Friday, July 26, 2013

Literary Tourism - Maine

Recently, I watched a series chronicling one's journey through the 50 states.  Someday I would like to boast that I have done the same, but that day is not today.  It caused me to wonder if I have read books set in each of the fifty states.  I'm fairly sure that I haven't.  I thought it would be fun to blog about the books that I have read however.

My journey through each state is not meant to be a complete bibliography, but more a few interesting finds,  My criteria is limited, but I would like to find books where a) setting is vital (more than just a stereotypical school setting that happens to be in a suburb of Boston), but not overwhelmingly stereotypical of the location (i.e. "Look we're eating lobster because that's what Mainahs do ALL THE TIME.")

We're going to start in Maine for obvious reasons, but I plan to travel in no particular order.


Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney - This book is in my top five favorite picture books of all time.  It's about a lady who travels around Maine spreading lupine seeds thus making the world a more beautiful place.  Cooney's stunning illustrations truly do make the world a more beautiful place.

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt - This historical novel is not the most flattering to Maine history.  It tells the story of Malaga Island which was home to an interracial group from about the time of the Civil War until 1911.  Other Mainers drove them away from the island and put both children and adults into a sanitarium in order to develop the land for tourists.  Yeah, not Maine's finest moment.  But the book is well-written with excellent characters.  

As I said this is not comprehensive.  I didn't include a single rural horror novel.  Stay tuned for more to come.

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