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The Bread Winner

( 2 )

Overview

As her family’s Model T truck rattles along toward Waheegan, Sarah Ann Puckett wonders about her new home. What will life be like in a real town? Will her house be bigger than the one on the farm? She can’t wait to see her first movie at the Aladdin Theater and to make friends at her new school.
But the year is 1932, and life in the midst of the Great Depression is far from easy. Sarah’s parents have been forced to sell the farm, and Sarah is shocked to see that her new house is...

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Overview

As her family’s Model T truck rattles along toward Waheegan, Sarah Ann Puckett wonders about her new home. What will life be like in a real town? Will her house be bigger than the one on the farm? She can’t wait to see her first movie at the Aladdin Theater and to make friends at her new school.
But the year is 1932, and life in the midst of the Great Depression is far from easy. Sarah’s parents have been forced to sell the farm, and Sarah is shocked to see that her new house is nothing more than a shack in the poorest part of town. Jobs are scarce, and soon Sarah’s father is forced to leave home to look for work. It seems that Sarah has lost everything . . . except her prizewinning bread recipe.

When both her parents are unable to find work and pay the bills during the Great Depression, resourceful Sarah Ann Puckett saves the family from the poorhouse by selling her prizewinning homemade bread.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sarah is a strong female protagonist and the well-structured story is fast paced, while Whitmore's evocation of the period allows the readers to share the desperation of hard-working, decent people." Kirkus Reviews

“The Depression and its people come alive in this touching and well-crafted novel.”—School Library Journal School Library Journal

“Tales of the Depression can be dull and dreary, but not so this story of an optimistic, beguiling, and innovative twelve-year-old. . . . A surefire winner.”—VOYA

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pleasant if not entirely persuasive, this novel by the author of You're a Real Hero, Amanda features a heroine who is pluckiness personified. When the family farm is lost during the Depression, Sarah is horrified by the ramshackle hut she and her parents move to and worries when neither lands a new job. But while the adults buckle under the strain, Sarah rallies: before long, she has started a bread business, baking loaves and selling them to appreciative neighbors, eventually enlisting the aid of both parents and, ever resourceful, commandeering a storefront in the center of town. No sissy she, Sarah also fights back against the local bullies and rescues the store's cashbox from a thieving hobo. However, she is a little too good to be true (for example, she voluntarily takes a math test on her first day in a new school because it looks ``easy and fun to do''). The setbacks Whitmore throws in are almost formulaic, and Sarah's enthusiasm for baking does not fully emerge. On the other hand, Sarah's reactions to her parents' despair are both convincing and moving, and it's impossible not to admire her never-say-die attitude. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
The Depression and its people come alive in this touching and well-crafted novel. Sarah Ann Puckett thinks her father is joking when, having lost their farm during the Depression, he pulls up to a shabby shack and announces that it is to be their new home. In her new neighborhood and school, Sarah becomes a target for bullies until she learns to fight for her rights and begins to adjust; unfortunately, her father isn't as quick to adapt to his new circumstances. Unable to find work and believing he is a burden to his family, he leaves home to ride the rails, hoping to find employment elsewhere. Sarah's mother takes in laundry but proves unable to support herself and her daughter, and Sarah's breadmaking skills save the day. When her father returns home at last, a thriving bakery is waiting for him. Although it's hard to believe that a child could so determinedly and creatively turn poverty around, the Depression fostered many such scenarios, and they are warming to read. But even more rewarding here is the description of the Depression--the devastating changes in many peoples' lives, how bravely they acted, how generous people could be even in poverty, and how serious life was, even for children. --Susan F. Marcus, Pollard Middle School, Needham, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618494798
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 272,450
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Arvella Whitmore grew up in Great Bend, Kansas. She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is a full-time writer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2000

    THIS IS THE BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD THAT I HAVE EVER READ!!!!

    Every where I Went I Had to bring this book, I re-read it every year, it is sooooo good I really think you should read it. My 3rd Grade Teacher MRS. KNARR read it to my class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

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