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Roller Skates: 03/18/12

cover art

Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer won the 1937 Newbery Award. I can't recall if the award is why I added it to my wishlist or if someone specifically recommended it to me.

The book description makes the book sound like a magical adventure. Lucinda gets a year to live with forward thinking Miss Peters where she can roller skate to school, talk with the local beat cop and cabbie and even play in the street with the local boys. The execution, though, is not so magical. Maybe the book is just feeling dated.

The reason Lucinda is living with Miss Peters is that her parents have decided to go on a year long tour of Europe. It's nearly the same excuse that's given to get Kendra and Seth to the fairy reserve in Fablehaven but there, it was only for two weeks, not a full year. As a parent I can't imagine leaving my children for an entire year. As a child I would have been pissed off to miss a chance to travel the world. Roller skating in New York wouldn't have been an adequate substitute.

Once that odd start is brushed aside the book settles into an L. M. Montgomery-esque series of episodes. Time does pass but there seemed to be less emphasis on Lucinda's so called adventures than I had expected from the description. Instead, it seems that Lucinda quickly settles into chapters about her domestic life in the city.

Two stars

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