Friday, December 26, 2008

Little Audrey by Ruth White

Here's another Newbery contender for Ruth White. And justly so. Little Audrey is the true story of White's family in 1948 when they lived in the coal mining camp of Jewel Valley, Virginia. Told in the voice of White's oldest sister, Audrey, who was 11 at the time, we hear about life in a poor mining camp. We see inside the home of a family with an alcoholic father, a mother suffering from depression brought on by the death of a baby, and the four remaining children, all daughters, and how they cope with it all. White's talent as a writer is evident in the way Audrey's vernacular descriptions and observations of her world and the people in it are childlike without being childish. She never uses the words "alcoholic" or "depression", but we clearly understand that that is what's going on. This memorable book is full of heart and soul. Maybe it will hold a place in our Newbery section here at the library.

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