Here’s the Leave it to Beaver type book that I was expecting from the 50’s. I think that in 1952, Ginger Pye was a good book. I think that if Estes submitted it for publication today, it would probably be edited down to about half its current size, and if that happened it would probably be a really good book. (This is an improvement, because most of the winners I’ve read up to this point would probably have been rejected completely for publication.) We just didn’t need quite so many reminisces from the kids that were completely unrelated to the plot.
I liked the characters, especially Rachel, who I thought was the roundest, best thought out character. I think the novel might have been better told completely from her point of view. It’s clear that Estes understood kids. I loved it when Rachel quits going to Girl Scouts because her first meeting caused her to miss the Aurora Borealis because she’s afraid it might happen again. I liked the overall story, even if the ending was kind of predictable. It was sweet.
The illustrations though. Seriously. Estes should have found a friend with a talent for sketching to help her.
I give it 3 out of f5 Newbery pies