I was feeling puny this morning, what with the current rain event which makes me ache from the nape of my neck to the soles of my feet, plus my arthritic fingers would not cooperate. I got off to a rocky start this morning with one bad thing happening after the other. It reminded me of Alexander’s no-good, horrible, bad day. LOL Because of this, I did not write my recommendation this a.m.
Instead, please accept this excerpt from the best grades 5-8 book I have read since serving as a Cybil’s judge a couple of years ago.
On her way to the United Sates during the Mexican Revolution, after meeting Pancho Villa’s soldiers, and meeting a woman general, Petra guides her family towards a bridge they need to cross. It stands between them and the town where they are to take a train to the international bridge separating Mexico and the United States–their destination. A huge storm threatens to ruin their plans.
” …we were at the start of the bridge.
The harrowing winds blew so strong it seemed to be raining sideways. Gusts whipped our hair into our faces and bumped us against each other…Abuelita (her grandmother) tapped my shoulder…’We’re going to have to crawl,’ she said.”
Petra puts her little sister on her back, tells her to hang on, and ties her baby brother to her grandmother’s back.
“The bridge was a ladder of wooden crossties with gaps wide enough for a person to fall through. The splinters in them snagged my skirt and dug into my hands and knees…Amelia’s legs squeezed into my sides, and her arms, clamping around my neck, made it hard to breathe. Every time the wind threatened to push us over, I held on to the crosstie until my knuckles hurt. Slow as a snail, I crawled inch by inch, looking back every so often to make sure Abuelita was still behind me.”
Scenes as scary as this one fill the book, and tell the story of how the author’s great grandmother came to the U.S. This is historical fiction at its very best.