Together in the Pinecone Patch

Together in the Pinecone Patch

by Yezerski, Thomas F. Yezerski

Compelled by poverty, Irish Keara Buckley and Polish Stefan Pazik emigrate with their families to the same coal-mining Pennsylvania town, where, as the children grow up, they rise above the ethnic prejudices of their communities and fall in love.


Compelled by poverty, Irish Keara Buckley and Polish Stefan Pazik emigrate with their families to the same coal-mining Pennsylvania town, where, as the children grow up, they rise above the ethnic prejudices of their communities and fall in love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Intricate lines and subdued tones give Yezerski's (Spy in the Sky) emotion-charged art the look of period etchings in this quietly inspiring tale of two immigrants' journeys to the New World. As its start, the artist uses effective variations in color and subtle details to distinguish both the landscapes and interior scenes in Ireland and Poland, the respective homelands of Keara Buckley and Stefan Pazik. Poverty compels each child's family to emigrate to the United States, where they settle in sparring ethnic neighborhoods in a dismal Pennsylvania coal-mining town. Though the two bicker heatedly as youngsters, by the time Keara and Stefan are grown, the drudgery of their lives has robbed them of any spark: "the dreariness of the Pinecone Patch sky filled both their heads, and the gloominess of the mines filled both their hearts." Love revives the pair, who marry despite their parents' reservations. At the wedding, the two clans come togetherand dance both the jig and the polka. Concise yet lyrical, this is a realistic look at the American immigrant experience, brightened by a heartening dash of fancy. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
Two children, a girl from Ireland and a boy from Poland, climb aboard immigrant boats bound for America. Their paths cross in the bleak coal-mining town of Pinecone Patch, Pennsylvania. Here in America, the land of freedom and opportunity, the two children and their families meet prejudice, poverty, and grueling lifestyles. That these two children; the girl from Ireland and the boy from Poland, can transcend their surroundings, histories, and ethnic prejudices to make better lives for themselves is a tribute to the real American spirit and the glorified immigrant experience. Here is a picture book for everyone. Even young children will be entranced by the story; while older readers will be historically enlightened and romantically satisfied. Large, realistic, gray-hued illustrations by the author complete this admirable package.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4A love story, predictable in resolution but original in setting. In parallel experiences, the starving Buckleys leave Ireland and the starving Paziks leave Poland. Both families come to America and settle in a gritty mining town in Pennsylvania. Feisty, red-headed Keara Buckley and shy Stefan Pazik live in parochial neighborhoodsone Irish, one Polish. When they first encounter one another, Keara sticks her tongue out and quiet Stefan runs. Over the years, the two establish a strictly antagonistic relationship. Then, as young adults, Stefan accidentally says, "Good evening," and Keara, startled, invites him for tea. When they fall in love, they must confront the opposition of both families and communities to their marriage. Inevitably, their families are won over. At the wedding, Mrs. Buckley learns the polka and Mr. Pazik learns the jig, and Keara and Stefan live happily ever after. Yezerski occasionally tells instead of shows readers: "It was absolutely beautiful." Sometimes the writing lapses into awkward phraseology: "Some true and some not so much so." The illustrations successfully depict the begrimed world of a small coal-mining town at the turn of the century, each framed in black line, giving readers a glimpse into a past world. An interesting, if simplistic introduction to this period of immigration and to the prejudices that were overcome in the melting pot of America.Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
Kirkus Reviews
A family story that will resonate for many young readers, with wonderful pictures that seem drawn from a photo album. The eight Buckleys leave Ireland because there isn't enough food; the Paziks, father and son, leave Poland to find hope. Both families come to the dreary mining town of Pinecone Patch, Pennsylvania. Young Keara and Stefan glare at each other, because everyone in town knows that the Irish are crazy and the Poles foolish. But as they grow up, the offer of a cup of tea soothes Stefan, the weary miner, and Keara, the tired seamstress. Their wedding brings the town together, first by thoughts of fighting, and then by unexpected sharing. Yezerski's illustrations capture both the Irish and Polish heritages, the dust of coal towns, and the clothing and cheap row housing of mining communities in Pennsylvania in the early part of this century; the gold, green, and gray colors are just right, and Keara's flaming red hair is a statement in itself. The story has the ring of an oft-told family story, yet is universal enough that children will grasp both the tensions and resolution, in a place and time that only seems long ago and far away. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
9.03(w) x 10.83(h) x 0.41(d)
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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