The Ballad of Jessie Pearl

131p. Namelos. 2013. Tr $18.95. ISBN 978-1-60898-141-0; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-60898-142-7; ebook $8.95. ISBN 978-1-60898-143-4
Gr 5 Up—Despite advances like Model Ts and tuberculosis sanatoriums, rural life in the early 20th century is difficult. Fourteen-year-old Jessie Pearl Hennings has promised her late mother that she will finish school and go on to teacher's college, but the death of her sister, raising her nephew, helping on the family farm, and romance with a local boy are roadblocks that could keep her from her dream. This fast-paced historical novel is filled with enough factual detail, recognizable emotions, and personal drama to keep readers turning pages, eager to learn the final verse in the ballad of Jessie's life. An author's note about the story's origins in actual events could inspire students to seek out family stories of their own.—Natasha Forrester, Multnomah County Library, OR

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