A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz. (Grades 5-8)
Hmmm. Laura Amy Schlitz. Where have I heard that name before? Hmmm. OH RIGHT, she won the 2008 Newbery! Well. Not only did she win the Newbery, but her historical novel, A Drowned Maiden's Hair, is nominated for a 2009 Caudill award. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see it on the Caudill list because I really enjoyed it. Here's what I wrote when I read it a year ago:
"Maud Mary Flynn is a scrappy little orphan living in an Asylum in the early 20th century. Maud knows that she's a bad girl, too rambunctious and stubborn to be of much interest to potential adoptive parents. And when Hyacinth Hawthorne overhears her singing and offers to adopt her, no one is more shocked than Maud herself. She's quite happy to leave the overcrowded, dirty asylum behind and start her new life with the glamorous Hawthorne sisters. But Maud discovers that her new life has some strange twists, like the fact that they all must keep Maud's existence a secret and the fact that her beloved Hyacinth leaves for weeks at a time without even writing to say she misses her new daughter. As time goes on, Maud unravels the truth and finds out why the Hawthorne sisters didn't want to adopt a little girl, they needed to. And Maud must determine whether she has the courage to stand up for what she knows is right.
I couldn't put this book down! Maud's a very likeable and spunky character. It reminded me a tiny bit of Flowers in the Attic, but much less gruesome. Great characters and though it was long, I didn't think that it dragged."
I must admit that I have a weakness for books set in the early 20th century. I love 'em. And I loved this one, too. And I'm not the only one who loved it... Check out rave reviews at bookshelves of doom, Fuse #8, and The Edge of the Forest, PLUS, it won the 2006 Cybil for Middle Grade Fiction! If that isn't enough recommendation, I don't know what to tell you.
(And this had nothing to do with the book, but I wanted to let you know that I'm escaping the Chicagoland winter storms of DOOM and heading down to sunny Florida for the next couple of days... yes, be jealous of me!! So, no posts for the next couple of days.)