Monday, August 20, 2012
Modern Day Laura Ingalls. Do You Know Her?
Pamela Tracy here and I've got a question for you.
So, here's the scenario.
I'm taking an online children's literature class and right now I'm putting together a unit with the theme "Female Adolescents' Roles Throughtout the Ages." It's not nearly as boring as it sounds. See, I've started with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her books represent growing up rural in the late 1800's through early 1900's. We're looking at great stuff, like churning butter and lots of migrating. We're comparing and contrasting Pa in the book and Pa in the television series - sometimes Michael Landon overshadowed Melissa Gilbert (opinion here). Etc. Biographical.
Then, we're looking at the Grandma's Attic series. These books, I think, are the christian publishers' secret. They're wonderful and hardly anyone has heard of them. The books are about a young girl who often visits with her grandmother Mabel and always finds something, usually in the attic, that causes her to get a story about grandma's youth. We still have churning, but only for the first few. These take Mabel through the early 1900's to mid 1900's. We get the arrival of the telephone to small towns and living in just one place, a farm but close to town, all your life. We'll be making a quilt in class. This book is faction. Lots of biography, the author's childhood, mixed in with fiction for what she can't remember.
Then, we're doing Ramona by Beverly Clearly. This is mid 1900's. We will read the exploits and talk about urbanization and having a boy for a best friend. We will not the role of the television - almost non existant - and how going out to eat is a real treat. We will write the author (still alive and in her 90's) and then we will interview mothers, aunts, friends to to do comparisons. While these are pure fiction, they're written in a believable and not sensationalist manner.
Here's my dilemma. I can't think of a young girl's series for the late 1900's to early 2000's. So, I'm turning to you. Can you think of one? The Princess Dairies are too fanciful. I need stories that the girls identify with. I need there to be 6 - 8 books in the series.