A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
When I was in grad school I took a children’s literature class and we had to read at least one Young Adult novel that won the Printz award. A Northern Light was one of the books on the list to choose from but I didn’t read it then. The day we discussed the books in class a lot of people were talking about it and I was intrigued and added it to my TBR list. When I saw it at Riverby’s in Fredericksburg back in December I had to pick it up.
This book reminded me of a sophisticated Laura Ingalls story. It was set on the frontier in the North Woods of New York state in the early 1900’s. In many places I was picturing the Gokey family farm to look like the Ingalls’ farm from the TV show until they referred to the “parlor” and that threw my image a bit!
The story is of Mattie Gokey trying to find her place amid many influences, both pushing her to the traditional farm wife role and pushing her to a more liberal path for women of her time – college and a career in writing. In the end Mattie makes her own decision and does what’s best for her.