Letting Swift River Go

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9780316968997: Letting Swift River Go

A little girl who watched her town become a watery wilderness explains how the government flooded entire towns of Western Massachusetts to create the Quabbin Reservoir.

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About the Author:

Jane Yolen is the author of a great number of books for young readers, including How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight. Among her many awards are a Caldecott Medal, a Caldecott Honor, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, and the World Fantasy Award. She is also a poet and teacher of writing and literature.

From Publishers Weekly:

Like Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House and the Provensens' Shaker Lane , this felicitous marriage of text and art portrays the impact of modernization on one community. Yolen's gently poetic text tells how the young Sally Jane witnesses the forming of the Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts and, thereby, the unavoidable drowning of her Swift River valley town. Gradually the streets she traveled and the homes she played in are covered by water for the hungry city's (Boston's) needs. Since young readers caring about Sally Jane will see this plight through her eyes, they are sure to grasp the plot's historical relevance. But the author is telling more than a personal or even a regional story here. Sally Jane's mother's words at the book's end, recalled when the girl and her father are in a boat on the now-filled reservoir--"You have to let them go, Sally Jane"--speak wisely to all of us about our pasts. (These words touchingly echo the mother's earlier admonition regarding trapped fireflies.) Despite the somewhat uninspired jacket painting, Cooney's charmingly detailed, childlike and colorful art is the perfect choice for this New England tale. Children will be captivated by her perspective of earlier days, when kids played mumblety-pegsic and walked to school on scenic country roads. A stirring and resonant book. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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