MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Golden Day

by Ursula Dubosarsky

The Golden Day
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2013, 160 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2015, 160 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Wait!" boomed Miss Renshaw as they reached the edge of the street. "Do not cross until I say so!"

Cars rolled by. A dog was barking. They bumped together on the footpath, waiting.

"Stand still so I can count you," said Miss Renshaw. "Have we lost anyone?"

Across the road above their heads rose the tangled fence, with swirling metal words painted in gold in the shape of an arch. A glistening spiderweb dangled down from the M of Memorial. Miss Renshaw held her hand up in the air, her long fingers waving like pale streamers.

"Ten, eleven. Bethany, your hat is dirty. Elizabeth — yes, you, Elizabeth — pull up your socks. Cubby, your shoelaces are coming undone. I don't expect to take such grubby little girls into a public place. Remember why you are here."

Why were they here? They frowned at one another. Oh, yes, to think about death. . . .

"Look both ways and cross carefully."

Cubby bent down to tie her laces. With her head upside down, she caught sight of the water through the fence and the greenery, patches of the great Pacific Ocean rolling in icy steelgray waves, beyond all the yachts and ferries and rowboats, on through Sydney Harbor, on and on all the way to Tahiti, all the way to the Sandwich Isles, thought Cubby, where Captain Cook sailed on his little boat and was eaten up.

"Wait for me, Icara!" shouted Cubby, straightening up, seeing Icara skip across the road through the warm, purplesmelling air. She could feel her lace was still undone but there was no time to stop and fix it now.

"Icara! Cubby! Stay together!" called Miss Renshaw after them.

Wait for me.

two
Into the Beautiful Garden

They all knew, even tiny, big-eyed Bethany knew, the real reason Miss Renshaw wanted to go out into the gardens that morning. It was not to think about death. Miss Renshaw wanted to see Morgan.

Morgan worked in the gardens. They had met him there one day when they arrived with pencils and sheets of blank paper to do drawings of leaves for natural science class. Morgan had been sitting under the great, creaking fig tree by the seawall, his back against the trunk, his eyes closed, smoking a cigarette. "Like Buddha under the banyan tree," said Miss Renshaw later, "waiting for enlightenment."

Was it enlightenment? Or was it the noise of the children that made Morgan open his eyes? He had beautiful eyes — soft, brown, wet with tears, like a stuffed toy. He stubbed out his cigarette and stood up, tall in his muddy boots, blue shirt and trousers, and a floppy gray hat.

"Good morning, ladies," he said, putting his hand to his dandelion-soft beard.

The little girls wandered away. They were not interested in Morgan. But Miss Renshaw was. She leaned against the seawall with him, and they looked out at the Pacific Ocean and Morgan told her all about himself. Morgan worked in the Ena Thompson Memorial Gardens, mowing the lawns, pulling out weeds, planting flowers, trimming bushes, sweeping paths, cutting branches from the trees, keeping the water of the duck pond and its wedding-cake fountain clear of weeds.

Morgan was a poet as well as a gardener, Miss Renshaw told them later, when they had returned to the classroom. "I knew he was a poet," Miss Renshaw said, "before he even opened his mouth to say good morning."

"How did you know?" asked Georgina curiously. Miss Renshaw didn't say. She just knew. Miss Renshaw loved poetry.

"And even more than poetry, I love poets," avowed Miss Renshaw. "The person who has said 'My life is to make poetry' is a brave person."

"Why brave?" asked the tallest Elizabeth.

"Because poets are poor," said Miss Renshaw.

"Why are they poor?"

Excerpted from The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky. Copyright © 2013 by Ursula Dubosarsky. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Painter, Charles Blackman

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Lost Child
    by Caryl Phillips
    The Lost Child is a modern novel constructed within a historical frame, invoking one of the most ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket
    Bad Country
    by CB McKenzie
    If author CB McKenzie's decidedly noir debut novel Bad Country were chocolate, it would be at ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Charmers

The Charmers by Elizabeth Adler

"This tale of romantic suspense makes the perfect beach read."
—Library Journal

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.