Thursday, June 27, 2013

Humorous Historical Fiction

These books, each unique and wonderful in their own right, take us along with our heroes on their  boyhood adventures. Taking place during the early and mid 1900's and written in the 1950's, be forwarned that stereotypes and prejudice abound. However these all provide great opportunities for discussion and learning. I read all these books growing up and loved every one!  They are wonderful stories to share with the whole family. Both The Great Brain and Henry Huggins have wonderful audio books -- perfect for summer vacation!

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey-- Six humorous stories of a young boy growing up in a small Midwestern town.  Homer's idyllic hometown is the perfect setting for quirky characters, humorous episodes and mysterious occurances.

Soup by Robert Newton Peck-- One of my absolute favorites as a kid!  Robert Newton Peck relates his misadventures growing up with his best friend Soup on a farm in rural Vermont during the 1920's. Told from the point of view of Rob, Soup's best friend, the stories relate bad choices made and lessons learned, all with lots of humor thrown in. A great book to read aloud! For cautious parents look out for prejudice, spanking, and the boys trying smoking for the first time. The first of a series.

The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald, illustrated by Mercer Mayer-- JD must contend with his brother The Great Brain who attempts to swindle every kid in town. JD's friends and family know The Great Brain is up to no good, but never seem to be able to catch him in the act.  Hilarious stories of early frontier life in Utah. Be cautioned that issues such as drowning and suicide are dealt with in this book. They are portrayed in a matter of fact and somewhat humorous way which seems consistent with the time period when death was probably much more of a matter of fact occurrence. The first in a series.

Henry Huggins by Bevery Cleary -- Henry is the wonderful male counterpart to Beverly Cleary's timeless character Romona.  (If you have not read the Ramona series-- you must!).  Henry is his own lovable character trying to make the right choices and getting into trouble while doing just that.  With his trusty companion Ribsy at his side Henry takes on the challenges of growing up.  First in a series.

If your kids are assigned historical fiction reading this summer, you can't go wrong with anyone of these wonderful books!

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