Archive for May 5th, 2011


The Three Sides of Paradise Green

May 5, 2011

First, here’s where we are with the poll results:

  • 10 votes — Top 10 underappreciated children’s books. I am working on this. It’s going to take a little while, but I do have my list of ten books finalized.
  • 5 votes — Pollyanna. This is going to be part of that list. I figure when you stack up all the people who hate it agains the ones who like it, it counts as underappreciated.
  • 4 votes — The Dragon’s Secret. This is definitely going to happen. For now, here’s another Augusta Huiell Seaman book.
  • 3 votes — Lady Audley’s Secret. This will happen…someday. But if you can’t wait, I recommend The Tragedy of Chain Pier. It’s practically the same thing.
  • 2 votes — Two Little Women and Treasure House. I’m hoping to do all three Two Little Women books at some point. It’s been too long since I’ve written about Carolyn Wells.
  • 1 vote — The Hidden Hand, Mary Jane Holmes, Trustee from the Toolrom. Respectively: someday, hopefully soon, and next time I reread it.
  • 0 votes — The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay.   :D :D :D

Anyway. The Three Sides of Paradise Green is another Augusta Huiell Seaman book, published a few years after The Boarded-up House, and with kind of a similar setup: Two girls, best friends their entire lives, and a house next door with some kind of history-related secret. Except it’s kind of better.

This time the girls are named Susan and Carol, and they’ve just been asked by their English teacher to keep journals for the coming year. The book mostly consists of Susan’s journal entries, although there are a few third-person-narrated scenes. I’m not sure why. They don’t really add anything. Also, you know who else doesn’t add anything? Carol. She’s kind of a drip. Fortunately, very little of the burden of the story falls on Carol’s shoulders. The main mystery-solver here is Sue’s younger sister Helen Roberta, apparently named after Seaman’s own daughter, and variously referred to as Mademoiselle Héléne, Bobs, and the Imp. The Imp is hands down the coolest person in this book, but she’s also — you know how younger siblings can sometimes be more infuriating than anything else in the world? Yeah, that. Read the rest of this entry ?