This is the book I spoke of in the last post. A down-home type of story that makes you laugh and cry. The main character is a priest who struggles with diabetes, loneliness and a feeling of inadequacy. Many other characters add to life in Mitford and make you feel like you are at home with them. Barnabas comes into his life, is stolen from him and reappears later. Dooley makes him wonder how to deal with young boys whose hearts are full of pain. Then Cynthia moves in next door and he wonders what he is to do with her.
Almost Home was our first read-aloud this school year. A story of the Pilgrims leaving their homeland, of their voyage and their beginnings in the new land. Written from the life of Mary Chilton, a young girl who wants to know where home really is. She begins life in the new country "alone", her parents having died from the rough voyage and her siblings left behind in Holland. Fictional history that includes actual happenings. It made the things they went through so much more real than just reading the facts in a history book.
Our second read-aloud was Amos Fortune, Free Man. The story of his capture in Africa, his life as a slave and his life as a free man. This book made the boys angry at the cruelty the blacks faced. Amos, fortunately, was taken into a good home, was taught from the Bible and though treated unfairly he kept a good attitude. He worked to free himself and then bought a wife who soon died. He bought a second wife who also died. His third wife and her daughter outlived him. Of course it took years to save up money every time he wished to buy freedom for one person. I cried a number of times as I read this book.
We are nearing the end of Madeleine Takes Command. The true story of a young girl who with her two young brothers, an old servant and three other men (two who can't be trusted) work to defend their fort in New France against the Iroquois. Both parents are away on a business trip, the Indians attacked suddenly, killing or capturing all the men in the field and woods. The only strategy the few in the fort have is to make lots of noise & keep ceaseless vigil. When help finally arrives six days into the siege the Indians have still not attacked, believing the fort to be well defended, and the little troop is utterly exhausted. A statue of Madeleine de Vercheres can be found in Canada today in honor of her bravery and wisdom.
We now begin reading of what goes on in George Washington's world. Stories of his life and the lives of others who lived at the same time he did; in the U.S. and in other parts of the world. A full report may follow later.
A quote for you today-
Leap, and the net will appear. JOHN BURROUGHS