Today, though, there were two books I just had to finish. I completed one this morning. Recommended by my neighbor as a great read-aloud for her fifth graders, it is Peg Kehret's Stolen Children. It is the story of Amy, a girl who is kidnapped while babysitting for three-year-old Kendra. Amy's narration is convincing, and her careful planning eventually brings both girls home to their parents. I know readers who will love this book.
One is still not quite done; I'm savoring the last pages because I love the story so much. It is Susan Vreeland's Clara and Mr. Tiffany, and I have been engrossed in Clara's descriptions of the stained glass process, her own designs, and the relationships with Louis Comfort Tiffany and other the workmen in a male-dominated profession. Though I have been imagining Clara's creations through Vreeland's words, I needed to see what images I could find of the actual lamps. One of her dragonfly lamps (which won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris) shows such incredible use of color and texture (see more at http://antiquesandthearts.com/Antiques/CoverStory/2007-02-20__14-28-13.html). Clara and the Tiffany Girls (sometimes 35 at a time) designed and completed countless beautiful projects for the company, rallying against unfair conditions (men only were allowed in the union) and loving the freedom to create incredible art. The discovery of Clara's correspondence a few years ago revealed that it was she who conceived of the Tiffany lamps.
Having seen the images for myself, I am headed back to the window seat and 1903 to finish this book.