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Arthur, For the Very First Time

by Patricia MacLachlan

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532434,925 (3.66)3
Arthur spends a summer with his unconventional aunt and uncle and begins to look at life, his family, and himself differently.
1980s (280)

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Showing 4 of 4
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Arthur's parents are having problems, so he winds up at his great-aunt and uncle's farm for the summer. He meets a chicken that responds to commands in French, sees a pregnant pig that likes being serenaded in song by Arthur's great-uncle, meets a neighborhood girl who calls him "Mouse".

And then things get interesting.

Cute story, with Arthur learning more about himself than he ever though of before. ( )
  fuzzi | Jun 27, 2019 |
Arthur Rasby is ten years old and having the worst summer of his life. His parents don't listen to him, so he writes everything down -- everything that's real -- in his journal. But when he goes to stay with his Great-Aunt Elda and Great-Uncle Wrisby on their farm, his world is turned upside down. For the first time Arthur wonders what's real and what's not.

His aunt and uncle do things Arthur's parents would never do -- like climbing out windows to sit in trees, singing to their pet pig, and speaking French to a pet chicken. Life on the farm happens much too fast to write down -- sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible. Arthur begins to understand there is more than one way of seeing and doing and loving. And he realizes there's a whole world just waiting to be discovered. From Amazon ( )
  BookMystique | Apr 16, 2013 |
Arthur is 10 years old and has maintained a writing journal since he was seven. He knows his mum is going to have a baby, but he's not been told. Instead he is shipped off for the summer to stay with Great-Aunt Elda and Great-Uncle Wrisby. They have a most unusual pet chicken called Pauline who only answers to the French language. Arthur is fascinated by his new abode. "The house was a book, and Uncle Wrisby and Aunt Elda the characters." He's asked to make a list of what he doesn't like to eat, and he's given a wonderful room at the top of the house -- a room with a view -- as well as a pair of binoculars (Uncle Wrisby's equivalent of Arthur's journal writing). How you can look through either end particularly fascinates him. Aunt Elda shows him the mockingbird -- and recites Randall Jarrell's poem about the mockingbird, which explores what is real and what is not.

Arthur feels excitement for the very first time. He learns to look at life close up and to consider whether it's more important to do or to say/write in life. Moira, a young girl neighbor who reminds him of a starling, is a do-er. She calls him Mouse -- until the very end of the book, when he proves his capability by delivering the piglets of Wrisby's pig Bernadette. Then she calls him Arthur for the very first time.

Arthur also learns to look at his parents in a new way -- and after avoiding reading their letters, he opens them.
  UWC_PYP | Jan 29, 2008 |
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