Sunday, February 22, 2009
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Hmmm...I think one reason why this won a Printz honor is because it's not your typical Terry Pratchett. I didn't even laugh out loud while reading this one, which I did when I read Wee Free Men. Instead, Pratchett writes a Robinson Crusoe/Treasure Island/Survivor adventure story.
Ermintrude is sailing to her father's island and trying to maintain civility amidst rough sailors. Mau is an island boy sent away alone to become a man. And then the wave hits. Erminstrude decides to be called Daphne as she struggles to survive on an island where Mau is her only company. The two communicate and start to build their own nation. Islanders begin arriving, looking for Nation survivors amidst all the death and destruction. Their nation grows strong, as does Mau and Daphne. When Daphne's father finally finds her, she is a different girl--openly independent as she has learned to saw off injured limbs, deliver babies, defend her friends, and even make beer. She must decide to stay or go, especially after her father is granted with a nation's responsibilities on his shoulders. Which nation will she choose?