Saturday, June 21, 2014

Librarian's Corner: Homecoming


by: Cynthia Voigt

When I was in middle school, my best friend and I were very avid readers, but we had very different tastes. She liked the Baby Sitter's Club books while I was starting to get into Stephen King. As a result, our book choices didn't tend to over-lap much (with the notable exceptions of the first few Harry Potter books and Ender's Game).
One of her all time favorite books was Homecoming, by Cynthia Voigt, she must have read it at least a dozen times by the time we were 13. Obviously, she tried to get me to read it, but I wasn't really all that interested. I knew that it had something to do with kids our age, and family issues, and they were looking for their mother... but it sounded boring and really touchy-feely, and not for me.

Fast-forward about 13 years. My husband and I were in New York for our niece's wedding, and over the weekend, I was looking for something to read. I noticed a copy of Homecoming sitting around, and remembering that it was my best friend's favorite book when we were kids (and that it's one of my mother-in-law's favorite books), I thought I'd pick it up and give it a try. I'm very glad I did. I loved the book, and only wish that I had actually given it a chance when I was still in middle school.

The book centers around the Tillerman children, who have been abandoned by their mother while on their way to stay with a relative in Bridgeport, CT. Dicey, the oldest, has been put in charge of her three younger siblings: James, Maybeth and Sammy; and is responsible for getting the four of them to Bridgeport safely. While there are many times in the book where the plight of these young children is heartbreaking, it is more of a 'girl's adventure' book than anything else. Dicey is cunning and resourceful, and more than willing to do whatever it takes to keep her family together. 

The children spend their days walking to Connecticut, and spend their evenings fishing cooking and camping out. The spirit of the adventure takes them all the way to Connecticut, where they find themselves in an unexpected situation. I don't want to give anything away (no spoiler alerts needed here), but let's just say that this is yet another situation that Dicey will have to cope with as she tries to keep her small family together.

I wish that I had picked this book up when I was Dicey's age, I know that I would have loved it. I was all into 'girl's adventure' and strong female leading characters when I was a kid, and if I had only listened to my friend, I would have had another wonderful book to love. Although actually, it isn't just one book. Homecoming is the first book in the 'Tillerman' series, followed by Dicey's Song (which I currently have checked out from the library, and plan to read soon). There are a total of seven books in the series, and I hope to read them all eventually, as I'm quite hooked.

So that's it for today. I hope you liked the first entry in a new monthly feature that I'm planning to run! The next Librarian's Corner will be posted on July 21st! Until then, keep checking back for more posts about things I'm doing! And I'd love to hear what you guys are reading! Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

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