Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Part of the Sky by Robert Newton Peck

With all of the new fiction books that have been published it would be easy to choose one of those books to review. I have found however that some books dealing with times gone past have many life lessons to impart.
Image result for a part of the skyPeck resumes the narrative with young Robert. Whereas when his father was alive Robert had a testy relationship with neighbor Ben Tanner, in the opening chapter of this book we see him helping said neighbor with a horse-with unfortunate results. Now that Robert assumes the role of head of household, his relationship with his neighbor changes; in some respects Mr. Tanner almost seems like a surrogate father to young Robert.

Robert, despite carrying out the lion's share of chores at home still manages to do well in school. Peck singles out teachers who take a particular interest in Robert and show empathy for his plight. In addition to his regimen of farm tasks young Robert even finds time for a little romance despite the fact that according to some of the girls, "he smells like cow."

Many of today's tweens and even those younger than that may have a very charmed life with access to phones, tablets and the like as well as parents who cater to their every whim. For them, real problems in the manner of those experienced by Robert may seem completely alien but I think that some lessons can be learned from this book-resilience, courage, hard work in particular. Those are necessary traits for anyone in any walk of life. Some other historical fiction reads are Karen Hesse's Witness and Joseph Bruchac's Code Talker.

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