Synopses & Reviews
Rachel, Cassie, and Joey live in the city with their Pop, until Pop's search for work lands the family on a run down farm. Dreamy Rachel loves to read, and doesn't know much about the country. Times are hard there, too—the school and library are closed. When Pop gets work near Canada, he has to leave the children on the farm alone. For two months! But Rachel's the oldest, and she'll make sure they're all right. Somehow.
"Giff's (Storyteller) plaintive yet heartening historical novel introduces a close-knit family devastated by the Depression. After losing his job in the city, Rachel's widower father moves his children to the country, where, to Rachel's sorrow, the school and library are closed for lack of funds ('I can't even cry. No library: the idea is too big for tears'). Meanwhile, Rachel's father finds work that keeps him away from home for months. Left in charge of her younger siblings bossy, organized Cassie and reckless, optimistic Joey 12-year-old Rachel struggles to scrape together food and rent money, insisting that they will not ask for help: 'I have to do this myself. No, not myself. Ourselves.' The children transform their dilapidated farmhouse into a home, plant a garden, and turn for help to the bighearted woman who was Rachel's mentor in the city. Rachel's searing, present-tense narrative exposes her fears, determination, and hopefulness in the face of wrenching challenges. Recurring motifs color, flowers, and drawings by a neighbor that Rachel discovers in unlikely places add lyricism to this story of family solidarity. Ages 9 12. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan's Song, a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Honor Book for Fiction; and the Newbery Honor Books Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. Lily's Crossing was also chosen as a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. Her most recent books are Number One Kid, Big Whopper, Flying Feet, Eleven, Wild Girl, and Storyteller.