Oh looky here, ANOTHER 1930’s Newbery winner about a tweenage tomboy. Don’t get me wrong, I like tomboys. All evidence points towards my daughter being one. She’s loud, rambunctious and mimics every move her big brother makes, but at some point you would think the editors of the 30’s (or at least the Newbery committee) would have said, “Umm. We’ve had a lot of these tomboy novels recently. Let’s slow it down some.” I mean I enjoyed all of the books independently, but together, they aren’t really all that unique.
That being said, I did appreciate a few things about this book. It’s a obviously a forerunner to Charlotte’s Web, one of my all time favorites. A girl saves the runt of a pig litter, raises it by hand, it goes off to win ribbons at the state fair, etc. I’m pretty sure that E.B. White had to have at least read Thimble Summer at some point.
It was short, as most of the 1930’s winners have been (a big departure from the 20’s), and that made the annoying things a bit more bearable, and the characters were all pretty likable.
Unfortunately, like Roller Skates, Caddie Woodlawn and the rest, this novel suffered from a lack of plot. Not a whole lot happens, and there was never really that much at stake. This probably would have been a two pie book, but like I said, I’m not sure if Charlotte’s Web would have ever been written without it, so I’ll give it three Newbery Pies just because of the greatness that I think it probably inspired.
Next up: 1939 Honor Book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins.