Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lorretta Mason Potts - a book review

Quote of the day:

                                         "We read to know we are not alone."  - C S. Lewis

Today's Featured book:

Title:  Loretta Mason Potts
Author:  Mary Chase
Illustrator:  Harold Berson
Ages:  10-14

Let's take a peek inside shall we?

About the book:

I grew up in a very small town with a very tiny library and a very, very limited book selection. I had not as a child bumped into this book so I am very grateful that it is being re-issued because now I can experience along with this new generation of readers this epic book, that is, in my opinion, a must read.  

The Mason Family is in for a big shock.  The mother one day brings home a brand new child to introduce to her other four siblings.  This prodigal girl turns out to be the oldest of the brood and for  reasons unknown to her brothers and sisters did not want to live with their family but wished to remain with foster parents who are very glad to be rid of her.  You see she is dirty, grubby, unmanageable, deceptive and rude to all those around her.  She is totally different from the rest of the family and only wants to run away and back to the surrogate couple that is raising her .....  but especially back to "Them." 

Her name is Loretta Mason Potts and she has a deep dark secret way down in her heart.  She has been away from her biological family for seven long years and during that time she has fallen under the spell of magical people who live in the woods behind the Pott's farm.   Loretta is magically drawn to these minute beings who are ruled by a beautiful Countess and her body-guard, always-wanting-to-please, General who is constantly by her side to advise her and protect her from any harm that may come her way.  The Countess and company adore Loretta, especially her insolence and want her to live with them forever.  

Loretta's brother, Colin,  a smart and clever ten year old, surreptitiously follows Loretta one night and discovers in the back of her closet, hidden beneath the garments, a portal to another whole wizardly world.  He tracks her every movement and it is revealed to him that that portal leads him, and eventually his whole family into Loretta's "Them" supernatural world.  

Smacking of ribbons of Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Narnia this book will draw you into the adventure and keep you turning pages to solve the mystery of why Loretta was hidden away by her mother,  why she wants to run away back to the Pott's,  and the way her whole family has to work together to break the spell that was cast and bring normalcy back to them so they can once again be a loving, caring, family unit.  

This charming book is not to be missed.  Young and old alike will enjoy reading it and I am very happy that this book, first published in 1958, will be available once again to enjoy. I highly recommend it.

About the author:

Mary Coyle Chase was born on February 25, 1907 in Denver Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado, and worked for The Rocky Mountain News as a reporter and served as publicity director for the National Youth administration. Chase was also a playwright and author, her most famous works being the play Harvey and the book Loretta Mason Potts (Mickey). Harvey won a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a movie starring James Stewart, and her book The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden was nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher award in 1969. She married Robert Lamont Chase (a newspaper reporter), on June 7, 1928. In addition to her career as a reporter, playwright and author she was a member of the Dramatists' Guild and had three sons. She died of a heart attack, October 20, 1981, in Denver, Colorado.

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.

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