Monday, March 22, 2010

Prairie Winter by Bonnie Geisert

The Cresbard school means a lot to sixth grader Rachel Johnson. It means classes with a beloved teacher, important band rehearsals for the upcoming concert in Chicago, and time to hang out with Winnie and Darren and the rest of the town kids. For a twelve year-old living on a remote prairie farm with no phone, school means connection. And that connection is about to be severed. The most dangerous winter that Rachel has ever known is about to descend on Cresbard, marooning her on the farm and keeping her from the school she so desperately loves.

Then, in a surprising turn of events, Rachel’s dad agrees to fly his three oldest daughters to town so they can continue the school year. Rachel will be boarding in a hotel with no parents, no rules, and no chores. Her choice of desserts every night, two-stepping with Darren Baxter at the school dance . . .will Rachel ever be able to return to farm life after this?

Based on the author's childhood in the 1950s, Prairie Winter continues the story of Rachel Johnson [first seen in Prairie Summer & Lessons]. During the harsh winter of 1955-56, Rachel and the rest of the Johnson girls experience some changes among the Johnson family and some special memories of life and school in South Dakota. It was an interesting little book; reminded me a lot of how my grandmother lived during that time. She too lived on a farm isolated from the bigger towns but she did have a telephone, unlike Rachel. 
This book is a short, sweet story–mainly for middle graders–but I don't see why teens wouldn't or couldn't read this. I never read any of the other books in Rachel's trilogy, but you don't really have to since each book is based on one event in the Johnson household. Again, because it is mainly intended for middle graders or kids, it's narration is "juvenile"; this didn't really bother me since a do read middle grade/kids books often, but it can be a little odd if you haven't touched a children's book in awhile.
Overall, Prairie Winter was a nice little fictional memoir of a farm girl's memories of the '50s. I'm not quite sure teens would be too interested in picking it up, but I definitely recommend for middle graders–it would be perfect for a book report and an interesting peek into the 1950s. Ages 10+.

|Pages: 224|Year Published: Nov. 2009|Publisher: Houghton Mifflin|
|Genre: Historical fiction, memoir, middle grade|
|Age Group: Ages 10+|Content: None|
|Buy or Borrow? Both|
|Enjoyed It: 4/5|Content Rating: 5/5|Cover: 5/5|


1 comment:


looks like a cute book! I'm sure me and my nieces will love it!

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