Wednesday, July 2, 2008
100 Days and 99 Nights
Madison, Alan. 2008. 100 Days and 99 Nights.
Everyone calls me Esme, which is five letters short of my given name, Esmerelda. My middle name, Swishback, is my mother's last name before she got married. And my last name, McCarther, is spelled with two C's--the first one is a baby and the second one isn't. That's me all over: I'm Esmerelda Swishback McCarther. (1)
Esme has a younger brother, Ike, and quite a few pets. Esme is used to moving around quite a lot. Her father is in the army. She's lived in Korea, Kenya, and Germany. And the U.S., of course, where she is living now. Virginia to be exact. But her father's last assignment is a place where his family can't come with him. He'll be away on tour of duty for 100 days and 99 nights. This is Esme's story of how she copes with his absence, and copes with life in general--getting along with her brother, going to school, etc.
Esme's uniqueness manifests itself early on. She's got a "bedzoo" of animals living with her. Stuffed animals on her bed all the way from A to Z. Each chapter features an animal from her bedzoo. But Esme's uniqueness is also illustrated in her narrative voice. It's strong; it's spunky. It's vulnerable. It just feels right.