I finished Dobry by Monica Shannon (Newbery Medal winner from 1935) last week and thoroughly enjoyed this story, which is set in a peasant village in the mountains of Bulgaria. Dobry is a young boy who lives with his mother and grandfather, their lives richly interwoven with those of the other members of their community and with the rhythms of the seasons. The book doesn’t have the plot-driven excitement of some more modern children’s books (wizards and Greek gods and battles to save the world and such), but as a reader, I found the seasonal traditions and local folktales of Dobry’s world both charming and absorbing. As Dobry grows up, he finds that he has both a talent and a passion for art, something that is quite unexpected for a young man in his rural village of farmers and craftsmen. His efforts to find a way to follow his dreams while also remaining connected to and a part of his community really resonated for me, and I think they would for a lot of older children starting to think about their place in the world as well.
This week I am continuing with my project to read all of the Newbery Medalists in order by reading Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, winner of the Newbery Medal for 1936. So far, I’m really enjoying it — I’ll provide a more thorough review when I’ve finished it. I’m also reading Knitting Rules: The Yarn Harlot’s Bag of Knitting Tricks by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, which is such a fun read!
There’s not much exciting to see on the knitting front just yet this week, since I haven’t had a good chance to take a picture of the 80% finished secret birthday project for my daughter (Shhhhhh! Don’t tell, but it’s the Gryffindor Year One House Scarf from Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel!) and the other two projects I have started are just in the very beginning stages.
While volunteering at a living history event at Duke Homestead this past weekend, I started knitting a pair of socks for my husband (pattern from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, which I checked out from our local library). This is my first pair of socks in a long time and the only previous complete pair of socks that I’ve knit were baby socks. I’m hoping, though, that this will be the start of a lot of sock knitting since it seems like such a portable and practical thing to knit (and since I have a lot of sock yarn sitting around waiting to be knit!). I’m also working on a brown cashmere blend acorn baby hat (pattern available at Homegrown Happy) to go with the brown/green/gold Baby Surprise Jacket.