Friday, January 16, 2015

Possibles by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

I had a little spare time this morning so I thought I would just start this book - planning to continue reading it later tonight. Have you guessed what happened? Yes in just over an hour I had read the whole book and YES it is that good!

This is another old book in our school library and another of the books I bought home to read this summer.  The cover of Possibles has always appealed to me but I am not sure why I had never picked it up to read.  I am putting an alternate cover below.

Sheppy (Mary Sheppard Lee) is grieving the recent loss of her beloved father who has died.  Instead of heading off to Summer camp, Sheepy needs to work to add to the meagre incomes of her mother and brother.  Sheppy goes to work "lady sitting" a young woman who has a badly broken leg and and a nasty temperament. Constance seems uncommunicative and is only interested in watching boring after television serials.  Sheppy, however, is a resourceful girl and she manages to break down the walls with delicious food and the sharing of a good book.

"Sheppy hummed to herself as she toasted two slices of wheat bread and spread one with mayonnaise.  She carefully put pieces of chicken on the mayonnaise side, then two slices of tomato, some lettuce, and the top piece of toasts.  She put the sandwich on a plate and cut it in half, point to point like her Mama always did.  It looked a little lonely all by itself. Needed something on the side."

Sheppy does have two very good friends but Tess has gone to camp and Parker has moved away. 

Her father gave Sheppy two terrific gifts - his poetry and a love of reading.  He has created the Everlasting Reading List.  They add new books and cross off the ones they have read.  It is a list that can go on forever but sadly Sheppy has not been able to add new titles since her father died.  Her mother and brother seem unable or unwilling to talk about Papa but this conversation is so vital if the family want to move on with their lives.

PossiblesPossibles opens with a moving poem by the late Shel Silverstein

Listen to the mustn'ts, child,
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts
The impossible, the won'ts
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me -
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.

Kirkus describe Possibles as poignant, lovely and lyrical.  You might also enjoy Bird.

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