A Parcel of Patterns (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) - Jill Paton Walsh I am intrigued by books about the plague. The attraction? Well, even one of my crappiest, exhaustion-filled day pales in comparison to living through the plague. Or maybe it's those gore filled plague sores that call to me (but I'd never truly admit that).

This book is a bit different than the few that I've read about the plague of the 1600's in that it isn't scholarly, dry or written from the point of view of adults. This fictional tale is told by a young lady named Mal who describes her world with beauty and sensitivity. Initially, the writing style was a bit of a chore and a little difficult to get into. But stick with it, the journey is well worth the work. Once I adjusted myself to the rhythm of the writer and the different language choices (than I'm used to) I fell completely into Mall's world of hard work and young love amidst the threat of unbelievable horror when the Bubonic Plague arrives.

I'm a hard-hearted reader, having read far more than my share of overly sentimental stuff, but this book brought me to tears too many times to count from the sheer strength of this young girl. It makes me all teary just to think about these people. This is a book that should be required reading in schools (if it isn't already).