Father-son love is one of my favorite themes in literature, and this story plays to that strength in an unusual way. You might call it a father-son love triangle, meaning nothing kinky by it.
This 1974 Newbery Medal winner, by the author of the Newbery Honor Book One Eyed Cat, is a bitter, painful story told in hauntingly beautiful words.
The third book in the series that began with The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and continued with Runaway Ralph, takes off when Ralph befriends the son of the hotels new housekeeper. Ryan agrees to take Ralph to school with him, but things turn out as neither of them planned.
The sequel to The Mouse and the Motorcycle finds Ralph the mouse growing discontented in his hotel lobby home. His younger brothers, sisters, and cousins keep pestering him to let them ride his toy motorcycle, and his mother and uncle wont leave him alone. Finally Ralph decides to runaway to a camp whose bugle calls he can hear every morning and evening.
This book is about the friendship between a boy named Keith, who has a toy motorcycle, and a mouse named Ralph who learns to ride it.
I should have read this book 20 years ago. This story about a lonely boy, learning to live with his parents divorce, going to a new school where he has no friends, and making his first efforts as a writer, won the Newbery Medal in 1984–the year my parents split up. In lots of ways, its like reading the story of my life; but obviously it isnt about me, and the poignancy of the story isnt just in my head, or it wouldnt have earned the recognition it did.
I know a Christian man–I am not sure I would call him a good Christian man, but I wont deny that he is a sincere one–who raised his sons forbidding them to own or read books about magic, mythology, or science fiction. He was so strict about it that when one of his sons (who rather liked sci-fi and fantasy) went out of town for the summer, he raided the boys bedroom and threw out all his books. The same son later turned down a dying uncles offer to inherit a large library of imaginative fiction, because he knew his father wouldn’t let him keep it in the house. And it may be the same son again who, later in life, would only read non-fiction because he had developed an aversion to any book that wasn’t true.
Trey is very protective of his sensitive, mute little brother, Lou. They live with their grandparents on an outer island of the Bahamas, from which they often cross to an uninhabited isle to look at shells, birds, and fish. But now Long Pond Cay is threatened by powerful developers who want to build a hotel and casino on the spot and spoil all the beauty and life that is there.
This book is the winner of the 1954 Newbery medal which, along with Onion John, makes its author one of the few two-time winners of the American Library Associations highest honor for childrens literature. Like many of its fellow medalists, this story is set in a culture that is different from most American readers. This probably has less to do with the hispanic background of its characters and more to do with the culture of shepherds and people who make their living almost entirely from the soil.
It took me a long time to catch on to this series of cult favorites. The first time I was aware of it was when I knew a couple of weird guys in high school who treated these philosophical, sci-fi spoof novels as their religious scriptures. That kind of turned me off. Then I got hold of the books in college and had such a good time reading them, my roommate thought I was weird. I actually fell out of my chair laughing.