Autumn Street

PDF EBook by Lois Lowry

EBook Description

Man, Lois Lowry is just the best, isn't she. Autumn Street PDF EBook The actual very best.

This is a really great book. I loved reading it and I'd recommend it to everyone. Even though I'd read a lot of reviews, I didn't quite understand what I was getting. (Basically, all that many reviews can clearly say is, "Oh my gosh, this is sad.")

Mainly, I had forgotten that it is set during WWII. But "the war" hums quietly in the background of everything here, as six- PDFyear-old Elizabeth (I gotta love a kid named Elizabeth) tries to understand what adults even mean when they say "the war." The war is why they move from the city to their grandfather's stately home in Pennsylvania, the war is why her dad is away, the war is why a lot of things, though she doesn't really understand. Elizabeth's perspective is a really good reminder of how little explaining gets done for children, sometimes.

So she and her mother and siblings are living in this big, grand home, with antiques and a domestic staff and some older relatives Elizabeth doesn't know. Being just six, she's sort of a goofy kid, and isn't really poised to pick up on fine rules and social cues. ("'Elizabeth! Why is your hand sticky?' 'I was licking it.' I had been. 'I was wondering what I taste like.'")

So, one of the things Elizabeth does is start bonding with people who are different from her, and she's little enough that it gets smoothed over without fuss. The cook, Tatie, is a bemused grandmotherly figure, and she's often got her grandson Charles with her, who becomes Elizabeth's best friend. But then in addition to all the rules she already doesn't understand, "because of the war," there's a new confusing set of things she has to accept because Charles and Tatie are black. Charles isn't allowed in the front of the house. Charles has to go to a different school. And a really painful episode occurs when Elizabeth has a tantrum when her grandmother tells her that Tatie can't read or write. (Elizabeth, perceiving a horrible insult, breaks down and insists that "she can too can too can too!") It's too hard for her to believe what these things really mean, the guilty feelings that come with her uncomprehending (six-year-old!) privilege, so she glances off them in denial.

But she does know. One difficult thing this book does is make use of the n-word, twice. Elizabeth uses it, once, and then the second time she is thinking about why she did it and how bad she feels. (view spoiler)