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Christmas after All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932 (Dear America (Reissues)) Hardcover – 1 Nov 2001
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Top customer reviews
I would recommend it to 9-12 year olds because the storyline is quite straightforword but a bit too complicated for anyone younger.
minnie swift keeps her diary the months up until christmas, suddenly her farther dissapers, just beforse christmas, it starts looking pretty bad for her family and the newly arrived Willie faye, an orphan from texas.
I thought this was a very good book It is actully based on relly things and real people from Kathryn Laskys life, clementine is based on Kathryn laskys mum and lady is based on one of her aunts.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, there were certain times I was pulled out of the story when Minnie would reference something and state what it was, making it evident that the author was explaining something to a kid. This is to be expected since this series is intended for younger readers than myself who may not understand if this were written in a more true fashion where references weren't explained for their cultural context. The ending was too sugary for my taste because I felt it diffused the truth of the Depression. Being someone who has researched the 1930s for years for their own writing/artistic projects, I understand that people were affected by the Depression differently. But the ending was too fantasy for me and left me wondering why the author would want to explain parts of the history if she is going to end it in a way that clashes? The epilogue was unnecessary but could have been used better if the ending was different to give a sense of the characters overcoming the Depression. I just wanted an ending that mirrored the history for what it is was and not some bad dream you wave a wand over to make it go away. I noticed some people are referencing the suicide comments in the book (I agree suicide is serious and that was a difficult reality some families faced during the era..and the comments were meant to show Minnie's naivety to that) but I was surprised the author referenced, Freaks. I saw that film as a teen and have heard the film described as frightening and grotesque, depending on one's tastes. Personally I'm not into the genre it's placed in of horror, but for some younger children who won't understand the filmmaker's intent...it may be scary for them.
All in all, the setting and theme of this book is a hopeful one stressing the importance of family and faith during hard times. It's a good book but sadly downplays elements for the age group it's intended for. There's better historical fiction than this book, yes. If you're interested in what the decade was really like, there are plenty of nonfiction books and actual accounts online for you to read...which I highly recommend readers of any age who are new to learning about the Great Depression do to see that while people didn't have a fantasy like change of events, many were able to overcome their own challenges of the 1930s.
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