Down The Winding Road by Angela Johnson

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Synopsis

An eloquent tribute to family and history

Jesse and his sister are city kids, so the journey into the country is amazing -- past sloe-eyed cows and emerald hills, under a cornflower sky. But the real treat waits at the end of the road: the Old Ones, the aunts and uncles of their father's youth who were old even then, who line up now to welcome their great-niece and -nephew, "looking and hugging just alike." After a vast country lunch, the Old Ones take the young to "the lake that they swam in when they were young -- and sit beside now that they are old." The kids don't sit. They find a tire swing, and before you know it, they are flying through the air and into the water, fully clothed and laughing. But it's the last day of summer vacation and suddenly time to leave. And there are the Old Ones lining up again -- all seven of them, waving good-bye, cherishing among them this newest family story for next year's reunion.

 

About Angela Johnson

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Published March 1, 2000 by Doring Kindersley Publishing. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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As one of the uncles shows the two children old framed photos on a wall in the house and as the family eats together, the sense of continuity among all the members of the family and the fondness each one feels for each other, for the house, and for the countryside is almost palpable.

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And once the kids are on their way back to the city, they already miss the relatives with ""creased faces and warm hands to hold."" Carefully and rhythmically structured, the story unfolds in spare, evocative phrases that convey the child narrator's affection and win the readers' admiration.

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