Great youth books for Christmas

Here are a couple of books for the aged nine to 12 crowd, if you are still working on your Christmas list.

Summer Wild

By Kenneth William Budd

Ida B

By Katherine Hannigan

Here are a couple of books for the aged nine to 12 crowd, if you are still working on your Christmas list.

Summer Wild is the first book of a quartet featuring Buddy Williams and his summer adventures at Pelican Lake.

The author has written four books, including FallGently, Winterfree and Springrush.

First there is the “going to the lake,” which, if you ever took such a journey, is right on the money. The car is overloaded with people sitting on stacks of bedding with their legs wrapped around food boxes. Things are tied on and held on laps; everything and everyone gets to the lake.

This story contains good old fashioned family fun and a “Nan” who holds the family cabin together while parents work in town.

Buddy has two friends, Riel and Mokey, who share his adventures. He has a young sister named Pearl, and chores to do like hauling water, and a Gramps who teaches him to fish.

He’s a red head who generally gets a sunburn. This summer he meets an Indian boy, older and wiser than himself, named Joe Starblanket.

The story starts out with a swimming accident, which is told with sympathy and concern.

Mostly Buddy has a wonderful time at the lake. But he doesn’t understand when heading out the door for an adventurous day, and his Nan says, “Have fun and behave.” Even with this admonition, things happen that can’t be told to grownups.

I think this book would also appeal to adults who hearken back to 1953 and long summer days at the lake.

Note: The print is small in this book but don’t let that stop you from reading a good adventure.

Ida B … and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster and (Possibly) Save The World is a different sort of book.

Ida B is a special kind of girl, who talks to trees and the brook (and they answer her!). She’s a thinker of deep thoughts.

When she goes to school at age five, she discovers that … there is a rabbit in a cage that cannot be petted (until it was time), books that cannot be read (until it was time) and a playground full of things but no one can play (until it’s time).

This kind of school makes Ida B wilt and soon she’s doing her school at home with Mom.

But of course things don’t stay the same. The whole valley that is Ida B’s home is going to see some changes.

There are some fine lessons for getting along, and for growing up and facing reality. A gifted teacher who recognizes a special personality and sends her the right messages is part of the mix.

This book is a rare find. It’s for a young girl reader about eight or nine.

There are also some nice environmental notes from the author in the back of the book.

Katherine Hannigan also has a new book, entitled True (…sort of).

Peggy Freeman is a local freelance books reviewer.

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