrapes and even runs away from home, hitchhiking to a nearby town. The story of this particular summer is original and laced with wonderful detail concerning farm life. Other girls in the story are named Ruby and Citronella.

The book is illustrated by Enright who was originally trained as an illustrator. The story is based on summers she spent at her uncle Frank Lloyd Wright's farm in Wisconsin. Enright also won the Newbery Honor Medal in 1958 for Gone-Away Lake.

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