Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Best Sister Award: Noonday Friends

This Wednesday I went back to my kidlit piles for A-Z Wednesday, the weekly challenge hosted by Reading on the Beach to spotlight books starting with each week's letter. I was hoping to find a kidlit N book about soldiers in some form, but that proved too specific a request for my disorganized piles. So I grabbed Noonday Friends, a Newbery Honor that I either completely forgot or somehow missed reading (it's copyright 1965). My cover is older looking; I prefer it.

Mary Stolz mostly writes family stories about children growing up in the city. In this case, Franny's family is poor and teetering on the edge of worse, with a well-meaning dad who loves to paint but isn't that good at holding a regular job. Her twin brother Jimmy cares for his family but doesn't really know how to show it. Her little brother idolizes her and doesn't really understand the problems his family faces. Franny worries about her father's health, her family's instabilities, and her friendship with girls in her class. It's an excellent mix of big and little problems, with Franny child's eye view rating them according to their emotional impact, not any exterior scale. I'll put it out for my boys, but it's probably not plot driven enough for them. B

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