Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

April 16

on April 16, 2013

MeI spent this past weekend in the company of writers and book lovers of all descriptions. If you are interested in writing and have never been to a retreat, consider going. Heck, make your own retreat. Get a hotel room somewhere and unplug the phone. I have at least one friend who literally does this occasionally.

But I digress. I attended the 21st Annual Retreat conducted by the Eastern PA region of the SCBWI. Which, in itself, is fabulous enough. But, for the first year, it was held in the new Barn at Boyds Mills, owned and operated by the Highlights Foundation. To borrow the vernacular, OMG! Not only did Highlights treat the group like royalty, but I learned so much, wrote so much, and had a great time doing it.

I participated in the workshop conducted by Darcy Pattison, for whose website I do book reviews. I’m working on a total re-write of a middle grade novel that sat in the drawer for a couple of years. Darcy really made us work, which is a good thing. Through some of the exercises, I saw a few holes in the book, so it was completely worth the six-hour trip from my house to Honesdale.

The large group sessions were wonderful for networking, etc. The weather was not great, but that enforced the idea of staying in and working. I think I will be going again.

 

And yes, I did find time to finish reading Son. What a great book.Son

In some ways, I believe this is the best of the four in this series. “Son” is the baby Gabe from The Giver. Son begins at approximately the same time as The Giver. The reader sees Gabe’s mother (birthmother) Claire as she struggles to come to terms with being dropped as a birthmother because Gabe’s was a difficult birth. “They” forget about her, unceremoniously moving her to the fish hatchery and not helping her to reintegrate into society. She follows Gabe’s saga by volunteering at the Nurturing Center. When Jonas leaves and sends the village into chaos, Claire also leaves and finds a much different life. She struggles to recover her former life and contact with her son, finally ending up in the same village with Gabe, Jonas, and Kira.

Again, I love Lowry’s ability to show us the world she’s created through multiple perspectives. It’s not just simple points of view. She’s showing us the wall/snake/tree trunk aspects of the old story of three blind people describing the elephant. This book ends in classic struggle of good versus evil. Do you want to know which one wins and how?

Title: Son

Written by: Lois Lowry

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012

Hardcover, 393 pages

ISBN: 978-0-547-88720-3

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