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Autumn Street by Lois Lowry

Autumn Street

by Lois Lowry

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When reading this lovely, poignant tale, I was reminded of why Lois Lowry is one of my favorite authors. She writes with such magical images, and tugs at the heart without punching feelings. She is a soft writer who paints lovely pictures with poignancy and clarity. There is a large element of magic realism in her character development.

Told from the perspective of precocious six year old Elizabeth who is a child of strong feelings and opinions. We learn that her father is sent off to WWII and she, her mother and her sister move to live on Autumn Street with her maternal grandparents. While living in Pennsylvania, she develops a very special relationship with Tatie, the family cook, and with Tatie's grandson Charles.

Elizabeth and Charles bond as childhood friends, filling a special need in each other.
Curious, Elizabeth does not understand why Charles and Tatie have to enter and leave the house through the back door. While Elizabeth vows she will marry Charles one day, slowly she learns the terrible truth of racism and bigotry.

The relationship with Charles' grandmother is incredibly beautiful. Sadly, on a cold winter day when Elizabeth and Charles use her new sled and venture into the woods at the end of Autumn Street, Elizabeth's protected life is deeply, forever changed.

Highly recommended!!!
  Whisper1 | Sep 5, 2015 |
Found discarded in a "free books" bin, this was sweet serendipity, as it's by far the best book I've read this year. Lowry made me fall in love with Elizabeth immediately. I adored her innocence and her developing insight, and Lowry's imagery delighted me and sometimes broke my heart. For example, after describing 3 spinsters, one being a woman who was once engaged but never married, she wonders if the other two "were jealous of Philippa and her diamond ring that still, after so many years, sparkled the way wet spiderwebs did in sunshine." Wow. I pondered how apt that comparison is for a while. Definitely made me cry, made me think, and along with Liz, I discovered truths about human nature that I hadn't taken the time to see before. The novel felt To Kill A Mockingbirdesque, and even though it was grief-inducing (and I hadn't expected it), this novel touched me the way I yearn for in a book. However, I recommend it only to older teens and adults; I think much of it would be lost on a younger audience. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440403448, Paperback)

Elizabeth is forced to grow up when her father goes to fight in World War II. Her family moves in with her grandfather, and a special friend is struck by tragedy.

An ALA Notable Children's Book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When her father goes to fight in World War II, Elizabeth goes with her mother and sister to her grandfather's house where she learns to face up to the always puzzling and often cruel realities of the adult world.

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