I had Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright on our “to read” list for last spring as we finished up with our second year of American History studies, but somehow we never got around to reading it. So, this was an easy choice for a 1930’s award winner for the Newbery Through the Decades Challenge in February.
Thimble Summer was a book I could have easily handed over to Miss M for a quick read, but it was also an enjoyable book to read together. Like other of Enright’s books we’ve read (The Saturdays, Gone Away Lake), the story is gentle and focuses on episodic adventures of children who seem like “ordinary kids” in many ways. Thimble Summer takes place in the 1930s and relates the incidents in one girl’s life over the course of the summer after she finds what she believes to be a lucky thimble.
A friend recently told me how she just doesn’t understand what I (and other friends) see in books like this. “They’re pretty boring,” was essentially what she told me. If you are looking for edge-of-your-seat excitement, this definitely won’t be your cup of tea. But, Miss M and I both find very enjoyable to read about what life might have been like for a nine year old girl in a different era — when no security system would immediately betray the presence of two girls locked into the library after hours, and a trip alone to big town down the road (via bus and hitchhiking) would not result in a call to the police.
Thimble Summer would make a great addition to a historical fiction reading list for 20th century American History, or just an enjoyable read for anyone who likes sweet, true-to-life stories.