Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Most Important Book Ever – I had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew

Hi, everyone! This is Liz Coley. She's in the Lucky 13s with me, and she is made of awesome. Her book, PRETTY GIRL-13 just came out, and sounds so creepily fascinating! She's here with us today, talking about the most important books in her life. I love that this one is a Dr. Suess one. :) Take it away, Liz!

After Hop on Pop, the next most important book ever  in my life was also by Dr. Seuss. I had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew is the perfect story. There’s a  brilliant beginning, a middle fraught with rising  conflict, and a bittersweet, empowering life lesson  and personal growth at the end. Perfect.

In the beginning: “I was real happy and carefree and young and I lived in a place called the Valley of Vung, where nothing, not anything ever went wrong. Until….” In a mere twenty-seven words, we have a vividly drawn protagonist, a setting, and a situation on the brink of change.

In the middle, the poor protagonist suffers a stubbed toe. First solution? Watch where you are going. Then he’s bitten from behind. Second solution? Aim eyeballs in different directions. Vowing vigilance ahead and behind, he is attacked from above and below. Now he’s in a real quandary because he only has two eyes. What’s a lad to do? He sets off on a journey to find a new and safer place he’s heard of—“the City of Solla Sollew on the Banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo, where they never have troubles! At least, very few.” This classical hero’s quest takes him through terrible trials in which, just as hope is in sight, something else goes horribly wrong repeatedly. The final insult, the ultimate crisis, is the single trouble with Solla Sollew: the door to almost-paradise is locked, barred by a key-slapping slippard.

At the end, the moment of truth, the hero learns of a more distant Utopia, “the city of Boola Boo Ball on the banks of the beautiful River Woo-Wall, where they never have troubles! No troubles at all!” He’s wary; he’s been let down by so many promises along the way. Can he flee trouble one more time, just a little farther, for a promise? No, he decides. Something in him has changed. After facing Poozers and billions of birds and a flubulous flood and a camel with gleeks, he has outgrown his innocence. He wasn’t passive to begin with, but now he’s stronger and wiser, and he picks up a weapon and heads home.

The twenty-word resolution: “I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.”

I can’t even convey how much I loved this story, how many times I read it until it was memorized, and how much I still love it today. I think it is Seuss’s crowning glory.

About Pretty Girl-13:

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back–a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself.  Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

Available in ten languages on five continents
About Liz:

Liz lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, her teenaged daughter, a snoring dog, and a limping old cat. When she's not involved in writing-related activities, she can be found sewing, baking, shooting photos, playing tennis, and singing.


JeffO said...

Dr. Seuss was absolutely brilliant. Great post, and good luck, Liz.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Got it on my to-read list. Chilling sounding.

Julie Daines said...

Wow! Sounds super cool and creepy! Great post!

Susan Kane said...

Now that I have gr-kids, I get to enjoy all my favorite kids' books, incl. Dr. Seuss.

Brandon Ax said...

Suess is always great, and Pretty girl -13 sounds intriguing. Good luck with your book I will have to check it out.

Jessie Humphries said...

I read every word of this post and loved it. I have to admit I skim a lot these days, but I am fascinated. I've never read that particular Seuss book. I gotta get it. And Girl 13 sounds soooo interesting!

Nicole said...

Whoa, that blurb is definitely intriguing. Congrats to Liz.

Rachelle said...

I've never read that Seuss book and now I want it! Thanks for sharing and the new book sounds fab. :)