Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Newbery Grumble

I do not WANT to read Smoky, the Cowhorse. I think I have ten Newbery books left, and I was totally going to finish by the end of summer next week, but now there's no way. It's not all Smoky's fault--it took me way longer to read Tales From Silver Lands and Dobry than it should have, just in the last few weeks--and there have been times during the summer when I took a week or so off.

But Smoky, the Cowhorse is written in DIALECT. It's by an uneducated rancher who took up writing after an injury. It's full of double negatives and spelling mistakes. It's not just dialect in the dialogue, like (if I remember correctly) Huckleberry Finn. No, the whole thing is in dialect.

Beverly Cleary has fond memories of one of her teachers reading this aloud, so I am trying to hear the voice of Beverly Cleary's teacher in my head as I read it. Pretending it's being read aloud makes it slightly more tolerable. Actually, if this was a very short book, it would even be interesting. But it's LONG.

I should be able to finish (with all the books, not just this one) by the end of September, though. Then there will be a REPORT, with STATISTICS. And I have several non-Newbery books in my stack from the library, just waiting to be read, including the sequel to Roller Skates and Hungry Planet, both of which I'm just longing to get my hands on.

Don't you love hearing me complain about things no one's making me do besides myself?

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