As part of my Newbery Challenge I recently read Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright.
The book tells a great story about two cousins and their summer explorations. One of the cousins is a girl who is visiting for the summer from the city and the other is a boy who lives where they are visiting.
The characters in the book come to life due to the great narration by the author. The setting for the book is a rural area of western New York which was at one time a bustling lake community.
The lake has dried up and turned into a bog and most of the houses have been abandoned except for two of them owned by eccentric siblings. The cousins explore the remnants of this gone-away community and have a lot of fun along the way.
As I read the book and saw the illustrations there was something about them that was familiar. I had to look and see what other books Beth and Joe Krush had illustrated. I already had a thought that they had illustrated The Borrowers series by Mary Norton, and my thought was correct.
As is often the case while reading through the Newbery books, I often run across sequels or other books in series that I need to read. When I found out that there was a sequel I requested it right away.
The sequel was just as good as the first book and continued the adventure of the cousins and their families. In the sequel the family from the city restore a large Victorian house in the Gone-Away Lake community. They have many adventures as they explore the fascinating old home and find treasures along the way.
I will end with a little bit about the author. As I learned more about Elizabeth I was surprised that she was not the one illustrating the books. Elizabeth also worked as an illustrator and both of her parents worked in illustration related fields.
Walter J. Enright was a political cartoonist and her mother Maginel illustrated books and magazines.
Elizabeth Enright also had a very famous uncle. Her mother was the younger sister of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Enright won the 1939 Newbery Medal for her book Thimble Summer which was influenced by memories of spending time on her uncle’s farm.
I now need to find copies of the other books she wrote as I really enjoyed the ones I have read so far.
Have you read any of her books?