Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wacky Wednesday: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Today is Reading on the Beach's A-Z Wednesday, with W the starring letter. Every week bloggers are invited to spotlight a book starting with the letter of the week. You show the cover, tell the title, give a synopsis, and post a link. Just to be annoying, I like to actually read (sometimes just finish) the book on that day, so I include my little review. Makes things more interesting. Then I sign up on her page to see what everyone else came up with.

I really wanted to pick a library book, because I am extremely over-extended. I'm tired of having my reading dictated by what is due tomorrow. To express my frustration, I went by the library the other day to drop something off and accidentally picked up six more books. So I'm ignoring the mountains of books I own and concentrating on the library. Luckily I had a few books I've happy to drop everything and devour. For example, Ellen Emerson White's Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

I'm a huge fan of E.E. White, having been hooked on her President's Daughter books. She writes about families that are sarcastic and high achieving, and I am sarcastic and admire people who achieve. So I've been chasing down all her other books, and only recently found she had written two Dear America books. This is my first, the diary of Molly Mackenzie Flaherty, a high school junior in 1967 whose brother just shipped off to Vietnam. (I'm getting his diary next.)

Molly wants to understand what is going on in Vietnam -- she supports her brother but isn't sure she supports the politicians. She pushes against the restrictions of her school, which has limitations on what girls are supposed to do. She lives in Boston, and has a good view of the Beautiful People (hippies) and other protesters in the Commons. And she wants to do something, anything, and ends up volunteering in a V.A. hospital and helping out in a ward full of young amputees. And the letters from her brother keep her worried about what is happening on the other side of the world.

I liked this historical book -- as I read it, I forgot that it was supposed to be an educational trip through the sixties; things seemed to happen because they were part of Molly's life (as a contrast to the Civil War book I just read), not just because I had to know something else about the period. And I had a strong feeling that White's other books have hooks back here -- I'm pretty sure Molly shows up in All Emergencies, Ring Super. I love tracing back those kind of connections. B+


Anonymous said...

I love the 60's. I might have to read this one! I also like the song by the same name.

Kristen said...

This sounds like it was good. I don't know children's lit well enough to search out specific authors so I like that you do and can tell me where I might want to look. :-)