Recommended by Grace Johnson, Peninsula Pulse staffer and bibliophile
“I want to feel all there is to feel,” he thought. “Let me feel tired, now, let me feel tired. I mustn’t forget, I’m alive, I know I’m alive, I mustn’t forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that.”— Douglas Spaulding, Dandelion Wine
Springtime is coming to a close, with summer close behind. When I think of this time of year, the first book that comes to mind is Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.
This was assigned reading for my high school English class, and it was my first foray into Bradbury’s work. It completely grabbed me, and I want to thank my former teacher, Lauren Ward, for having us read this book. It was what sparked my love of Bradbury and opened my eyes to the possibilities of speculative fiction.
Dandelion Wine collects several shorter stories that mainly follow 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding and some of the interesting characters in his small hometown of Green Town, Illinois. The stories examine the close relationships among members of the community as Douglas is going through his own journey of trying to understand the world he lives in.
No matter how many times I read this book, I always cry. It is a beautiful look at what it’s like to be alive and to be a child in a world that is infinitely bigger than you are.