FICTION

Home in the Woods

Nancy Paulsen Bks. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399162909.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 3–Wheeler tells her grandmother’s story. In 1932, Marvel was six when her father died and left the family to face the world on their own. Their intrepid mother moved her eight children and all of their belongings into a tar-paper shack in the Wisconsin woods. Together they worked to make the shack habitable, forage the woods for food and firewood, and plant a garden. Autumn brings canning chores and playing games made up together. They endure the harsh Wisconsin winter and emerge in summer to start the cycle again. Despite all of the hardships, this family built on love and determination not only survived but also flourished. This book will resonate with readers who enjoy reading about surviving despite adversity. The story is beautifully written and the art, done in ink and watercolors, reflects the Depression era in which it is set. Overall, it is a marvelous story for a class read-aloud.
VERDICT This is an earnest, upbeat addition for any elementary or juvenile collection. Teachers can use this book to encourage children to tell their own family stories.

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