Nettie Parker's Backyard

Nettie Parker's Backyard

by C. V. Smith




Ask anyone who knows Nettie Parker, and they'll say that she's an amazing, mystical woman...what else would you call someone who receives supernatural signs sent just to them? And being able to live longer than anyone else? That alone is pretty amazing! Nettie's been through many hardships in her life, and she's learned first-hand that prejudice can be a multi-headed dragon. but her courage and determination show others that differences in skin color or in physical abilities don't matter. In fact, as Nettie and her fighter-pilot husband both get caught up in World War II, survival becomes what matters most-not just for them, but also for the eight Jewish refugee children she comes to care for. Now Nettie faces her toughest struggle yet: uncovering the mystery of her supernatural signs and the purpose of her unusually long life. Do the strange statues that suddenly appear in her backyard point to any clues? Halley, Nettie's young friend, plays detective as she re-visits Nettie's past, a journey that takes the reader from South Carolina to England and back again. Can Halley put all the pieces together and solve the puzzle?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612860329
Publisher: Avid Readers Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/14/2011
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

The idea for Nettie Parker's Backyard came to me in a very vivid dream, and whereas most of my dreams go unremembered, this one was definitely unique. Its powerful detail and message ended with a revelation that has affected my own personal beliefs, further compelling me to write the book. My research took me down some fascinating avenues as I discovered such things as the Gullah language in the Sea Islands, the Kindertransport, sand fly fever, and the role African-American soldiers played in WWII. Nettie's character was based on that of my granddaughters; thus, some of her best virtues are those of trust, love, and friendship.

I have been a teacher and para-educator for over 30 years, most of which were spent in classrooms where students were just beginning to think for themselves and about themselves. The book is written for ages 9-12, the time when youth questions everything. Adolescence is starting and many children feel insecure about themselves, their relationships with peers, or even their own families and homelife. These insecurities manifest themselves in various behaviors; some children withdraw into themselves, while some overcompensate for their fears by bullying others. I have witnessed that when bullying begins, even if innocently meant with only an off-handed word or two, prejudice often follows not far behind. I wrote this novel hoping to illustrate to children that bullying and intolerance toward race, religion, or the physically challenged have no place in our world today. Certainly, with tools such as the internet, facebook, twitter, etc., the world is becoming smaller in many ways. We must all learn to accept one another and appreciate our differences, rather than let them separate us. I further believe that more must be done to inhibit bullying; not doing so only enables the passing of prejudice from one generation to the next.

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Nettie Parker's Backyard 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
BethMo More than 1 year ago
Nettie Parker's Backyard has a bit of everything... a bit of mysticism, a detailed and fast-paced plot, endearing characters and some wonderfully accurate historical information. The book touches upon some important themes: racism, prejudice, the power of love and friendship. I love the fact that it takes a look at a little known area of WW2 London. It delves into the African American experience during that time, as well as takes an intimate look at the Kindertransport. All this, plus a very cool and mystical twist at the end make the book a great read. I hope to see this book used in junior high school classrooms... it teaches some wonderful history, some powerful lessons, and is also entertaining fiction.
kidztales1 More than 1 year ago
Nettie Parker's Backyard is a gentle yet action packed and war - torn story. It's the story of Nettie's life which is full of prejudice and bullying. Early in her life she starts seeing and hearing signs. What do these signs mean? Are they magical? Only Nettie can find that out. When Nettie is nineteen-years-old, she travels to London, England to study to be a nurse. Upon her arrival, the nursing administrator is very nice to her but soon she is met with more prejudice from others. Is this because of her physical challenge or because of her race? Nettie meets two young boys one day when their ball flies across the fence and into the Charring Cross Hospital grounds. The boys don't think they'll ever get their ball back and are very hestitant to talk ask for it. Nettie's caring and compassionate nature can't understand this but she soon will. She talks with the boys for awhile and is surprised to learn that the boys were sent to London by their parents to escape the horrors of World War II. Kind, compassionate Nettie doesn't think there's enough hate or fear in the world to make parents and children separate! She soon finds out differently! It was very hard for this reviewer to put this book down. Throughout this well written account of Nettie Parker, not only do you learn about her ancestry and her adventures in London but you learn a secret language too! I highly recommend Nettie Parker's backyard. Although the historical fiction is written for children, adults will thoroughly enjoy this magical book too!
newwriterEC More than 1 year ago
As I reached the end of this very touching and lovely book, I suddenly felt saddened that I was saying goodbye to people that I had "lived" with for what seemed like a lifetime, although it was only for the few days I had spent reading it. While the story is ostensibly geared toward 9-12 year old young adults, and while it serves this group admirably by its rich use of language that respects the intelligence of these young people, it is the richness of the characters as they journey through the various travails, joys and sadness of life that left it's effect on me for many many days afterward. The story reaches through generations, and as the tale extends through the deep American south to the battlefields of Europe and the terrible and wide impact of the holocaust, it is these people, young and old, whose thirst for life and happiness keeps them so vivid in our minds. Aunt Netti involves us, amuses us, touches us and finally teaches us. As a reviewer, I was terribly moved by the story, particularly as it builds towards its conclusion. Something touched me deeply reading it, although I'm not quite sure why....cynical me has to admit that I even teared up from time to time. In truth I resisted putting it down at all until the necessities of life forced me take the occasional break. And as the story passed as a panorama before my mind's eye, I could'nt help but think what a lovely movie this would make; hopefully some appropriate person will recognize this as well........Highly Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was fun trying to guess what Nettie's supernatural signs meant. I felt like a detective, and I liked how it all came together cleverly in the end. Talia S., age 13