Carla and her mother are struggling to make ends meet. They have lost their apartment due to a fire and after months of living in a dingy hotel, they have been notified that their new apartment is ready. Carla has been entranced by the story of the Pilgrims and imagines herself in similar situations. She wants a Thanksgiving feast, but as her Mom points out — "Fat chance." She just doesn't have the money and their friends are far away. Carla, undeterred, enlists the help of Julio, a classmate who lives in the building, and Mr. Lewis who runs the building. They need ten people to agree to participate and then Mr. Lewis will let them host the feast in the lobby. Using a tried and true approach with all of the guests bringing something, they manage to set up a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. This heartwarming story clearly shows that one person can make a difference and that children as well as adults can be effective agents of change. Kids will love spunky Carla and savor her success. 2001, Whitman, $14.95. Ages 5 to 9. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In this story set in New York City, Carla and her mother are placed in an apartment after a one-year wait. The child's only possession, saved from a fire that destroyed their belongings, is a book, A Pilgrim Thanksgiving. Carla imagines herself as a Pilgrim girl and identifies her new home as a new land. When she mentions having a Thanksgiving feast, her mother's response is, "Fat chance." Undaunted, the youngster organizes a potluck dinner in the apartment-house lobby where strangers become friends and neighbors. The presentation is somewhat didactic and the ending is not surprising. However, the message is clear. The story and acrylic-and-gouache illustrations showing the Pilgrim feast juxtaposed with the modern urban apartment will be helpful in bringing the two worlds together. The illustrations are clear and colorful and large enough for a read-aloud. At the same time, the text is simple enough for beginning readers and the format will appeal to reluctant readers. This title is likely to have seasonal demand.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.