Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (2006)


a good friend recently passed me some books to clear some space on her shelves for new ones and oh, how we all need to do that every once and a while, eh?  Every once and a while my hubby will point out the fact that one pile of books or another is on the verge of tipping over and can I please unload a few of them?!  I try to sort my shelves once and a while and get rid of anything that I wouldn't read twice.

Passing the book along to someone sure to love it is a much less painful way to purge the overburdened shelves.  And this book really hit the spot for me!

Generally speaking, I have a hard time buying in to a middle aged anglo-saxon male writing in the voice of a black teen aged girl from a remote island, but Jones does a pretty good job of pulling it off.  Mister Pip is about one classroom full of kids who's world is expanded by the reading of "Mr. Dickens" Great Expectations - and the profound effect that this book has on the eccentric teacher Mr Watts, his students - Matilda, the narrator, in particular, their parents and the local events of the civil war.   Remember we talked at a book club one January about books that changed your life?  Mr. Pip is an example of how a book can change lives - and communities - and the power of language and imagination.   Highly recommended!

 Favorite line: “no one told us kids to look there (in a book) for a friend. Or that you could slip inside the skin of another. Or travel to another place..”  Ah yes, THAT is what a good book is all about!

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