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Road to Tater Hill Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 8, 2009

26 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 8, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Annie, almost 10, and her pregnant mother are spending the summer of 1963 with Annie's grandparents on their North Carolina farm. Then the long-awaited baby is born prematurely and dies the following day. Annie is devastated and doesn't know how to deal with her grief. Her Air Force father is currently stationed in Germany, and her mother sinks into a deep depression and withdraws from the family. Avoiding the house, Annie often explores the nearby woods where she meets an elderly woman who becomes her friend and confidant. Miss Eliza is living in a shack that belongs to an individual who, according to local legend, was sent to prison years earlier for murdering her husband. Before long, Miss Eliza shares the story of her past with Annie, who continues their friendship despite the community's negative attitudes. Gradually, with the help of Miss Eliza and her supportive grandparents, Annie begins to accept her sister's death, but it takes Annie's near-death experience with a swarm of yellow jackets to pull her mother back to reality. The characters and setting are finely drawn and the author has an acute sense of how time seems to pass more slowly for children than adults. The love of family members for one another is heartwarming. A well-written and enjoyable novel.—Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Edith M. Hemingway has coauthored two Civil War novels. This is her first solo novel. She lives in Frederick, Maryland.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385736770
  • ASIN: B004KAB5S2
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,394,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sue Poduska on September 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The death of a child touches a wide circle of people. In Road to Tater Hill, Ms. Hemingway does a wonderful job of exploring the effects of that loss. More than the story of the death of a sister, the book also evokes the emotions involved in many relationships and the far-reaching changes that can take place. Spending the summer in the North Carolina mountains with her grandparents and her mother, eleven-year-old Annie goes from little girl to young adolescent as she learns about grief, friendship, and family. Annie befriends a mysterious mountain woman who has dealt with her own grief. Annie also learns that even a young neighbor boy is not unaffected by her family's loss. The readers get a look at American life in the 1960's and much to identify with. This is a very moving and well-told story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teresa Crumpton on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Annie is turning 11, and her whole world is up-ended. This rich close-up of the North Carolina mountains in the early 60s makes a settled backdrop for this little girl's journey. Thick with tradition, sense of place and the stability of family life (in Annie's family and in the Millers down the road), Annie's childhood is snatched away with the death of her newborn sister. Mother is depressed and grows more distant as the days slip away. Even Annie's reliable friendship with Bobby Miller is suddenly awkward and strange. Everything hurts. Then Annie sees the mysterious woman, and the story takes a turn--
Turns like these are never easy, but this story moves toward life and hope. Annie is a girl of tremendous courage. Her story is a story of strength and hope. Bravo!
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Format: Hardcover
A few weeks ago I received several boxes of new books at school. I love getting new books, but for some reason I have had a lot to do every single day since Christmas break. I have hardly had time to look at any of the new things. I did bring home a few picture books to read at bedtime, but that's about it.

This weekend I took a chapter book, knowing that I have way too many books started right now, but still hoping I would somehow get it read. Road to Tater Hill by Edith Hemingway was a great read. Set in 1963, Annie and her mother are spending the summer at her grandparents' in North Carolina while her father is in Germany with the army. Everyone had been looking forward to the birth of Annie's baby sister, who is born too prematurely and dies. This leaves everyone extremely sad, especially Annie's mother who just can't carry on after her loss. Annie spends a lot of time by herself and finds herself befriending Eliza McGee, fresh out of prison for killing her husband. She discovers there is a lot more to Eliza's story than most people know and Eliza is able to offer some words of wisdom to her new friend that help Annie understand what is happening at home.

I enjoyed the time period this story is set in - the connection between Jackie Kennedy's premature delivery of her son, Patrick, worked well.

I also enjoyed how much reading meant to Eliza and Annie, who shared books and talked about them from time to time. And, there was also a little suspense thrown in, the way in which the author worked that in was also interesting, and I so appreciated it didn't match what I was predicting was going to happen.

This is one book I will be recommending and book talking to my upper elementary students. I can see several of my girls snatching it right up.
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Format: Hardcover
"Road to Tater Hill" is emotional, true and real. Annie's mother gave birth too early to a baby girl, Mary Kate while on vacation at her grandparents in North Carolina. Much to Annie's dismay she never got to meet or see her baby sister. While Annie and her mother are recovering at her grandparents house, Annie tries to deal with many adult issues: her mother's depression, her father's absence (due to the military) and understanding her grandparents reactions--all while trying to fill a hole in her own heart she is convinced no one sees nor understands.
Upon playing in the woods and caring for a 'rock baby', Annie stumbles upon Miss Eliza. Despite her shady past, Miss Eliza becomes a true friend and confidant to Annie. With Miss Eliza's help, Annie begins to understand what her family is going through and how long it takes to heal from a tragedy.
Annie's character jumps off the page and the reader can feel her true grief, confusion and anger over what has happened to her family. You see how every person in touch with Annie's family deals with this loss in a different way and learn that none of them are the 'wrong' way.
One of the most compelling comparisons in the books is when Annie realizes even President Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, the most powerful couple in the US at the time, can't save their own baby (Patrick) who was born too early. Annie realizes it's not an isolated event and by now is mature enough to realize President Kennedy and his family are mourning just as much as Annie's mother.
After a summer of searching for a way to help her mother, and remember Baby Mary Kate, Annie's own near death experience brings her mother back from the edge of severe depression. Annie feels her mother's love once again and they begin to piece their life back together. The ending of the book is a new beginning for Annie, her mother and father; as Annie says, the pain of losing a loved one never goes away, it just gets easier to deal with over time.
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