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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Remembering Tender Books

Exchanging book ideas is one of the things I love to do with my friends. My annual adult summer reading list is meant for all readers, but there are some books that are meant to be shared with just the right person (and thus do not make the final cut on that list).

One of my reader friends told me she was cleaning her crawl space today and found two books she had loved and forgotten. Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged was one, and Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman and Nancy Freedman was the other. The latter transported me back to middle school when my friends and I read and reread that tender love story set in the Canadian wilderness (and later wrote our own short play version of it to perform for our English class).

I mentioned Michelle Magorian's Good Night, Mr. Tom to her. I first read this book after Jim Trelease recommended it in an early edition of The Read Aloud Handbook. Set in World War II, it is the story of Will, a young boy who is evacuated to the countryside to avoid the bombings of London and comes to stay with what the villagers perceive to be a crotchety old man. The touching story of their connection to each other is one everyone should read.

Tender stories warm us and keep us close to the memories of shared those old Disney volumes my cousins and I shared while our parents played cards on Friday evenings.


  1. Good Night, Mr. Tom and Atlas Shrugged: one of my favorite books, one of my least favorite. Can you guess which is which?

  2. I'm hoping the favorite in the first title. It was one I was going to add to the next little book of book titles I make for I know you've already read it.