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4.8 out of 5 stars
The Bears' House
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on August 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
I use this book to hel clients understand dissociating, and most can relate to it very well.
I love it myself as well: it is written in a clear style.
Just very touching.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
I first checked this book out of my school library in 5th grade, and it stuck with me ever since. When I found a paperback reprint as an adult, I quickly grabbed it. I feel this is one of the most important children's books ever written for this age group, handled masterfully by writer Marilyn Sachs.

It is not a happy book, but it is thoughtful and moving and will teach children about other walks of life and how many people live. It will teach them to appreciate what they have and to have compassion for others. I agree that it is best read under the supervision of an adult so children can talk about what they're reading.

Disney stories are wonderful, and so are happy endings, but there is a place even among younger readers for books about kids in jeopardy, in poverty, and who are struggling to make sense of the world. I also recommend the sequel, "Fran Ellen's House," for those who wonder what happened to the characters.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Nine-year-old Fran Ellen's mother is sick, and none of the Smith kids know how to help her. Ever since their father walked out on them, Mama just lies in bed, refusing to talk and ignoring their baby sister Flora.

Twelve-year-old Fletcher, the oldest, says they've got to keep the household running smoothly so no one finds out and puts them in foster homes. Fran Ellen's job is taking care of the baby, which she loves. But what happens when she's at school, and little Flora is all alone in her crib?

Although Fran Ellen's doing her best to hold her family together, she can't stop being afraid all the time. She sucks her thumb nonstop, and gets teased by her classmates incessantly...until it's apparent to her teacher that something is really wrong in the Smith home and she's determined to get to the bottom of it.

If you enjoy this book, check out the sequel, "Fran Ellen's House."
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on November 26, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is great, I had searched for it for quite some time. Simple and quick read, but tells a great (and sad) story.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 1999
Format: TurtlebackVerified Purchase
I first read this book as a lonely, insecure, slightly overweight 13 year old. I was picked on a lot at that age and i could really relate to what Fran Ellen goes through in school. I, too, was also a big klutz in PE and i was so shy and afraid of bringing attention to myself that i'd hide in the bathroom just like Fran Ellen did. I however think that when those girls bullied her she should have stood up for herself more. I would have, i think. However they did pressure her a lot but i would not have given in like she did. It was cool the way in the end the teacher stands up for her as she notices Fran Ellen is improving a lot. The ending was sort of a cliff hanger, however, but one of my fave things about this book is Louis Glansman's illustrations! I had checked it out at the library and could not get enough of his pen and ink pictures--they are so real! The library kept reminding me to return the book and i could not get enough of the illustrations! CHECK IT OUT!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
I loved this book as a teen and now my teenage daughter loves it. This is a wonderful story of a little girls survival in a world filled with fear and trouble. It will touch your heart.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
...and I don't mean just that it's an excellent book; it is, but unlike Sachs' other books (Amy, Laura, Veronica Ganz), this is the most un-childlike children's book I've ever read -- indeed, I read it as an adult and it resonates with me to this day. Unbearably sad, and I don't even recall the end as being hopeful (if I recall, it ends with the possibility of the kids being split up between foster families). But I would even go so far as to say it's a must-read for kids. If this were Sachs' only book, she'd have a right to be proud.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book when I found it in fourth grade. I was just like Fran, poor, geeky, and too smart for my own good. I read this story over and over, and I have never forgotten how it made me feel. I would recommend this book to any thinking child, and more than a few adults who need their priorities adjusted. Moving and beautiful, this story should be treasured by everyone.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a very good book which I have read to each new group ofFran Ellen's House students for the past 8 years. They always love the book and ask for me to read "Fran Ellen's House" next.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely depressing and unpleasant when I read this as a child-- and I was a voracious reader who'd been exposed to all different sorts of themes, so the fact that this "got to me" is probably significant. I recommend that teachers guide students through this book carefully if it's one they choose to share with their class.
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