The Lucky Starby Judy Young, Chris Ellison
It is 1933 and the Great Depression has ravaged the nation. Millions of people are out of work; thousands of families are struggling to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. But Momma still finds ways to count her blessings (lucky stars) from Ruth's new shoes to Poppa's new job. But where Momma sees the 'bright,' Ruth only sees the dark. Her shoes are… See more details below
It is 1933 and the Great Depression has ravaged the nation. Millions of people are out of work; thousands of families are struggling to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. But Momma still finds ways to count her blessings (lucky stars) from Ruth's new shoes to Poppa's new job. But where Momma sees the 'bright,' Ruth only sees the dark. Her shoes are hand-me-downs from a neighbor and Poppa's new job keeps him away from home for months. And now their town can't afford to keep the school open. Ruth will not be going to fourth grade even though she's one of the brightest students in her class. How can anyone find the good in that? But when Ruth stops thinking of her own problems and focuses on someone else's, she realizes that being a lucky star is the best way to start seeing your own lucky stars.In addition to writing children's books, Judy Young teaches poetry writing workshops for children and educators across the country. Her other books with Sleeping Bear Press include the popular R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet and Lazy Days of Summer. Judy lives near Springfield, Missouri. This is Chris Ellison's third book in the Tales of Young Americans series. He also illustrated Rudy Rides the Rails and Pappy's Handkerchief. His first book with Sleeping Bear Press, Let Them Play, was named a 2006 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Chris lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Gr 1-4- It is 1933, and Ruth is feeling the effects of the Great Depression. Her father has a job with the Civilian Conservation Corps, but it takes him hundreds of miles from home. With her mother also working and the school closed because the town cannot afford to hire a teacher and heat the building, she is pessimistic about the future for herself and her younger sister, Janie. Their mother is a constant source of optimism, telling the nine-year-old, "We don't have much but remember, there's always someone who is worse off than you are. So count your lucky stars that you've got what you've got." Then one morning Ruth decides that she will instruct the younger children in the neighborhood. She teaches them their letters by writing in leftover biscuit flour and uses pebbles to illustrate basic math. An author's note provides historical context about the Depression while the story itself concentrates on the human elements. The illustrations reflect the family's love and warmth. Rich, vibrant colors light the home and the surrounding countryside. Pinks, blues, and yellows are repeated in the characters' clothing and the flowers in the garden. Sepia-toned images are used for flashbacks when Ruth considers previous events. This title succeeds in capturing a particular time period as well as in delivering a timeless message.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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