Intermediate historical fiction
Intermediate fiction is the genre I have the most difficulty
finding exemplary books in. Much of what is put out for kids that age
seems to me dreadfully formulaic. Who knows? Maybe it's what they
want and need. Witness the popularity of series like Babysitters
Club. At that stage I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew who was about as
predictable as one can get...
Anyhow, Patricia Reilly Giff is one of those rare writers with the
ability to consistantly nudge intermediate readers out of the
familiarity comfort zone. Her R My Name Is Rachel is a gem.
The Great Depression is heart breaking for Rachel. Her father
has lost his job. Almost all their money is gone. Food is hard to
come by. Then there is devastating news. For her dad to get hired,
they'll have to leave her beloved New York and move west.
The farm house the family moves into is in pretty bad shape with
no heat other than a wood stove. The stray cat they have taken with
them vanishes instantly. The school and library are closed, much to
book lover Rachel's dismay. Could things get worse?
Of course they do. A blizzard that keeps him from getting to
work on time costs Rachel's father his job. One day she sees him in
tears. They need money to survive. However, the only available job
will take him away from his family for at least a month.
If you want a story of courage, resilience, and family love you
can't do better than this coming of age novel...
very relevant in the current recession.
On a personal note, the hubby fired up the grill last night. Way to
go! Veggie Burgers and Chik Patties always taste so much better
cooked over a fire than in a microwave.
A great big shout out goes out to the hubby for grilling a lovely
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod