P is for Peck

Richard Peck has written numerous YA books from funny to very, very serious. My favorite series by him, however, is usually found in the kid's section: the Blossom Culp books.

The Blossom Culp books, narrated in first-person by Blossom Culp, take place (mostly) in the early 20th century in a small town that has one automobile and still relies on outhouses for its sewer system. The setting and aura are reminiscent of Fitzgerald's Great Brain series.  There are four books total and one is a time travel story.

Blossom Culp is a young teen who discovers she has second sight. The first major book in the series is Ghosts I Have Been (preceded by a smaller book The Ghost Belonged to Me) which centers around the Titanic. Which goes to show that my interest in the Titanic preceded the movie--I read Ghosts I Have Been years earlier.

Blossom Culp is a great heroine because she is smart and sassy without being SMAAAAART and SASSSSSSSSY. Sometimes, teen female heroines make me feel the way I do when people kept pushing me to watch Veronica Mars because "you'll totally love it." I didn't. I much prefer the self-effacing and ironic Buffy to the in-your-face, look-at-me-being-smart-and sassy Veronica Mars.

Blossom is smart and funny and normal. She feels self-conscious and tells herself not to. She sometimes feels sad. She sometimes reflects on the oddities of life. She's relatable. She's a character, not a teen girl playing a part.

No comments: