Thimble Summer
Elizabeth Enright
1938
Newbery Medal

Thimble Summer is the delightful tale of young Garnet and her friend Citronella. Both are farm girls in a small community. Chapters are somewhat episodic in nature with a gentle plot running throughout the book. Garnet finds a silver thimble early one summer, and this seems to change the course of events. Much needed rain comes, Garnet and Citronella get locked in the town’s library, Garnet attempts to hitchhike, they visit a big fair, and Garnet raises a prize pig. In addition to this, Garnet and her brother Jay weather some storms in their relationship, and they get a new addition to their family: young Eric who has hitchhiked across the country. Mr. Freebody keeps tabs on Garnet, making sure she doesn’t get into trouble, and everyone ends the book happily.

This book is dated in style and may seem too tame to some young readers today. However, it’s a wonderful, gentle read, and the farm setting often appeals to young readers. Fans of Charlotte’s Web and similar books will no doubt enjoy this one, too. In addition, fans of other books from the ’30’s (such as Roller Skates) will enjoy the pacing of this story.

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