Eve Bunting‘s- Ballywhinney Girl. (illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully, Clarion Books, 2012) includes a thread of mystery wound together with a strand of history along with a fiber of Irish folklore. In this book, both Eve and Emily combine their award winning talents to capture the imaginations of those who read this multicultural picture book.
A grandfather and his granddaughter, Mauve, unexpectedly find a buried body in a bog located on their land. The composition of the bog created a natural preservative that mummified the body. Immediately, readers begin to wonder. How is this possible? Although the events surrounding this mysterious body are fictitious, more than 80 mummies have been unearthed in Irish bogs.
Through Mauve’s voice the reader sees the connection she has made with the body. She wants to know what the archaeologists will do with the body, whether the body will be harmed in anyway, and whether the body will be protected. Mauve starts thinking about the past. She imagines what life was like centuries ago when the girl lived on her land. She wonders whether being on display in a museum is worse than being buried in the ground.
The visions of the mummified girl in a museum case disturbs her. Mauve is able to put the episode behind her when she leaves a stone marker at the spot of recovery in the bog.
Lifetime Awards for Eve Bunting (May not include all)
- Golden Kite Award
- Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award
- PEN Los Angeles Center Literacy Award for Special Achievement in Children’s Literature
- Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers fo America
- Caldecott Award (Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz)
- Arab American Book Award (One Green Apple, illustrated by Ted Lewin)
- Kerlan Award
- Regina Medal
- Western Writers Award
- Irish-American Woman of the Year by the Irish-American Heritage Committee of New York.
- Advantages and disadvantages of 1st person perspective
- Mummification and bogs
- Handling of mummies
- Role of archaeologists
- Unlocking mysteries
- Using one’s imagination
- Coping with death
- Respecting the dead
- Researching history
- Relationships- grandfather and granddaughter
- Would you consider comparing the contents of this book to stories pertaining to Egyptian mummification?
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