Holding hands stock photo

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck has been one of my favorites from the Newbery list so far.  Set in Illinois, in 1937, it is a city-girl-goes-to-the-country story on the outside, but at the heart, it is the revelation of the remarkable person of Mary Alice’s grandmother.

The quote I like best is:

Grandma filled the door, and people looked up in alarm and surprise.  She was famous for keeping herself to herself, but she was everywhere at once, if you asked me.

This high school girl gets to know her larger-than-life grandma through a variety of experiences involving a bully, outhouses, a cat, and a grumpy old man just to name a few.  It brought to mind memories of my own remarkable, now deceased Gramy and a few of the lessons I learned from her.

  • Express yourself creatively.  Sew, garden, cook, paint, entertain…
  • Hospitality involves making people feel special.  Special foods, dishes, service…
  • Kindness can be simple.  Make “soup-for-the-sick”, visit someone, call, smile…

This would be a great out loud, family read.  And when you read it, I hope you have special thoughts of a remarkable woman in your own life, and spend time revealing her to those who don’t know her.

I leave you with another quote and ask you who comes to mind when you read it?

She knew me through and through.  She had eyes in the back of her heart.



Copyright © Gienah Beaty, bookshelfbriefs.wordpress.com, 2016.  All rights reserved.  (Image courtesy of worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)