by Elizabeth Enright, published 1938
“When she had reached the highway, her anger began to turn into a feeling of excitement. Eric’s stories of hitchhiking were still fresh in her mind. I’ll try it anyway, she thought, and stopped at the roadside.”
I picked up this children’s book because I had read the more well-known books by Enright, such as Gone-away Lake, and The Saturdays. This book is written very early in her writing career, and hints of her later success, especially because of the very expressive language. At the same time, it is fair to warn you that it was written a long time ago…a time when little girls living in the country could hitchhike to a town, and survive! In that sense, this children’s book is almost a work of historical fiction.
Nevertheless, if your child enjoys reading about the olden times, especially country life, this children’s book is quite splendid. Garnet, the young heroine, gets into several adventures, most of them accidental, like getting locked in the library after hours, and every adventure always turns out well.
I found this an oddly soothing children’s book to read, simply because it depicts a world of trust and goodness that is no longer the reality for our day. Yet it was at one time, and it’s great to read about it, to remember what was possible when we moved at a much slower pace. I particularly recommend the book for kids (8 to 11) who are approaching summer vacation filled with “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do.”