Thimble Summer | Elizabeth Enright
Awards: Newbery Medal
For Garnet Linden, life on the farm is hard. It’s always been hard. During the hottest summer Garnet can remember—while the barn is falling down, crops are dying, and the bills keep piling up—she finds a silver thimble that seems to change everything. Things start changing for the better and readers follow Garnet and her family on a delightful journey of a glorious summer of good luck. In simple, delightful language, Enright takes her readers back in time to simpler times, innocent pleasures, and childlike adventure that makes summer the best time of the year.
I love books that teach, not preach. Thimble Summer has no grand agenda or shining overarching theme. It doesn’t take your breath away with it’s brilliant plot twists. Rather it washes over you with enduring simplicity. It’s a teaching book because readers get to sink themselves in the experience of the Great Depression, and what it meant to have a little good luck after years and years of struggle. That, to me, is a lesson well worth learning. The bounty of the 21st Century often hides the wonder of the rewards of a long and hard struggle; Thimble Summer uncovers this wonder and gives it back to readers of all ages.
In the spirit of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web or Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, Thimble Summer transports you back in time to the wide open spaces of a Wisconsin farm during the latter days of the Great Depression. The language and descriptions are a delight, perfectly executed from the first chapter to the last. Thimble Summer is a simple book with simple pleasures and adventures that explores the value of family, history, and love. Like the short and sweet days of summer, this book is a brief but wonderful swim in a world few of us know but all of us should carry inside our souls.