Monday, September 19, 2016

Emily's Runaway Imagination

Emily's Runaway Imagination. Beverly Cleary. 1961. 288 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: The things that happened to Emily Bartlett that year!

Premise/plot: Emily Bartlett is the heroine of Beverly Cleary's Emily's Runaway Imagination. Emily has many adventures or misadventures, many of which center around the formation of the first public library in her town. I would categorize the book as historical fiction. Reference is made to a world war, and, I think it may even be the first world war. One of the adventures involves Emily's grandpa getting a car. And having a car is a novelty in their town. Most people either walk, ride horses, drive a horse and wagon.

My thoughts: I really LOVE this one. If I read this one growing up, I only read it once. It's even possible this is one we didn't own. It took me so long to get to it as an adult because the local library doesn't have a copy of it. I bought this battered copy of it at my local charity shop for a quarter.

Favorite quotes:
"There are still books left to choose from," answered Mama.
And there were! Just think of it, real library books right here in Pitchfork, Oregon. The Dutch Twins, the Tale of Jemima Puddleduck--what a tiny book that was! Emily had not known they made such little books. The Curly-Haired Hen, English Fairy Tales. But no Black Beauty. Oh, well, perhaps another time. Emily chose English Fairy Tales because it was the thickest, and Mama wrote her name on a little card that she removed from a pocket in the book. Emily now had a library book to read. (117)
"Ma'am, is it all right if I get some books for my family?" he asked.
Mama smiled at the boy. "I don't believe I have seen you in Pitchfork before. Do you live in the country?"
"No, ma'am. I live in Greenvale," he answered. "We read about the library in the Pitchfork Report and I walked down the railroad track to see if we could get some books too."
"Why, that's at least four miles," said Mama, "and four miles back again."
The boy looked at the floor. "Yes ma'am."
"Of course you may take books for your family," said Mama. This boy wanted to read. That was enough for her. It made no difference where he lived. (118)

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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