Wednesdays with Words–Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Wednesday With WordsI’m working on reading as many Cybils nominees I can get my hands on for the 2013 Armchair Cybils challenge hosted by yours truly.
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool is both a middle grade fiction nominee for the Cybils and a possible Newbery contender.  I just started the book last night, but so far I really like it.  Here’s an extended simile that I like a lot, even if it is a bit heavy-handed.  (The protagonist from whose point of view the story is written is twelve, by the way.)

Besides, the sand made me think of my mom.  She always described my hair as sandy brown, and noticing the different shades of brown and taupe and even red, I could see why.  I felt the tears coming, and I gave in to a moment of remembering her.

My mother was like sand.  The kind that warms you on a beach when you come shivering out of the cold water.  The kind that clings to your body, leaving its impression on your skin to remind you where you’ve been and where you’ve come from.  The kind you keep finding in your shoes and your pockets long after you’ve left the beach.

She was also like the sand that archaeologists dig through.  Layers and layers of sand that have kept dinosaur bones together for millions of years.  And as hot and dusty and plain as that sand might be, those archaeologists are grateful for it, because without it to keep the bones in place, everything would scatter.  Everything would fall apart.  (10-11)

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