books aren’t just what we do, they’re who we are

Not-So-Recent-Reads: The Chestry Oak

chestryoakAs some of you might have seen, there’s an article or such on me in the latest issue of Writers Digest, in which I talk about one of my all-time favorite books, The Chestry Oak. Very few people seem to have ever heard of this title — the author, Kate Seredy, is much more known for her Newbery Honor book The Good Master and her Newbery Award winner The White Stag.

But I loved The Chestry Oak as a child, and it holds a place of honor not just on my bookshelves, but in my heart.

Today I got an email from a woman who also loved The Chestry Oak, and wrote (minor spoiler):

The part I wanted to reread most of all was Michael’s conversation with his father and Nana, the one where mention of his mother led Michael to recall a shattered figurine, which had been a beautiful woman but was dirty and hollow inside. That was the first book I ever read as a child that suggested that a parent could be less than perfect. I never forgot that image, and I never forgot the planting of the chestry oak seedling at Michael’s new home in New York.

Thanks for bringing back memories of a terrific book from my childhood.

I’m so grateful to Mary for reminding me again how much this book meant to me. I blogged about it before, but I think the readership of my blog has likely changed some in the last two years, so I’ll pose the question again — in a slightly different way for any of my devoted followers.

What book did you adore as a child or teen that caused you to become a pusher of that author’s works on others? Also, or alternatively, what book does it surprise you that most people — even devoted readers of kid lit — haven’t heard about?

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