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My Brother Louis Measures Worms

de Barbara Robinson

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Young Mary Elizabeth relates the humorous misadventures of her brother Louis and the other wacky members of her unpredictable, very odd family.
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When I was little, I somehow got it fixed in my head that this book told the story of the childhood of Louis, the janitor from the [Wayside School]. Maybe it's because this book, like those, is a collection of loosely connected short stories; maybe it's just that Wayside School is *entirely* the sort of place where Louis would end up.

I recently found a copy of the book again (hampered by the fact that I kept looking for it under the author of Wayside School, rather than under Barbara Robinson (she of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever) and I find I enjoy it just as much as ever. These are elegantly wacky little vignettes of family and childhood in a small town in Ohio, in that nebulous decade sometime in the mid-20th century when everyone had cars and telephones and bicycles but there were no such things as radios or televisions or rollerskates. And while they're excellent as children's stories, they've got an adult sensibility that made them fascinating when I was little (where did Louisa May's baby come from? Would Mary really have to go to Chillicothe and change her name?) and kept them entertaining when I came back to them twenty years later. That's not suprising, as Robinson also wrote stories for magazines like McCall's and Ladies Home Journal, and these stories would fit right in to one of those publications.

Also, I think this is the book where I got my philosophy of driving, but don't tell my sister that. ( )
  melannen | Jan 8, 2008 |
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I was ten years old when my little brother Louis began driving my mother's car, and by the time I was eleven he had put over four hundred miles on it.
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Young Mary Elizabeth relates the humorous misadventures of her brother Louis and the other wacky members of her unpredictable, very odd family.

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