Ten entertaining biographical stories set in Dickens County, Texas portray rural life during the Great Depression. They reflect the straitened circumstances, strong work ethic and close sense of community of the time, as well as the resilience and ingenuity of that generation. Despite the difficulties, or perhaps because of them, Benji’s childhood was marked by strong family ties and sheer love of life.
|Publisher:||Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, LLC|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||6 MB|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Although her mother and father hail from West Texas and Eastern New Mexico, Nelda Bedford Gaydou was born and raised in Argentina. Her childhood home is described in two biographical works about her missionary parents, "To the Ends of the Earth: High Plains to Patagonia" (winner of the 2017 International Book Award for General Biography) and "From Sea to Sea: River Plate to Lake Michigan".The author's mother taught her to read in English before starting public school in Spanish, and she's been hooked on reading and writing ever since. Married, with three children, four grandchildren and three Labrador Retrievers, she lives in the mountains of central Argentina. Gaydou's next work is The Color of the Flame, a family memoir on dementia. Upcoming projects include another book of Benji stories (this time about town life during the Great Depression in Clovis, New Mexico) and Spanish versions of the biographies.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
King of the Hill based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite King of the Hill: A Child’s Personal History of the Great Depression by Nelda Bedford Gaydou is a collection of family stories from the Great Depression. It follows the adventures of Benji, the youngest of eleven children, and his share-cropping family as they move from place to place, looking for work in the southwestern United States. Benji picks cotton at age five, drives farm equipment (run by horses) at age seven, and drives a truck at the age of nine. In the midst of hard work, Benji enjoys playing games like Red Rover and King of the Hill with other children. Occasionally he goes to school. His close-knit family survives on labor, thrift and ingenuity. Charming pencil sketches, an appropriate medium for the topic, illustrate each chapter. The drawings would serve as even better illustrations if they were placed in the midst of the chapter where the action occurs rather than before the chapter heading. King of the Hill contains a lengthy selection of multiple choice study guide questions for grades 3-8. Reading the book, I felt it would be most appropriate for children in grades 1-6, although the reading level would be too difficult for the youngest students to read for themselves. The study questions are well done. Nelda Bedford Gaydou’s depiction of what life was like for Benji in the 1930s is an eye-opener and a stunning contrast to modern childhood. It is hard to even imagine giving kids the responsibilities they were entrusted with in the past. Reading King of the Hill could lead to lively and enthusiastic classroom discussions.