Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (and Review!): Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech. 165 p. Joanna Cotler Books/ HarperCollins, September 11, 2018. 9780062570703. (Review of arc courtesy of publisher.)

A new book by Sharon Creech is an automatic purchase for me. I heard about Saving Winslow a while back and thought I'd feature it in a "Waiting on Wednesday" post. Then I was able to grab the last arc on the table at the HarperCollins booth at ALAAC18! Lucky me. I started reading it at my last breakfast in New Orleans. Beignets on the Riverwalk!

I finished it later that day, at the airport and posted this comment to FB and Twitter:

And, it IS perfect! From it's first lines, 

In the laundry basket on the kitchen floor was a lump
     "Another dead thing?" Louis asked.
     "Not yet," his father said.

which reminded me of another fantastic and memorable first line, "Where's papa going with that ax?", to the final, goosebumps-inducing lines, which I will leave for you to discover. Along the way are short chapters featuring endearing characters and small moments that are brilliantly written. 

Louie lives with his parents in town. Uncle Pete, Louie's father's friend lives on a small farm outside of town. Somehow Louie's father ends up disposing of small tragedies from the farm. This little lump of a mini-donkey isn't dead though and Louie decides he's going to make sure that this trembling, pitiful thing doesn't die. Louie does not have the best of luck saving animals; but he decides that this time will be different. He recalls how he himself was born small and needed care in an incubator while he grew strong.

Louie is a thoughtful, gentle soul. He misses his brother, Gus, greatly and looks forward to Gus' short letters home. Gus is serving overseas in the Army. He has a best friend in Mack, who is a year or two older than Louis and whose father owns the feedstore. New neighbors move nearby and the two meet sister, Nora and Claudine. Mack falls instantly in love with Claudine. It takes Louie a little longer to warm up to Nora, who is a bit of a downer.

In 165 pages, Sharon Creech has created a setting and characters so vivid, I feel I should be able to walk to town and sit on Louie's porch. Saving Winslow will have wide appeal, from fans of Sharon Creech to reluctant readers, who will be treated to accessible literary gold. If you're like me, you've pre-ordered Saving Winslow the moment you heard of it. If not, drop it into your shopping cart now. It's a first purchase.

It's perfect.

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