Back when I traveled the world while home schooling several kids, when we landed into a new country, we learned to head to the local library (or it's equivalent) for advice. "What are the stories about this place we need to read? What will orient us to this country, its landscapes and and weathers, the people who have lived here long and ones who have come lately? What stories do you recommend?"Now that's a review!
"Jorgy" is just such a keeper. The story begins with his hybrid parentage, Eskimo mother and Norwegian gold miner father, and the challenges of village life on Alaska's Seward Peninsula prior to World War II. Rich in details about kid's games, schooling, methods of hauling water and wood, hunting, fishing, and mining work, we also get to see the prejudice he experienced from both cultural wings of his heritage and the effect of his mother's remarkable work in independently raising five children after his dad's death in a mining accident. Jean Lester does a remarkable writing job throughout--her perfect invisibility --allows us to simply listen to Jorgy's unfolding story. From the glamor-and risks- of early aviation, wartime changes and post war possibilities via the GI bill, at each step, we see this young village kid making step by step choices into an extraordinary life. Hollywood would be hard pressed to match the appealing glamour we see in many of the photos of Jorgy, his wife, family and of course the many handsome airplanes, but there is grit throughout which underscores the inherent drama of early bush and commercial flying.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
New review on Amazon: a keeper
A new review on Amazon is titled "What is really exciting about Alaska:"