Lois Lowry’s short story “The Willoughbys” is, as you might have guessed, about the Willoughbys! There are four old-fashioned children in the family. The eldest was a tall boy named Tim, and since he is the oldest he is in charge of practically everything. Then there was the two Barnabys, called Barnaby A and Barnaby B. Finally, there was the little girl amidst all her brothers, called Jane, as in all old-fashioned stories. They did what old-fashioned children did, played at the beach, had birthday parties, went to school in the city. But the problem is, their parents detest them and think they are a waste of space. One day, the children found a baby on the doorstep. Their mother does not approve of “it” and tell them to dispose of the infant. And so the baby is left for a miserable but rich confectioner that lost his wife, known as Captain Melanoff, and though they don’t know it their lives had become closely linked together. When they are abandoned by their parents to the care of an “odious” nanny and had the house sold, they are taken in to the custody of Captain Melanoff, who has found joy in life again because of the baby girl named Ruth. Captain Melanoff also has a long-lost son, stuck in Switzerland. But how will they get their happily ever after?
The Crow-Girl is a classical, inspiring story by Bodil Bredsdorff, a Danish children’s author. By a small sea cove were three houses, two of them abandoned. But the third one had smoke curling up from the chimney. This was where a girl and her grandmother lived together, dining on mussels and sea kale. The grandmother teaches the girl rules about people, how to judge them, if they are good or bad. Sadly, the grandmother passes away, leaving the girl on her own. She buries her grandmother beside her grandfather, then departs to make a new life. She meets all types of people along the way, and forms her own kind of family. Brings tears to your eyes.