Carlo Rotella writes in the Boston Globe about buying for her children for Christmas “generations-tested” books, including Rosemary Sutcliff’s classic historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth:
… my daughters, being kids, are into Christmas, and I have some other gift-giving obligations, so every year on the Saturday morning before Christmas I come down off the mountain and make a trip downtown to buy presents. My main destination is a bookstore, and as soon as I get there I start feeling better about things. The place is always packed during the days before Christmas with a crowd that radiates excitement and contentment, and that itself is encouraging. People still read, and still regard the giving and receiving of books as something special.
And the old long-haul reliables I remember from childhood, generations-tested books you can read to your kids when they’re little and they can then read for themselves and go on rereading into adolescence and beyond, are still for sale, often in fine new editions: books like Scott O’Dell’s “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, John Dennis Fitzgerald’s Great Brain books, Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” Rosemary Sutcliff’s Roman adventure “The Eagle of the Ninth,” Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Charles Portis’s great comic Western “True Grit.”