Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume

This is an early Judy Blume book about a 10 year old girl living in post war America.  In it, Blume portrays misconceptions that can happen when kids don’t fully understand complicated events and how they fill in what they don’t know with their own ideas.

Sally Jane Freedman likes her life in New Jersey.  She has friends, including a best friend, and her family, mom, dad, older brother Douglas and maternal grandmother, Ma Fanny, all live in relative peace and harmony in a nice comfortable four bedroom home.  Sally has a vivid imagination and is always making up heroic scenarios in which she plays the starring role.  These range from spy missions to Europe to capture the maybe-not-really- dead Hitler, because he is responsible for the deaths of her grandmother’s sister, Tante Rose, and Rose’s daughter, Lila in the Holocaust, to being chosen to be Esther William’s younger sister in a movie. 

But Sally’s life is disrupted when her brother comes down with nephritis.  When he is well enough, everyone except Sally’s dad temporarily move to Miami Beach for Douglas’s continued recovery.  As much as she didn’t like moving, Sally soon adjusts to the new school and makes new friends.

Two things spoil life in Miami for Sally.  The first is her worry about her father back in New Jersey.  Her mother, a perpetual worrier and germ phobe, has been depressed about the fact that her 42 year old husband’s brothers both died at that age.  Once again, Sally had picked up bits and pieces of conversations and has filled in the blanks, causing her to also worry about her dad.  She continuously writes him letters to assuage her fear.

The second thing is Sally’s belief that her elderly neighbor, Mr. Zavodsky, is really a disguised Adolf Hitler hiding out in Miami.  She continuously writes letters to him to let him know she is on to his real identity.  These also assuage her fears, but Sally never mails them, putting them in her keepsake box instead.  But Mr. Zavodsky does unknowingly play a big part in helping Sally come to terms with the war and the Holocaust, both of which she still thinks about frequently.

For the most part, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself is an interesting portrayal of the little everyday things in life, which is why Sally resorts to her imagination to spice things up a little.  The book is a wonderful window through which today’s readers can look at what life was life for a kid in the mid-1940s.  After all, how many of them are familiar with Murphy beds, Margaret O’Brien, Admiral Halsey, a game called Jolly Roger, party line telephones and my personal favorite Potsie (hopscotch to those who live outside of NYC.)   I think that for today’s reader, however, the book could use a glossary or something to help understand these things.  For example, I never heard of a game called Jolly Roger growing up. 

I was very resistant to reading Sally J. Freedman for unknown reasons.  And after I began it, I dragged my feet reading it.  Then suddenly, I couldn’t put it down.  Odd that.  At first, I found it written a little too simply, but soon realized it was just a 10 year old narrative voice, which then seemed perfect.  And Blume maintained Sally’s narrative voice so smoothly, letting the reader see exactly how Sally filled in the blanks to try to understand the world and what was going on around her.  And, without resorting to stereotypes, I thought that the characters and situations were very believable.  I grew up knowing a lot of my friend’s Yiddishe grandmothers and I really thought Blume’s portrayal of Ma Fanny was just spot on.

Judy Blume has said that this is her most autobiographical book.  Many of Sally’s experiences were culled from her own life, including the big part that the war played in her childhood.  And that is precisely what makes it a great story.  Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself is a story that catches a girl as she begins to come of age and it follows how and how much she grows up during one important year of that process.  It is a delightful story and I highly recommend it. 

This book is recommended for readers age 8-12
This book was purchased for my personal library

Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
Judy Blume
Yearling/Random House Imprint
268 Pages

Monday, December 26, 2011

I Will Come Back For You: a family in hiding during World War II by Marisabina Russo

I Will Come Back for You is one of the books that came out recently and was so highly recommended by reviewers.  It is a fictionalized story about Marisabina Russo’s real life Jewish family living in Italy during the Second World War.  The experience of Jews at that time and place is not the subject of many children’s books and so this is a welcome addition to the Holocaust body of work.

Everyday Nonna (Grandmother) changes her jewelry with the exception of her charm bracelet.  Like most charm bracelets, each charm represents one important aspect of Nonna’s life. The bracelet and the charms had been a gift from her daughter and prove to be an interesting way to talk about what happened to Nonna’s family during the war.

One day, while looking at the charms, her granddaughter expresses an interest in hearing the story behind each one – a donkey, a piano, a bicycle, a piglet, a barn, a spinning wheel and a ship – that hang on it.

Charm by charm Nonna’s story unfolds beginning with what life was life for her affluent Jewish family in Rome.  These were happy, busy times for the children. But one day things changed and anti-Jewish laws were passed, just as they had been in Germany.  Jews were no longer allowed to do the things they used to do or to go to places they had always enjoyed visiting after Italy aligned herself with Nazi Germany. 

Under these laws, Nonna’s papa was ordered to an internment camp, because he was a foreign born Jew.  But the family could visit every weekend, staying with a kind family in the village. 

As Nonna continues her story, charm by charm, she tells her granddaughter of the sad events surrounding her papa and how the family had to go into hiding themselves, and how, with the help of some very kind people they stayed safe until they were able to immigrate to the United States after the war ended.

This is a wonderful book for introducing young readers to one aspect of the Holocaust without being terribly frightening.  It is told in simple, straightforward language enhanced by simple but effective illustrations.  No illustrator is listed; however, the rather flat folk art type illustrations are done in watercolors. 

Russo has also included photographs of her own family in the endpapers from the 1930s and 1940s, and, in an afterward, she briefly tells the real story of her family, giving the fictionalized version of events its base in reality.  There is also a glossary for both Italian and English words to help understand some of the words and concepts used.    

This book is recommended for readers age 5-9
This book was borrowed from the Webster Branch of the NYPL

Book Trailer:

I Will Come Back For You: a family in hiding during World War II
Marisabina Russo
Schwartz & Wade
40 Pages

Happy Boxing Day! And a Word of Thanks

Well, Christmas is over for another year and I want to thank my Secret Santa Danna at Bananas for Books for the very nice copy of Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, the wonderful book mark with my initial and the Godiva chocolate bar.  I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, Danna.

And while I am about it, I would like to thank the host of the Book Blogger Holiday Swap, Nicole and the other volunteers who help her make it work so well.

Christmas was lovely and quiet.  I received some wonderful books and can't wait to begin reading them.  I spoke to my daughter in China and met the new boyfriend on Skype, then went to visit a gravely ill old friend who is in hospital.  When I came home and watched on of my favorite holiday movies that no one seems to know, called "Holiday" with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.  My very favorite is "Christmas in Connecticut" with Barbara Stanwyk.

Now, its on to the new year, new reading challenges, new books and lots of fun.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - an explanation

I never much cared for the Christmas song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" but after a friend sent me the following bit of historical information about it, I will probably never listen to it the same way again. 

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? 

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Friday, December 23, 2011

OMG! Another List! 2012 Reading Challenges

I know I haven’t been reviewing as frequently this month as I usually do and I apologize for that  I have been working an a large research project since mid-November and my eyes are so tired at night, I just haven’t been reading much.  But my part of the project is beginning to wind up and I will be reading and reviewing on a regular basis again.

Meantime, I have been thinking about reading challenges.  There are so many tempting challenges out there it is sometime hard to decide.  But I have (so far) narrowed it down to 5 one year challenges and 1 perpetual challenge.  And the choices are:

Challenge:         The World War I Challenges
Host:                Anna and Serena at War Through the Generations
Level:               Wade level: 4-10 books.

 Challenge:         Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
 Host:                The good folks at Historical Tapestry
 Level:               Undoubtedly Obsessed 15 books

Challenge:         European Reading Challenge
Host:                Gilion at Rose City Reader
Level:               Five Star (Deluxe Entourage) 5 or more books

Challenge:         Cozy Mystery Challenge
Host:                Debbie’s Book Bag
Level:               Gumshoe 4 to 6 mysteries

Host:                Hannah at Once Upon a Time
Level:               Any number of books you want

Host:                Zohar at Man of la Book
Level:               9 books and their graphic novel tie-in

If any of these appeal to you, you can find more information by simply clicking their link.  Or if you want to see what other challenges are out there, visit A Novel Challenge, the place most people list their challenges.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

These are the Top Ten books I would like to see under my Christmas tree along with bloggers whose reviews influenced my desire:

The History of History by Ida Hattemer-Higgins - Thanks to Jackie at Farm Lane Books Blog

A Rumpole Christmas by John Mortimer - Thanks to Les at ClassicMysteries

 The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomoms - Thanks to Sarah at Reading the Past

World War II London Blitz Diary Vol. 2: A Woman's Revelations of War and Marriage (Volume 2) by Ruby Side Thompson and Victoria Aldridge Washuk (ed) - Thanks to Vicki at World War II London Blitz Diary 1939-1945

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - Thanks to Dorothy at My Placefor Mystery

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami  - Thanks to Zohar at Man of la Book

Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin - Thanks to Nellie at The Bookbaglady Reviews Books for You! 

The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson - Thanks to Rebbeca at Rebecca-Books 

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld - Thanks to Aths at Reading on a Rainy Day 

Metamaus by Art Spiegelman - Thanks to Johanna at Comics Worth Reading 

And one book to grow on:
1001 Comics to Read Before You Die by Paul Gravett Michael Farber at The Guardian

I hope everyone finds the books that they want from Santa under their Christmas trees, too!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekend Cooking #15: Victory through Christmas Cookies

Christmas during wartime is always a difficult time and World War II was no exception.  Rationing made most of the usual Christmas treats impossible, both on the table and under the tree.  But as usual people adapted and did the best with what they had. 

In November 1942, Betty Crocker began to run ads in newspapers and magazines for “Military Christmas Cookies.” They were perfect to eat, send to a soldier in the armed forces or even to hang on your Christmas tree.  To make the military shapes shown, bakers were advised, simply draw them on heavy cardboard, place on the rolled out dough and cut around them.  Then, decorate accordingly.  Can you imagine doing this dozens and dozens of times?  Or just roll out the dough and use the usual Christmas cookies cutters you already have.

But, if you are more like me, and don't make rolled out cookies because they taste more like flour than cookie, here is the recipe my very favorite Christmas cookie:

Brandied Sugarplums

1 Cup (6 ounces) Semisweet Chocolate Chips, melted
½ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
¼ Cup Light Corn Syrup
1/3 Cup Brandy
2½ Cups Fine Vanilla Wafer Crumbs (62 wafers = 9 ounces)
1 Cup (4ounces) Pecans, ground coarse in blender
½ Cup Sugar
Candied Red or Green Cherry Halves for Decoration

c Have ready a waxed-paper lined cookie sheet or tray.

c With a wooden spoon mix chocolate, the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup and brandy in a medium-sized bowl.  Stir in cookie crumbs and nuts until blended.  Roll rounded teaspoonfuls into 1-inch balls.  (If mixture is too dry and crumbly to shape, add a little more brandy or water.)  Roll in granulated sugar to coat.  Arrange on prepared tray.  Press a cherry half into each.
Makes about 54.

I can't remember where I got this recipe from, but Brandied Sugarplums are delicious.  Just be careful and remember there is brandy in them or you might end up like this poor Santa, who looks like he had one too many (actually, he is just very old and his hat is on wrong)

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Caleb’s War by David L. Dudley

*****Spoiler Alert*****

Caleb’s War is a home front coming of age historical novel set in rural Georgia during the spring and summer of 1944.  The main protagonist is Caleb Brown, 15, an intelligent, but angry, frustrated young African American man, and not without cause. 

Things at home are sometimes not much better.  Caleb and his father often fight and his father believes his is teaching his son to behave by beating him with a leather strap on bare skin.  When his father whips him for fighting with some white boys, Caleb decides he can’t work with his father learning carpentry for the summer and ends up washing dishes at Dixie Belle Café, a restaurant he can’t eat at because it is for whites only.

Meanwhile, the town has received some German POWs to help in the fields since so many men are away at war and one, Andreas, is a trained chef and brought to work at the café.  Andreas and Caleb become friends; they are, after all, both considered to be pariahs by the white townspeople.  Or is this really true for both of them?

Dudley does an excellent job capturing the attitudes of white people towards African Americans ranging from condescending benevolence (the owner of the Dixie Belle Café) to unadulterated hatred (the Hill brothers.)  The feeling of fear, uncertainty and anger that African Americans lived with on a daily basis is palpable, and I read many passages with anxiety, thoughts of incidents of lynching, cross burnings, fatal beatings in the back of my mind. Yet, Dudley manages to find a way of getting things across without being so graphic that a young reader would put it down.  

Dudley also creates some interesting parallels without sounding forced.  For example, while his beloved older brother Randall is off in Europe fighting to defend not only his own country’s freedom, but also free others oppressed by Nazism, Caleb is denied many of the basic freedoms other Americans enjoy.  And around the same time that Randall is taken prisoner by the Germans, the previously hated, ostracized POWs, including Caleb’s friend Andreas, are allowed to eat in the Dixie Belle Café. 

I started Caleb’s War with a great deal of enthusiasm, which remained right up until the last third of the story.  At the beginning of the story, Caleb and his friends are baptized, and while he is underwater, Caleb hears a voice saying “Behold my servant.”  He hears this voice more than once, eventually thinking it is the voice of God.  When he witnesses the pain caused by deformed, rheumatic hands that Uncle Hiram, an elderly black man also working at the café, suffers from, Caleb offers to pray for him.  Well, the next day, Uncle Hiram’s hands are straight and painless.

I thought about this element of the story a lot after I finished reading Caleb’s War.  Caleb is acutely aware of the injustices that surround and control the lives of southern blacks because of the Jim Crow laws and this young man’s war is with these laws and the people who uphold them.  And given the last episode and sentence of the story, I thought that without the miraculous healings, perhaps Caleb would become an early Civil Rights leaders/fighter and that was the meaning of “Behold my servant.” 

After all, the name Caleb is probably not used frivolously here.  In the Bible, two years after Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt; he sent 12 spies out to determine whether or not they could safely enter the Promised Land. Ten came back and said no, Caleb, however, returned saying “Let us go up at once, and occupy it; for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30)  Um, shades of the Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” here.  At least, I thought so.

But the healings continue to confuse me; I simply don’t know what to make of them in this particular book, since they really go nowhere.  Any theories would be most welcome.

Caleb is a very likable character with a compelling coming of age story and I found I couldn’t put the book down, reading it in one sitting. This is for the most part an excellent book, and despite my reservations about the healings, I would highly recommend it.

This book is recommended for readers aged 13 and up.
This book was borrowed from the Webster Branch of the NYPL

Caleb's War
David L. Dudley
Clarion Books
263 Pages

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

There wasn't much in my mailbox this week, but it wasn’t empty either. 
 Books I got from the library:

Caleb’s War by David L. Dudley
This looked like an interesting addition to Home Front literature about WW II.

I Will Come Back for You by Marisabina Russo
This came highly recommended.

A book I got from Net Galley:

The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy
This new book looked interesting.

Books I bought:

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett (for rereading)
It's Terry Pratchett, what else is there to say.  He is the best!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
OK, I am a little behind the times read this, but better late than never.

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines 
This looked intriguing, so I thought I would give this YA mystery a try.

If only I could borrow, buy or download more hours in the day.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Holiday Books

Last year, I did separate roundups of holiday books for kids for both Hanukkah and Christmas because these holidays were so far apart. This year they overlap, so I have done them in one roundup.  Be sure to take a look at last year's books as well as this years. 

The Christmas Menorahs; How a Town Fought Hate
Janice Cohn, DSW, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth
Albert Whitman
40 Pages
From the author’s website:
“It’s Hanukkah, and menorahs glow in the windows of the Schnitzer home in Billings, Montana.  Then suddenly, a rock crashes through the window of Isaac Schnitzer’s bedroom.  ‘But, why?’ Isaac wants to know. ‘Because we are Jews,’ his father tells him.
Christmas lights shine in the Hanley home, where Isaac’s friend Teresa and her family decide to do something brave so that the Schnitzers can celebrate their holiday without fear.”
This is based on a true story, telling how two children, two families and a whole community come together to stand against hatred and bigotry.  This isn’t really a WW II story, but refers to the story about King Christian of Denmark wearing a Yellow Star after the Nazi occupation of his country.  I think this is an excellent, sensitive story for young readers about standing up for your beliefs.  The oils illustrations by Bill Farnsworth, on of my favorites, are wonderful.

One Candle
Eve Bunting, illustrated by K. Wendy Popp
Joanna Cotler Books
32 Pages
From the publisher:
“For one family the traditional Hanukkah celebration has a deeper meaning. Amidst the food and the festivities, Grandma and Great-Aunt Rose begin their story- the one they tell each year. They pass on to each generation a tale of perseverance during the darkest hours of the Holocaust, and the strength it took to continue to honor Hanukkah in the only way they could.”  One Candle is a wonderful story about the power of faith and ingenuity under the worst of circumstances, but just keep a box of Kleenex nearby.  The pastel illustrations help enhance this story.

The Hanukkah Ghosts
Malka Penn
Avon Books
80 Pages
From the publisher:
“When Susan visits her aunt's house on the English moors, she encounters some mysterious people. But even stranger, she comes across a barn full of horses--when her Aunt said there hadn't been horses on the grounds in years--and a young girl who says she lived in the house during World War II to escape Hitler's armies. The mysteries may be connected to the Hanukkah candles she and her aunt light each night, and Susan soon learns the truth about Hanukkah--a time of miracles.”
The ambiance of her aunt’s old isolated English estate is an ideal setting for a time-slip ghost story in which a young secular Jewish girl becomes aware of her Jewish identity.  I found it to be a compelling and suspenseful novel.

Franklin and Winston: a Christmas that Changed the World
Douglas Wood, illustrated by Barry Moser
40 Pages
From the publisher:
“At the height of World War II, only a few days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill began an extraordinary visit, during which they made plans that would lead to the success of the Allied powers as well as to a continuing peace after the war ended. Moving from witty banter to gravely serious discussions-- amid a traditional public celebration of the Christmas holiday-- the two cemented a unique bond as they decided how to confront a menace that threatened all of civilization. 
This was an excellent telling of an important part of the history of WW II, but what really knocked my socks off were the incredible watercolor illustrations by Barry Moser. 

Other Bells for Us to Ring
Robert Cormier
Random House Children’s Books
160 Pages
From the publisher:
“Eleven-year-old Darcy hasn't lived in any one place long enough to have a best friend--until her family settles in Frenchtown and she meets Kathleen Mary O'Hara. Darcy is spellbound by Kathleen Mary's vivid tales of Catholicism. She shows Darcy a world beyond Frenchtown: a world of daring games and secrets, of sins and miracles. With Darcy's father off fighting the war somewhere in Europe, Kathleen Mary couldn't have come into her life at a better time.
Then, just as suddenly as they appeared, Kathleen Mary and her family disappear. While Darcy waits to hear from her, she learns that her father is missing in action. Christmas is coming, and Darcy is unsure about the power of God's love. Will the miracle she hopes for really happen?”
I usually like Robert Cormier, but I had a lot of trouble with this book because it seemed to favor one religion over another, which seemed like the wrong thing to do under any circumstances, but especially in a WW II book. 

The Haunting of Stratton Falls
Brenda Seabrooke
Dutton Children’s Books
151 Pages
From the publisher:
“Life is hard enough for Abby without a ghost. Her father, a soldier, is missing in action, and she and her mother have had to move in with relatives in rural New York State, far from her Florida home. Her cousin Chad and his friends seem to hate her, too. Then she sees the ghost of Felicia Stratton, a girl her own age who died many years before, waiting for her own father to come home from war. Is her appearance a warning? Abby must discover the ghost's secret before it's too late; and she'll need Chad's help.”
I always enjoy a good ghost story, and this one was ok, but I thought it was a little far-fetched.  What I really liked was the descriptions of life on the home front, which I found to be accurate and age appropriate for the readers of this novel.

Great Joy
Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
32 Pages
From the publisher:
“It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street outside Frances’s apartment. When it’s quiet she can hear their music, and when she looks out her window at midnight, she sees them sleeping outside. Finally the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, but when it’s Frances’s turn to speak, all she can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes — until a door opens just in time, and she finds the perfect words to share.”
This is not an out and out WW II story, but there are hints in the illustrations – the hairstyles, the clothing, the picture of a serviceman on a table, red, white and blue bunting around a storefront.  It is a sweet story and brought back memories of all those years I also played the angel in the Christmas pageant. Once again, it is a story that is enhanced by the excellent illustrations done by Bagram Ibatoulline.

 I love the messages of Christmas and Hanukkah and I feel that stories set in World War II make their messages all the more important and poignant.  

Take a look at what other people are rounding up for the holidays at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Today is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and America's entrance into World War II

...a day that will live in infamy

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday #4: Favorite Childhood Books

It's Top 10 Tuesday, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish and the topic is
Top 10 Childhood Favorites

My favorites turned out to be pretty classic books:

 1- Anne of Green Gables and all the sequels by L.M. Montgomery.  This book is now available for free downloading on Project Gutenberg
2- The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene

3- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  This book is now available for free downloading on Project Gutenberg

4- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.  This is also now available for free downloading on Project Gutenberg 

5- Heidi by Johanna Spyri.  This book is now available for free downloading on Project Gutenberg 

6- The Chalet School Series by Elinor Brent-Dyer

7- The Little Princeby Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  This is NOT my original copy, that was stolen right off my bookshelf a few years ago.

8- Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge.  This book is now available from Project Gutenberg

9- The Cherry Ames Series by Helen Wells

10- The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope This book is now available on Project Gutenberg

Most of these books were hand-me-downs from older cousins, and I inherited them after my sister was done.  Amazingly, I still own them. This was like a nice walk down Memory Lane.