Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Reading Assignment #4 : Miss Osborne the Mop

  Ivy and I recently finished Sea View Secret, which was 'Reading Assignment #3'. So on to #4. My next recommendation is Miss Osborne the Mop by Wilson Gage.

The 1970's cover for Miss Osborne
 Wilson Gage was actually a woman named Mary Q. Steele, and I believe she did write some books under that name too. Miss Osborne was another book suggested by my older sister, who had also read it when she had been the age I was at the time.I only read one other book by Wilson Gage, "Dan and the Miranda", which I read when I was home in bed sick for several days as a kid. I remember that I enjoyed the story about a boy and a spider, but it didn't leave the impression on me that Miss Osborne did. I searched for a copy of Miss Osborne for years, before copying a library book out of desperation! (Yes, I know that's not legal, but I wasn't selling it, and this was the time before the internet. Now you can find and buy just about anything you want. But in those days finding scarce things was much more difficult.) I have since bought at least 2 copies of the book, including the library one I copied when they discarded it, and it ended up in the annual library book sale!
The original Miss Osborne. This is the library edition we bought, and also the same edition I read as a kid.

  Miss Osborne the Mop was originally published in 1963 and is most certainly out of print now. It still shows up online and, as I said, at second hand book sales! Another book set during the summer,the story concerns a girl named Jody who is sent to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle and cousin Dill. Jody and Dill don't get along very well, so Jody is expecting a miserable summer.Add to that situation the fact that Jody finds out she has to wear glasses for the summer. When strange things start happening it becomes apparent (to the reader at least!) that Jody's new glasses have the magical power to grant her wishes. Things really start to hop when Jody brings a mop to life. And what life! Miss Osborne is named after a teacher and she takes charge of Jody and Dill the way a teacher would. The three embark on a series of adventures over the summer, not least of which is keeping bossy Miss Osborne a secret.

The story is full of magic (gone wrong alot of the time!) and humour, as Jody and Dill--and the mop!-- become friends. The descriptions of the beautiful mountain setting are wonderful. My kids all loved the book. My 18 year old son only recently talked about the chocolate cake with orange icing that Jody wishes up for Dill! It sounded delicious and was something I always remembered too, and in fact I make such a cake every now and then.
  Expect a few tears at the end of the book, but the ending is a happy one really. Good reading!


  1. Awesome review Tam! I loved this book so much as a kid. I think it's so cool that you make the same cake for your son. :) Thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog. Cheers!

  2. Yay! I have a follower! Thanks Chelly! Some of you might want to check out Chelly's blog imissmychildhood.blogspot.com


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