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Something about Hensley's

( 2 )


There's something about Hensley's! No matter what you need, that general store is sure to have it. It's almost magical the way the manager, Old John, seems to know what the townsfolk need before they do! But then a new family moves to town. The youngest child, Molly, has asthma?but her mother doesn't have money to treat her, or for anything else. But leave it to Old John to find a way to use Hensley's to give the family exactly what it needs, even if it can't be boxed or bagged....

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There's something about Hensley's! No matter what you need, that general store is sure to have it. It's almost magical the way the manager, Old John, seems to know what the townsfolk need before they do! But then a new family moves to town. The youngest child, Molly, has asthma—but her mother doesn't have money to treat her, or for anything else. But leave it to Old John to find a way to use Hensley's to give the family exactly what it needs, even if it can't be boxed or bagged.

A true—and truly moving—story about an unforgettable general store and about the extraordinary power one person's acts of kindness can have on another.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
At Hensley's general store, "no matter what a body may need, you're sure to find it there." Kindly owner John Soncrant can come up with anything, from a missing place setting of Garden Rose dishware, to a large-size left track shoe, to an exact replacement for an unusual lamp. "It's the very thing!" all his amazed and grateful customers exclaim. When asthmatic Molly and kitten-loving Kate move to town with their penniless single mother, Old John outdoes himself by procuring for them, through the "magic" of his kindliness and creativity, medical care for Molly, a business opportunity for her mom, and even a rescued kitty for Kate. Polacco fully makes us believe that there is "something about Hensley's," and each new "miracle" only adds to this heartwarming tribute to the bygone institution of the neighborhood general store. The jacket flap, explaining that Hensley's is a real-life store with John Soncrant its real-life proprietor, will make readers envious that they don't live near Polacco in Union City, Michigan—but also grateful that this kind of heartfelt caring still exists somewhere in our world today.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-A story that can be enjoyed as a read-aloud or by independent readers. It touches upon the troubles of a family, newly relocated to a town that has a special shopkeeper who stocks anything a person could ever need or want. Hensley's is more than a normal general store, and its optimistic and resourceful proprietor spreads magic into the lives of everyone he meets. Polacco spins an engaging tale with universal appeal. The subjects of single-parent difficulties, family stress, financial straits, and medical emergencies make this book a great tool for parents, caregivers, and educators who work with children who may share similar problems. The artwork draws readers into the emotions felt by the characters and frames the story with a certain charm that makes it one to read again and again. A terrific addition to any picture-book collection.-Kathleen Pavin, Purdy Elementary School Library, Fort Atkinson, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hensley's is not an ordinary store. No matter what a customer needs-even if he or she doesn't know what it is-Old John, the owner, has it somewhere. When Molly and Kate move to town with their mother, they wander in and are presented with the ideal candy. They visit often, and Kate confides that she can't get a cat because of her sister's allergies. Old John suspects there's more to the story, and he's proven right when Molly has an asthma attack, and Kate and Molly's mother can't pay the doctor's bill. But Hensley's always has what a customer needs, even a way to improve the family's finances and the means for the girls to adopt a pet. Polacco's story is sweet and comforting, and her trademark pen-and-marker illustrations capture the feeling of a general store still hanging on in middle America (Hensley's actually exists). While in reality such a story may not end so perfectly, readers will be happy to see that the bubble that encloses Hensley's does not burst. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399245381
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/7/2006
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 386,356
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco lives in Union City, Michigan.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    What fun it is to read Patricia Polacco

    This book would make an incredible read aloud. I can picture children sitting at the edge of thier seat just waiting to see what is going to happen next!

    Patricia Polacco has a brilliant way of weaving words and illustrations into a real life story. I live in Michigan and knowing that the author also lives in Michigan is just a added plus!

    Readers can tell the emotions in this story just by looking at the pictures. Mr. Soncrant is a very real person and everyone in a small town seems to be able to find exactly what they need at his store Hensley's. Mr. Soncrant comes to the rescue when a new family moves into town and a single mother is unable to afford the medication that her daughter needs. Mr. Soncrant shares his kindness in so many ways!

    Many children will be able to realate to this book in some form with the economy in its current sitution...What a great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007


    I grew up in Union City, Michigan, and Hensley's was very much a part of my childhood in the 1950s and '60s. We called it the 'Dime Store,' and John Soncrant was there then as he is now. The illustrations in this book are wonderful... I would have know that was Mr. Soncrant on the cover without seeing the title of the book. In the 1970s my daughters also loved Hensley's, and one of them called it the 'Dimon Store,' a cross, I guess, between diamonds and dime, but a place of treasures by any name! This book brings back memories of by-the-pound chocolate covered peanuts, sour cherry balls, and trinkets galore as well as small town America at its best. Patricia Pollacco captures the essence of John Soncrant, a wonderful man dedicated to life in a small town where everybody knows your name. You'll love the story even if your didn't grow up there!

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