The Right Word - Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet
I've been waiting for this book since I first read about it, and in the past few days, reading it more than once. What a treasure it is, like these creative artists' other collaboration, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, this book celebrates a life filled with a love of words. It's interesting that both men were doctors.
The Right Word fills us with the words Peter Roget loved, from the first Latin ones he learned from a tutor, to the pages in his first published book. Even the inside covers are filled with WORDS! A favorite page is when Jen tells of Roget finally falling in love, at age forty-five, and she lists the words: amour, love, smitten, marriage, husband, wife, family, and on. Each word of course in the thesaurus leads to other lists.
They tell us that the word "thesaurus" means "Treasure House" in Greek, and the book is certainly a treasure to read and to pore over.
This is another treasure I've used more than once with students who were doing their own oral histories as well as when we studied immigration. It is filled with short pieces from immigrants who tell of their experiences when they arrived in America. The artistic responses by Lawlor are gorgeous watercolor/collages, and the words from each tell small parts of their time. Here is a part from a young woman: When I came here, I was in a different world. It was so peaceful, it was quiet. You were not afraid to go out in the middle of the night... I was free. I'm just like a bird. It's a good example of a short book appropriate for younger or older students who are researching this time, or would serve as a mentor text for writing memoir.