Tuesday, November 01, 2011

R My Name Is Rachel by Patricia Reilly Giff

It's 1936, and America is deep into the Great Depression. Twelve-year-old Rachel is living in a busy city with her Pop and two siblings, Joey and Cassie. Rachel's best friend is Miss Mitzi, who runs the florist shop. However, all this quickly changes when Pop loses his job and moves his children to broken-down farmhouse miles from the city. Then Pop must leave for Canada or not get a job at all. Now Rachel is in charge, but things go badly wrong. Xenia, the goat, eats the garden, Cassie loses every penny they have, and there's nothing to eat but fish and beans. Through all this, Rachel finds comfort by writing letters to Miss Mitzi, but she worries. Will they be able to pay the rent? Will she be able to get more seeds? When will they ever hear from Pop?

This was a very emotional novel, which is why I think the author made a wise choice by writing it as a personal narrative. Since it is a personal narrative, it's like you are talking to Rachel; you're getting the information straight from her. I also enjoyed how the plot thickened considerably in some parts but not so much in others. I disliked that almost every chapter was very short; I think there could have been more detail in some places. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories of the Great Depression.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Annandale, Virginia USA

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