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Nancy and Plum Kindle Edition

49 customer reviews

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Length: 242 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Age Level: 9 - 12
Grade Level: 4 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If the name Betty MacDonald sounds familiar, it’s because she is the author of the beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. This title, originally published in 1952, isn’t in that category, but it still has its own charm. Like characters in so many children’s books, Nancy and her sister, Plum, are orphans. Their only relative, Uncle John, doesn’t really know children, so he ships the girls off to Mrs. Monday’s Boarding Home for Children, a place where the girls get little to eat, nothing new to wear, and don’t even receive the few letters and gifts their uncle sends. But Nancy and Plum have spunk, and in the course of the story, they find a way to turn things around, though not without ruffling the feathers of Mrs. Monday and her annoying niece. Old-fashioned in the best sense of the word, this is a return to the stories of authors like Eleanor Estes and Elizabeth Enright. The plot sags in the middle, and there may be too much adult help for contemporary readers, but this has a sweetness to which kids will respond. Grades 3-5. --Ilene Cooper

About the Author

Betty MacDonald was born Anne Elizabeth Campbell Bard in Boulder, Colorado, in 1908. The daughter of a mining engineer, she spent her early years in some of the mining towns of Idaho, Montana, and Mexico. When she was nine, her father took the family—his wife and five children—to Seattle, where Betty lived until shortly after her marriage.

Among her books for children are Nancy and Plum, originally published in 1952, and the beloved classics Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm, and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
 
Mary GrandPré is perhaps best known for creating the jackets and illustrations for the Harry Potter books. She has also illustrated The Blue Shoe, a novel for young readers by Robert Townley, as well as many fine picture books, including Chin Yu Min and the Ginger Cat by Jennifer Armstrong and Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root. You can read more about Mary GrandPré and her work at www.marygrandpre.com.

Product Details


More About the Author

A longtime resident of Washington State, Betty MacDonald (1908-1958) authored four humorous, autobiographical bestsellers and several children's books, including the popular Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susan G. Beck on May 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My eight-year-old grandson and I just began reading the 1952 copyrighted Nancy and Plum together. It is a childhood favorite of my own. I read it several times when I was eight and nine. My grandson LOVES it. However, I was disappointed to see that, in the new edition, the illustrator was replaced. The new illustrations remind me of the Lemony Snicket books which are not what I consider good children's literature. Bring Hildegard Hopkins' drawings back to the book!!!

Susan Beck
Once and always a children's librarian
educated at Kutztown University and
the University of Illinois
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an absolute treasure. It is dear and funny and touching and heart-warming . You will love the two little sisters, and others, and will take them into your heart. This is a book which I have loved since I first discovered it in the Bookmobile, as a child, and I am so happy to have found an actual First Edition (Lippincott, 1952), to hold in my hands, and to read and re-read, and to treasure forever. It is just as special to me, in its Library Discard form. I am glad that it has been reprinted several times and made available to children and adults of today. Buy it for yourself and for others you love. You, and they, will cherish it, too, and will pass this dear and funny book on, to future children, for a lifetime of heart-warming comfort and humor. And, the Illustrations, by Hildegarde Hopkins, are charming, too. Happy reading.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Liza on April 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Nancy and Plum is a story of to almost orphan girls who are sent away to a awful boarding school by their rich uncle. Evil Mrs. Monday, the person who owns the boarding school, treats everyone there awfully. They are fed cold, hard oatmeal and the boarders letters are not aloud to be sent out and the incoming gifts are all captured and given to Mrs. Mondays niece Marybell. This is discovered when the girls were locked in the attic and found empty packages adressed to them. Finally Nancy and Pamela (Plum), the girls find a way to send a letter (by pigeon) and eventually after great suffering Mrs. Monday is sent to jail, the girls sent fabulus presents to all there friewnds and the girls find a great family to live with. And they all lived happily ever after.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jyotsna Sreenivasan on March 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My son (age 8) and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. We love the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, but I'd never heard of this one until recently. It is a kind of realistic fable. The girls live in the town of Heavenly Valley, which is a sort of generic American town. I'm not sure exactly when this story takes place -- there are both cars and horses used for transportation here. The details of the story sometimes seem quite old-fashioned, and sometimes quite modern. None of this bothered my son, who was just carried away by the story of the spunky orphans who are cruelly treated by Mrs. Monday,and who triumph in the end because of their own determination and courage, as well as the help of several adults. The mean characters are thoroughly mean, and the good characters are thoroughly sweet. The only character who is perhaps a bit of both is Old Tom, who is good and helpful but also too weak to oppose Mrs. Monday. Uncle John is also both good and bad -- he wants to help the girls, but doesn't want to spend the time and effort to make sure they are really well taken care of. This is a great read-aloud book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christel Klein on June 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book about 45 years ago and still remember how much
I loved it. It is a beautiful story, whose ideas, relationships, themes, opinions, and manner of writing not too dated (like Rebecca of Sunybrook farm) ... about 2 little girls whose only real desire is a loving family ... but more like Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables", the Stratton-Porter books like "Girl of the Limberlost" or Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden". For slightly younger children (to read to
Kindergartner's and up). GET THIS BACK IN PRINT!!! Betty Macdonald also wrote humorous adult books .. I think "The Egg and I" was made into a very funny move about a city couple taking up
farming (with Fred McMurray and Claudet Colbert? ... pre-dating "Green Acres").
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I first found this wonderful book in fourth grade in OR, when my teacher read it to our class. I must have checked it out of the public library 50+ times over the next 12 years. I lost sight of the book when I married and moved away, but was joyous to find it... I've ordered many copies for my kids and nieces. I even read it to my own fourth grade class when I taught school, and sparked many more to read it. Why don't books like this remain on the market. It is so refreshing to find a book like this. Yes, there is the antagonist Miss Monday, but the protagonist prevail, and good wins out. What a great adventure! Readers of all ages will be delighted. Please print more copies and feature this book in your children's section.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read this book over and over again when I was young. I now read it to my fourth grade class each year and they LOVE it!!
Every year parents ask me where they can find this book!?! I don't understand why it hasn't been re-released, especially because the author's Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books are so popular. A must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Sake VINE VOICE on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The characters of Nancy and Plum are a bit extravagant, but so is their living situation. The story of children sent to live in a home that isn't their own, are looked over by a guardian that isn't quite nice, and are made to go without many basic needs is very familiar. MacDonald tells the tale in such a way that you can easily envision the characters, what their home looks like, feel their happiness over the small things, and have your heart break along with theirs at the sad moments. It's a fairly simple tale, sure to please many young readers. While there are a number of characters, each one is so different from any other that they are not easy to confuse. Overall it is an entertaining children's story with a feel good basis.

Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
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