Saturday, June 28, 2014

First of the Flops

Every now and then I stumble upon a book I did not enjoy as much as other people did. To me they are flops, where as most people are like "Oh my gosh! I love this book!" And then they act all excited, and start quoting or fantasizing about it. (This applies mostly to One Direction books, which really aren't literature, and I don't read those, but let's not get off-topic)

I found my first flop when I was reading last year's Reading Club's list, and usually the books on them are good. Well, this time a book wasn't working the magic for me. I enjoy pretty much any book I pick up, ranging from nonfiction to pumped up fairy tales, so a book I don't like is practically impossible. And The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson did the impossible.

Ms Kanagawa's story begins in the workshop of Master Tatsuhiko. She is the last doll Master is going to for the rest of his life, and one of the first dolls to touch the hearts of girls from Japan to America during the Great Depression

First stop: New York City
Bunny is supposed to give the speech to introduce the dolls at the Opening Ceremony, but the heir of President Roosevelt takes her place. Bunny had practiced so much in the warmth of her mansion, and at school, to earn her dignity back. At the Ceremony, Bunny seeks revenge by dropping an object on the stage to distract Belle Roosevelt from finishing her speech. The plan seems perfect, until a voice speaks inside her head to not drop the item. The voice of Ms Kanagawa.

At the Chicago World's Fair, Lois, has gotten to go by the skin of her teeth. She had been invited by her Aunt Eunice. Her aunt has interests in drinking tea and looking at dolls, and Lois is the exact opposite, being interested in airplanes and Amelia Earhart. She couldn't go with her dad anyway. They were too poor to pay. When Lois'aunt drags her into the new Japanese doll exhibit, a particular doll keeps talking in her mind. Ms Kanagawa tells her to use her quarter to buy something for Mable, her Lois' best friend, who could not come, instead of riding the Sky Ride.

In Kentucky, Willie Mae's only hope are books. Her family is suffering from The Great Depression, and when she gets a job reading to an old woman, it's a miracle. But there's always a down side to life. Mrs Weldon isn't very fond of people, much less kids. It takes a while for Mrs Weldon to be fond of Willie Mae, but she finally realizes how much she loves Willie Mae when she is sick. Mrs Weldon gives Ms Kanagawa to her when Willie Mae is sleeping. She dies with Ms Kanagawa in her arms.

The last girl we see is Lucy. She moves to Oregon from Oklahoma when her mom dies. Lucy teaches people how to write for money in her free time when she's not at school. Then the bombing of Pearl Harbor hits the country. During the school field trip to the local museum, Lucy finds Ms Kanagawa. She visits her again and again after that. She speaks to Lucy, giving her the gift of a life lesson: Do not give up when things are hard. She listens and that is the right choice. As you can see, Ms Kanagawa is quite the helper.

Coming Soon: The review of The Friendship Doll!

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