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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*R My Name is Rachel* by Patricia Reilly Giff - middle grades book review
Also by Patricia Reilly Giff:


Zigzag Kids #5: Bears Beware


Zig Zag Kids 1: Number One Kid / Zig Zag Kids 2: Big Whopper

Wild Girl
R My Name is Rachel
by Patricia Reilly Giff
Ages 9+ 176 pages Wendy Lamb Books August 2011 Hardcover    

R My Name is Rachel takes place in 1933, in the heart of the Great Depression. Many of todayís children will identify with twelve-year-old Rachel: as her father loses his job, money is very tight, and the family must move to the country in hopes of a better life.

The oldest of three children, it breaks Rachelís heart to leave her city home, her school, and especially dear family friend Miss Mitzi. The move to the small, dilapidated farm is difficult, and her father doesnít get the bank job he was promised.

Eventually, her father must take a job far away from home, building roads for the government. Rachel, her brother and sister must survive on their meager savings in his absence. When her sister loses all their money, their situation becomes desperate, and the children use many creative routes to survive as the rent is due their food supply dwindles.

A heartwarming story of perseverance during difficult times, R My Name is Rachel is much more than a historical novel. The reader develops a relationship with the characters, watching them grow stronger when they work together.

Rachelís strained relationship with her sister changes as they realize they have more in common than not, and together they are much stronger than they could be alone. The familyís endurance during hard times is one which successfully combines the American ideal of self-reliance and the recognition that sometimes we need others for both friendship and support.

With an attractive cover, a solid storyline and well-developed characters, R My Name is Rachel is an especially good choice for students who enjoy historical fiction, an interesting female protagonist, and a straightforward, linear plot line.
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