Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Okay - so I'm anal! I want to say hurry up - but I am keeping my mouth shut! Steve is just now getting in the shower and my plane leaves at 9:30 and it is 7:00. I like to be at the airport early as one never knows what to expect here in St. Thomas. The last time I tried to leave on this AA flight through Miami I ended up going through San Juan instead.

Sophie has been attacking my suitcases and yowling - she is not happy about Mama leaving her again. She doesn't understand that Sunday isn't that far away. She and I finished reading Shannon Hale's Princess Academy last night. Had to have Mama/kitty time in the evening instead so she wouldn't feel quite so left out. What a beautifully written coming of age story, set in an isolated mountain village where the residents have been mining linder for so many generations it has become part of their being. So much so that they can mind communicate through it. This is a skill that comes in very handy when the village girls between 12 and 17 are escorted, under guard, to the Princess Academy to be trained as ladies so that the Prince can choose one of them for his wife. Miri is one of the tiniest girls at the Academy even though she is fourteen. Tiny in stature, but large in intellect and wit, which sometimes gets her in trouble and even sent to the the scary dark closet as punishment. When she is forgotten in the closet she sends a mind plea for help and is rescued just as a rat is about to nest in her hair. Miri befriends Britta, the lowlander who has moved to the mountains and Britta helps Miri learn as much as she can about how the lowlanders live and conduct business. This knowledge brings more wealth to the poor village as the traders have not been trading fairly for the sought after linder blocks. When the Prince arrives but does not choose a bride from the girls in attendance at the ball the girls are told they must stay and study more until spring. That is when the robbers/kidnappers arrive and insist the girls tell them who the intended bride is. Now it is time for Miri to use her ability to send mind messages. Will the villagers get there in time to save their daughters? A beautifully written novel with depth of character development, including thought provoking passages about prejudice between the lowlanders and highlanders. It rightfully deserves the Newbery Honor Award.

Time to get the suitcases into the car. Maybe that will prod him a bit!