I Am Lavina Cumming

I Am Lavina Cumming

by Susan Lowell, Paul Mirocha
     
 

While staying with relatives in California after the death of her mother, ten-year-old Lavina sees the arrival of the automobile and experiences the great San Francisco earthquake.See more details below

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Overview

While staying with relatives in California after the death of her mother, ten-year-old Lavina sees the arrival of the automobile and experiences the great San Francisco earthquake.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This ambitious first title in the Milkweed for Young Readers line introduces Lavina Cumming of the Bosque Ranch, Arizona Territory. At the turn of the century, the 10-year-old heroine must, at her father's insistence, leave her motherless home to travel alone to her aunt in Santa Cruz, Calif., where she will learn to become a lady. Although she misses her family and the wild freedom of their ranch, Lavina gradually comes to value the new experiences afforded by her aunt's household--even though that household includes ``awful Aggie,'' a self- proclaimed precocious fourth grader. Lavina is both likable and believable, her credibility enhanced by the author's skillful use of period details, and her story is ripe with dramatic opportunities. Lowell ( The Three Little Javelinas ) weaves in tales passed down through Lavina's family, but these remain tangential, sometimes detracting from the main focus. Lavina learns that her father was married to someone else before meeting her mother, and although it rattles Lavina's trust in her father, the issue is dropped. Aside from these troubles, Lowell's work is hardy, graceful and certainly authentic: the real-life Lavina Cumming, whose journals, letters and diaries provided the story's foundation, is Lowell's grandmother. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-In 1905, 10-year-old Lavina's widowed father sends the girl to make her way from their home in the Arizona mountains to his sister in California to be educated and to learn to be a lady. Strong-willed Aunt Agnes; her wispy daughter, Maude; and Maude's spoiled daughter are much different from Lavina's five wild brothers, and the Mission School and formal dinners are far different from the outdoor, free life she left behind. Lowell presents both lives with respect; as Lavina adapts to new experiences, she shares stories about speaking Spanish at home and riding a horse to school. In fact, her camping skills come in handy after the San Francisco earthquake drives the household out into the street. Lowell's book is based on stories her grandmother told; this along with evident careful research give it a vivid sense of time and place. The strong characters develop believably towards the satisfyingly circular ending: Lavina returns to Arizona for the summer, alone again, but now with a dream for the future and two beloved homes instead of one.-Sally Bates Goodroe, Houston Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780915943777
Publisher:
Milkweed Editions
Publication date:
09/28/1993
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.59(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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