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Read for Your Life #20

Read for Your Life #20

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Read for Your Life #20

Длина:
41 страница
37 минут
Издатель:
Издано:
13 дек. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9780547507545
Формат:
Книга

Описание

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is publishing a monthly series of e-only essays to correspond with Katherine Paterson’s two-year term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The subjects of the essays include: writing and literature for young people, the wonder and imagination found within great books, common questions novice writers ask, and Katherine’s own personal experiences throughout her historic career.
Издатель:
Издано:
13 дек. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9780547507545
Формат:
Книга

Об авторе

Katherine Paterson is one of the world’s most celebrated and beloved authors. Among her many awards are two Newberys and two National Book Awards, and she was recently named a "Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She has been published in more than 22 languages in a variety of formats, from picture books to historical novels.


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Read for Your Life #20 - Katherine Paterson

1810–1876

Poor Little Innocent Lamb

ISAIAH had pitied the child before he ever laid eyes on her. Anyone who had to come live with Old Lettie was to be pitied, but when he saw her climbing down off the Greyhound, the last step almost too much for her skinny little white legs, his heart went out to her as it did to one of his hurt and helpless creatures. They weren't his creatures, of course. It wasn't his farm. It was Old Lettie's farm, but she never went out the door of the farmhouse to tend to it. She just nursed the account books, as though numbers on paper were a farm. So although he was only the hired man, it was, in actual fact, his farm, and all the creatures were his to care for.

Except this one getting off the bus—this poor little girl, dark, stringy hair past her narrow shoulders, and deep, sad eyes. Her face was streaked with dirt—tears, he thought at the time, though later he wondered. The child never cried.

So, he said when he had settled her and her tiny vinyl suitcase into the cab of the pickup. So—you Miss Lettie's grandniece, eh? I got a passel of grandnieces and nephews myself.

There was no answer. Maybe she wasn't at ease with black folks. He tried again. I told you already my name's Isaiah, but you ain't told me your name.

She was kicking the seat rhythmically with the back of her legs, staring straight ahead.

Look, he said, starting the motor and watching the rearview mirror as he backed carefully out of the Greyhound parking lot. I'll tell you right off, it might be kinda lonely for you out on the farm. Miss Lettie don't go out, and the animals aren't big talkers. Now, I live over the garage and you may figure I'm just the hired help, but I expect I'll be the best company around. If you don't make friends with me, it's likely to be mighty lonesome for you.

She looked at him sideways, and, for a moment, stopped her kicking. Travis, she said.

Huh?

It's my name. Travis. He didn't tell her he'd never heard of such a fool name for a little girl. But then, any mother fool enough to ship a baby like this off to live with the very aunt she'd run off from when she was a girl was likely to saddle her poor child with some crazy name. Isaiah thought of his own loving mother, who had given each of her eight children a name from the Bible so that they could grow up straight and proud. She still fussed over him as she had when he was tiny—and he sixty years old come February.

He thought of his sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews and all their children, tumbling in and out of one another's lives in noisy, happy confusion. He turned and smiled at this little deserted thing beside him to show that he didn't hold her name against her, but she kept staring straight ahead, even though

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