We are also listening to The Railway Children in the car. I was concerned when I picked this book that Froggy would reject it due to the language. I should not have been. After Heidi the style of English sounds almost modern. The story is about how the children manage themselves when suddenly the family must move to the country and Mother must spend all her time writing to support them since Father is now absent. The children are young and only the oldest is mature enough to get a sense of the adult problems her mother is dealing with. This is a wonderful introduction into railroads and how they work for my completely non-mechanical little girl. Edith Nesbit is a phenomenal author. We love her retellings of Shakespeare as well.
I have been on a bit of a book binge myself. In addition to the popular mind candy of The Hunger Games, I have also done some more thought provoking texts. Both pieces are set in the Chassidic community and provide very different perspectives. The first, Jerusalem Maiden is set obviously in Jerusalem but the most of the story is set in the poverty-stricken Jerusalem of the Mandate Era. The second, Unorthodox, is set in modern Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Esther, the Jerusalem Maiden, is very devout and believes strongly in the rightness of her faith and lot in light at least at the start of the book. Devorah is fighting against her heritage and community from the very start of the book. Despite the time and perspective differences, the books share some similar themes. The biggest theme is the powerlessness the main characters feel towards their situation. It has been fun talking to my friend who grew up Chabad about her perspective compared to the book. The part that sat the worst with me was the censorship and the deliberate prevention of education for both boys and girls.