Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles

Wiles, Deborah. Each Little Bird that Sings. New York: Scholastic, 2005.

Welcome to Snapfinger, Mississippi. Allow me to introduce you to Comfort Snowberger, “Explorer, Recipe Tester, and Funeral Reporter” (11).

“I come from a family with a lot of dead people.

Great-Uncle Edisto keeled over with a stroke on a Saturday morning after breakfast last March. Six months later, Great-great-aunt Florentine died—just like that—in the vegetable garden. And, of course, there are all the dead people who rest temporarily downstairs until they go off to the Snapfinger Cemetery. I’m related to them, too. Uncle Edisto always told me, ‘Everybody’s kin, Comfort.’

Downstairs at Snowberger’s, my daddy deals with death by misadventure, illness, and natural causes galore. Sometimes I ask him how somebody died. He tells me, then he says, ‘It’s not how you die that makes the important impression, Comfort; it’s how you live. Now go live awhile, honey, and let me get back to work.’ But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up. I’ll start with Great-uncle Edisto and last March, since that death involves me—I witnessed it” (1-2).

To find out more about Comfort and her family, you’ll have to read Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles.

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