Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Elijah of Buxton
I have not yet read this year’s Newbery Medal winner, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! but it must be a phenomenal book to have beaten Christopher Paul Curtis’, Elijah of Buxton. There are certainly enough superlatives about this book already circulating. I will only add an observation. Curtis’ knack for distilling the wisdom of ages and the lessons of life into a formula for young readers is simply superb! Reading Elijah’s experiences and his estimation of them is like returning to childhood, with all its innocence and honesty. The lessons learned in Elijah of Buxton will stick with the reader for a lifetime. As in The Watsons Go to Birmingham, the more horrific parts of history play a peripheral role to that of the central characters, creating books that are as entertaining as they are educating. Elijah is a winning, likable and believable character. This book had me laughing out loud, as well as crying.