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R My Name Is Rachel Hardcover
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I love books where people go through hard times and have to fix it. R My Name Is Rachel is definitely one of those books. Rachel moves away from her friends and has to learn change will happen. Im her daughter and I approve this message.
When she sees their new country home with the run down barn and half weather-proofed house, Rachel yearns for Ms. Mitzi to bring some new life to the land. But not everything is terrible as Rachel finds hidden treasures throughout the home. She loves the drawings hidden around and wonders who drew them. But things turn from bad to worse when Pop finds out that the job he was promised is not available and now they are stuck. Pop then finds a new government project to build a bridge. This is great news, but he would have to go away and leave his three children by themselves. Even though Rachel is only twelve years old, she is in charge of the family and feels like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. It is even more desperate when she finds out her little sister lost the only money Pop left them.
What a story! This book is all about strength and finding beauty everywhere you look. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Great Depression or historical fiction. You will be amazed at how desperate situations sometimes bring out the strength in you.
Then Rachel gets the news, wonderful and horrible at the same time. Pop has information about a bank job in a town upstate, which would mean leaving the city, all their friends, and Miss Mitzi. At least Pop agrees to bring the stray cat, Clarence, along. Rachel has been feeding him and couldn't bear the thought of just abandoning him.
Living in the country is far different from city living, but Rachel sees potential in the broken down farmhouse and the empty barn. If only Miss Mitzi could live with them. In the meantime, she and Rachel exchange letters all the time. But the family's new hope is destroyed when the promised bank job is given to someone else. More desperate than ever, and with no money to move again, Pop leaves the kids to survive on their own while he finds work. Rachel and her siblings must work together, plant a garden, fish in the stream, and raise chicks and a goat. It's scary on their own, yet somehow they manage. But then the rent comes due and the food runs low...
Patricia Reilly Giff brings this tragic historical time period to vivid light. Some readers will feel a connection with Rachel since so many people are out of work right now. They may relate to Rachel having to do with less, becoming resourceful, and worrying about paying the rent. Others will relate to Rachel's problems in getting along with her younger sister. Somehow they must work through their differences in order to survive, but it isn't easy and is very frustrating. Giff also delves into other serious topics, such as guilt, desperation, reaching for new dreams, and forcing oneself to extend beyond the norm for more potential.
R MY NAME IS RACHEL is a sweet and charming story, filled with hope and strength.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman