Monday, January 17, 2011

Retro Book of the Week: Dicey's Song

Dicey's Song
by Cynthia Voigt

Dicey's Song is a good study in how book covers have changed over the past thirty years. I've included the covers from the 1982 First Edition, 1984, 1990, and 2002. If you look at the 1982 and 1984 covers, these are typical 80's books covers: realistic drawings done in dull colors. The 90's cover tells us absolutely nothing of what the book is about, and in fact is the least circulated edition in our collection. The 2002 cover is the most circulated, likely because it follows the more modern trend of using photographs on the book cover. But looking at any of these covers, would you really be able to tell what this book is about?

Dicey's Song won the Newberry Award in 1983, and it is actually a pretty popular story with our students that actually pick the book up and read it. It was on the Battle of the Books list last year, and I had many students tell me how surprised they were that it was such a good book. This is the second novel in the Tillerman Cycle, a series of seven books about the four Tillerman children who are abandoned in a parking lot by their mother. In this book, Dicey and her siblings, James, Maybeth, and Sammy, are living with their Gram and attempting to adjust to normal life on their grandmother's very slim budget.
The Tillerman Cycle was a very popular series in the 80's an 90's, and we still have multiple copies of all the books on our shelf here in the library, including a class set of Dicey's Song. The books in the series include:

  • Homecoming (1981)

  • Dicey's Song (1982)

  • A Solitary Blue (1983)

  • The Runner (1985)

  • Come a Stranger (1986)

  • Sons from Afar (1987)

  • Seventeen Against the Dealer (1989) 

  •   [Retro Book of the Week celebrates the oldies-but-goodies in our media center. Books with faded covers can still have modern appeal! Sometimes I just want to celebrate the books that have influenced YA literature and my literary past, and sometimes I want to give new life to timeless classics. These features will be heavy on books from the 80's and 90's.]

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