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Florida Books for Young Readers June 16, 2009

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Fiction, readers, Reading, Reading lists.
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Several months ago, I received a nice message from a gentleman who was looking for books about Florida for a young friend.  Unfortunately, the request came just at the time that we were gearing up for our move, and so I’m afraid it got shelved until now.

My correspondent was interested in books that portrayed Florida as it used to be.  I have also included some books, such as those by Carl Hiaasen, that deal with contemporary issues of development and the environment.   Click here for the list.

I’m sorry it took so long to complete this reading list.  I might mention that I am a 5th generation Floridian, so it was a labor of love.

Please consider reading some of these books even if you don’t fall into the “young reader” category.  Books aimed at a younger audience are often very readable with a compelling story line; kids won’t sit still for them otherwise.

Please send me your suggestions of books about Florida that you love!  I would really appreciate it.

Happy Reading!

The Book Goddess

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Happy Birthday, Florida! March 3, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Authors, Book Clubs, Books, Fiction, Reading, Second Saturday Book Club, West Palm Beach Public Library.
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Today (March 3) is the anniversary of Florida’s admission to the Union as the 27th state!  That important event happened in 1845.  I have been told that my father’s family arrived from Spain in time to become citizens on that day.

I think it would be nice to read a Florida book in honor of the event.  There are a lot of good ones out there.  If you’re interested in history, you might want to read one of Michael Gannon’s books – either The New History of Florida or Florida:  A Short History.  If you’re really pressed for time, you could choose Michael Gannon’s History of Florida in 40 Minutes, which includes a CD read by the author.  He was one of my professors at the University of Florida and he makes history fabulously interesting!

Two titles that you might want to check out are the classic Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, her memoir of life in rural Florida, and The Other Florida by Gloria Jahoda.  Both of these authors moved to Florida from other places and came to love it.

For a more South Florida perspective, I’d recommend The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean.  It is about orchids, but it’s also about many other things, including the development of Florida.  And speaking of development, The Big Bubble by Theodore Pratt (better known as the author of The Barefoot Mailman) is a fascinating fictionalized account of the Florida real estate boom of the twenties and an architect who will certainly bring Addison Mizner to mind.

In fact, novels can be a wonderful way to appreciate and learn more about history.  A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith won the Florida Historical Society Tebeau Prize as the Most Outstanding Florida Historical Novel.  And The Man Who Invented Florida by mystery writer Randy Wayne White is a true delight.  (By the way, Randy will be here on Tuesday, March 25th at 1:00 p.m. to speak and sign copies of his new book, Black Widow.)

And if you want to laugh yourself silly, among other things, pick up Skinny Dip by the renowned journalist, crime writer, and social critic Carl Hiaasen.  I simply must insist that you read this.  And – it will be the May selection of the Second Saturday Book Club.

There are many more wonderful authors I haven’t mentioned.  Please let me know about your favorite Florida books and authors.

Happy Reading!

The Book Goddess