I should have written about it...months ago (sadly, many months). We (the Poster Girlz) requested copies from the publisher because we were considering it as a featured book for Reader Girlz. Successfully, I might add, as Miss Spitfire is December's featured book for their theme of GIVE. In fact, early readers of this post would be well off to notice that Sarah Miller will be at the Reader Girlz Myspace Forum tonight chatting about her novel and about being a writer in general (and hopefully about novel #2). I plan on being there; 7pm PST/ 10pm EST. I've a couple questions for her that I'm DYING to ask... :) It'll be fun, you should totally come!
ANYWAY. Clearly, I liked the title as I nominated it for the Middle Grade Cybil Award. It is to me 2007's Hattie Big Sky. Furthermore, I've made my mother read it and buy it for her libraries. Always a sign of quality. Supposedly. At least, I like to think it is...just my word, though. Miss Spitfire is beautiful historical fiction that works for all ages. I feel confident giving it to kids and adults alike. In fact, I was recommending the book before I was done reading it, I liked it so much!
Enough babbling. I'll get to the point.
You know the story of Helen Keller learning to communicate from Annie Sullivan. You guys are so savvy, you probably knew more than I did going in. What Miller does here is tell this familiar tale from a perspective far more novel: Annie's. Relying on impeccable research, and starting each chapter out with a relevant quote from actual Sullivan correspondence, Miller imagines what this most famous teacher went through to communicate with her pupil. It's an engrossing read that honestly evokes the frustrations and triumphs of the heroine. You just can't help but feel connected to Annie while reading.
Funny/embarrassing story (depending on who you are. Namely, not me): I was so enamored upon starting Miss Spitfire I quickly and effusively emailed the author saying how amazed I was that the same author who wrote Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn wrote the lovely gem that is Miss Spitfire. About a half hour later... I wrote back apologizing for being a bad librarian and not checking my facts before emailing, as that book was written by an entirely different Sarah Miller... She seemed to take it well...I was, as you can imagine, rather mortified...It was the first time I'd ever written an author just to say how much I liked their book. Not a great start.
Oh, and just so you know, I'm only a little biased about Michigan writers. ;) There's another I'm going to join the choirs to praise soon. I bet you can guess who... lol