R My Name Is Rachel

( 1 )

Overview

Rachel, Cassie, and Joey live in the city with their Pop, until Pop's search for work lands the family on a run down farm. Dreamy Rachel loves to read, and doesn't know much about the country. Times are hard there, too—the school and library are closed.  When Pop gets work near Canada, he has to leave the children on the farm alone. For two months! But Rachel's the oldest, and she'll make sure they're all right. Somehow.

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R My Name Is Rachel

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Overview

Rachel, Cassie, and Joey live in the city with their Pop, until Pop's search for work lands the family on a run down farm. Dreamy Rachel loves to read, and doesn't know much about the country. Times are hard there, too—the school and library are closed.  When Pop gets work near Canada, he has to leave the children on the farm alone. For two months! But Rachel's the oldest, and she'll make sure they're all right. Somehow.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Giff's (Storyteller) plaintive yet heartening historical novel introduces a close-knit family devastated by the Depression. After losing his job in the city, Rachel's widower father moves his children to the country, where, to Rachel's sorrow, the school and library are closed for lack of funds ("I can't even cry. No library: the idea is too big for tears"). Meanwhile, Rachel's father finds work that keeps him away from home for months. Left in charge of her younger siblings—bossy, organized Cassie and reckless, optimistic Joey—12-year-old Rachel struggles to scrape together food and rent money, insisting that they will not ask for help: "I have to do this myself. No, not myself. Ourselves." The children transform their dilapidated farmhouse into a home, plant a garden, and turn for help to the bighearted woman who was Rachel's mentor in the city. Rachel's searing, present-tense narrative exposes her fears, determination, and hopefulness in the face of wrenching challenges. Recurring motifs—color, flowers, and drawings by a neighbor that Rachel discovers in unlikely places—add lyricism to this story of family solidarity. Ages 9–12. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Twelve-year old Rachel does not think things can become any worse. Her father has lost his job and there is not enough food for the family. However, she quickly learns things can become worse when her father informs them that they must move from New York City and all they know to a farm upstate. How can she leave Miss Mitzi who has the flower shop and is the family's best friend and the closest thing she has to a mother? How can she leave school or the only home she has ever known? The Great Depression is to blame for all her problems. Life becomes even more difficult when the family arrives at the rundown farmhouse only to be snowed in so that Pop does not get the job for which he came up north. Survival is difficult but the family never loses hope, even when Pop goes away to work on a highway in Canada, leaving Rachel in charge of her younger brother and sister. Only her frequent letters to and from Miss Mitzi keep Rachel going. This beautifully written novel vividly depicts the hardships endured by families during the Great Depression. Young readers will come away with a better understanding of this period of our history while laughing with Rachel's family at some of the mishaps. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—The 1930s Depression is chipping away more and more at the average American family, and 12-year-old Rachel's is no different from the others. Her father, a single parent, loses his job at the bank and relocates the family from the city to a dilapidated farmhouse in upstate New York. A snowstorm prevents Pop from getting to a bank interview in their town. Rachel and her younger siblings, Cassie and Joey, must fend for themselves when he leaves them for a time to take work building roads farther north. Rachel is extremely disappointed that the school and library are closed because of hard times, and the farm is isolated. Still, the siblings are determined to make a go of it. Rachel's correspondence with her friend Miss Mitzi, who owns the flower shop on her old city block, gives her strength and encouragement. When Cassie loses the money Pop had left for them to buy food and pay rent, she runs away, giving rise to the well-calculated suspense and pathos of the story. Giff's depiction of the children's living conditions, daily activities, and fears and triumphs create a realistic, discussable, thoroughly enjoyable read. The ending is almost too perfectly "happy ever after" yet that is easy to overlook, given this gift to readers, even reluctant ones.—D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375838897
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/9/2011
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan's Song, a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Honor Book for Fiction; and the Newbery Honor Books Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. Lily's Crossing was also chosen as a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. Her most recent books are Number One Kid, Big Whopper, Flying Feet, Eleven, Wild Girl, and Storyteller.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Awesome!!!!

    I know bu rnt gonna believe this but..... patricia reilly giff is my aunt..... when i was younger i asked her to wite a book usng my name! So she did.... this book was named afterme! Aunt Pat rocks!!!! ( obviously my name is Rachel) (:

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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