Reading has been challenging for me for a number of reasons. I feel slow moving into summer reading, and am accepting it. The grading load I have in the summer might be the key variable of the moment.
I was going to post zero books, but at least got through the first three chapters of Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski. It is a YA novel based in rural Florida and Strawberry Girl refers to Birdie, a newcomer kid from Marion County ‘up north’. Her family is meant to grow oranges and strawberries– the neighbors, the Slaters, let their horse roll in the new plants since they were drying up. The Slaters discourage growing plants and say that the land is only good for cattle. Birdie is a strong character and is clearly on her way to tending this land with her folks.
The Slaters are aggressive towards the new family, The Boyers, and think they are far too fancy to have joined the neighborhood. Birdie makes it to school for the first time and is enjoying herself tremendously when two of the Slater boys show up and beat the teacher to a pulp. The end of chapter three reads, “So they all went home. There was no school on the morrow, nor for many days and weeks thereafter, because the Slater boys had whipped the teacher. The first day of school for Birdie proved to be the last one for a long time.”
Those last lines feel all too familiar right now.
PS- The illustrations inside Strawberry Girl are wonderful. I’ll have to take a few photos to share!