The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls
Bean and her older sister Liz trek from California to Virginia to visit (read: move in with) their Uncle Tinsley when their mother takes off to find herself since they are unsure when she’ll ever come back. So begins the first period of stability in Bean and Liz’s lives, as well as the most challenging.
To Kill a Mockingbird is read by Bean in her new school and the parallels between that classic and this book are many: an unfair trial, inequality (in this instance economic), and the unfairness of life. Yet Walls doesn’t simply copy the classic, she just gives a nod to a formula that works and adds her own touches.
I am not a fan of memoir, but I really enjoyed The Glass Castle for the way Walls told her story matter of factly from a child’s perspective. There was nothing whiny in her tone then, and there isn’t now. These are two girls growing up in unusual circumstances, but they are growing up and learning about life, just as we all did at that time in our lives – just in this instance there are legal battles and the occasional emu.