The Bread Winner

Overview

When both her parents are unable to find work and pay the bills during the Great Depression, resourceful Sarah Ann Puckett saves the family from the poorhouse by selling her prize-winning homemade bread.

When both her parents are unable to find work and pay the bills during the Great Depression, resourceful Sarah Ann Puckett saves the family from the poorhouse by selling her prizewinning homemade bread.

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Overview

When both her parents are unable to find work and pay the bills during the Great Depression, resourceful Sarah Ann Puckett saves the family from the poorhouse by selling her prize-winning homemade bread.

When both her parents are unable to find work and pay the bills during the Great Depression, resourceful Sarah Ann Puckett saves the family from the poorhouse by selling her prizewinning homemade bread.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pleasant if not entirely persuasive, this novel by the author of You're a Real Hero, Amanda features a heroine who is pluckiness personified. When the family farm is lost during the Depression, Sarah is horrified by the ramshackle hut she and her parents move to and worries when neither lands a new job. But while the adults buckle under the strain, Sarah rallies: before long, she has started a bread business, baking loaves and selling them to appreciative neighbors, eventually enlisting the aid of both parents and, ever resourceful, commandeering a storefront in the center of town. No sissy she, Sarah also fights back against the local bullies and rescues the store's cashbox from a thieving hobo. However, she is a little too good to be true (for example, she voluntarily takes a math test on her first day in a new school because it looks ``easy and fun to do''). The setbacks Whitmore throws in are almost formulaic, and Sarah's enthusiasm for baking does not fully emerge. On the other hand, Sarah's reactions to her parents' despair are both convincing and moving, and it's impossible not to admire her never-say-die attitude. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
From The Critics
"Sarah is a strong female protagonist and the well-structured story is fast paced, while Whitmore's evocation of the period allows the readers to share the desperation of hard-working, decent people."
School Library Journal
The Depression and its people come alive in this touching and well-crafted novel. Sarah Ann Puckett thinks her father is joking when, having lost their farm during the Depression, he pulls up to a shabby shack and announces that it is to be their new home. In her new neighborhood and school, Sarah becomes a target for bullies until she learns to fight for her rights and begins to adjust; unfortunately, her father isn't as quick to adapt to his new circumstances. Unable to find work and believing he is a burden to his family, he leaves home to ride the rails, hoping to find employment elsewhere. Sarah's mother takes in laundry but proves unable to support herself and her daughter, and Sarah's breadmaking skills save the day. When her father returns home at last, a thriving bakery is waiting for him. Although it's hard to believe that a child could so determinedly and creatively turn poverty around, the Depression fostered many such scenarios, and they are warming to read. But even more rewarding here is the description of the Depression--the devastating changes in many peoples' lives, how bravely they acted, how generous people could be even in poverty, and how serious life was, even for children. --Susan F. Marcus, Pollard Middle School, Needham, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756950835
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Arvella Whitmore grew up in Great Bend, Kansas. She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is a full-time writer.

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