The Wonder of Charlie Anne by Kimberly Newton Fusco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this book over the course of two afternoons and it made me cry more than once. Charlie Anne is a young girl who has lost her mother, her father and brother have gone north to work, and she is left with her obnoxious cousin, Mirabel, and three of her siblings. The only places she finds comfort is with her cows and by the river, where her Mama is buried. She still hears her mother talking to her plainly and I love that this is never explained or explored in more detail - it just kind of is. Charlie Anne meets some new neighbors who end up changing what had been her very unhappy, lonely existence since her mother passed away.
This book gives a very no-frills look into how families were impacted by the Great Depression and helps us all be a little more grateful for those that we love. It also deals masterfully with prejudice and how the power of friendship is an extraordinary catalyst for change.
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