Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Purely Rosie Pearl by Patricia Cochrane

Only Steinbeck can hold the number-one spot for best Depression-era writing. Patricia Cochrane is, however, a worthy runner-up in the tween category.

Rosie Pearl is part of a migrant family working the crops during the Great Depression. Unlucky though her family was to lose their farm, she’s lucky to have the family that she does. They are hard-working, tight-knit, and she is a spunky and determined member of this clan. Hope, hard work, and education are the bright points of Rosie’s life and story.

There is a scene where the job boss is threatening to Rosie and mentions “making babies” with her. Her protective father is quickly at her side and helps her through. There is also a grief-filled part of the story where Rosie’s sister loses her baby when the hospital won’t accept her without being paid first. The family handles the grief by coming together, and it is told well.

It also is ultimately a pro-life story. There is a character who calls the migrant workers breeders and rightly upsets Rosie. But he is clearly a bad and unhappy man, afraid of losing his job, and he correctly receives little sympathy for his mean-spirited character. Rosie’s family, on the other hand, is admirable and honorable people who welcome and love new children even in the midst of hard times.

High-readability. Because of the context of the whole story and the accuracy of the historical fiction, I’m rating it safe for older tweens. Just be aware of the loss of the baby for the sensitive.

Safety Rating: 3 Vatican Flags

No Author Website available....
Historical Fiction: 1936; Great Depression; America


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