|Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade : a Thanksgiving story (Tales of young Americans series)|
Author: Noble, Trinka Hakes
During the 1918 influenza outbreak, nine-year-old Rettie seeks ways to make Thanksgiving special for her siblings and ailing mother.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: .5 Quiz: 194339
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/17)
School Library Journal (09/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2017 Gr 2–5—Vivid artwork and a descriptive narrative re-create a vibrant 1918 New York City populated by immigrants struggling to survive an influenza pandemic at the tail end of World War I. Rettie is nine and the oldest of four siblings; she labors to keep their Lower East Side tenement home clean and earns money by washing rags while their father fights in the war and their mother is sick from consumption. Rettie eagerly anticipates the Ragamuffin Parade, in which children dress as beggars on Thanksgiving morning and parade through the streets asking, "Have ya anythin' for Thanksgiving?" Rettie knows the parade may be the only way her family has something special for Thanksgiving but worries that the growing influenza threat may cancel the event. Noble succeeds at conveying the real hardship of immigrant life during the early 20th century while Gardner's artwork breathes vibrancy into the story. His watercolor-and-pencil illustrations reinforce the tone, somber grays dominating one scene where Rettie meets her bedridden mother's eyes. The only bright spots of color are her siblings' clothes and her own patched sweater, as her mother's gleaming gold wedding ring reminds readers that Rettie's father is off fighting overseas. An author's note cites the historical information. VERDICT An excellent historical fiction picture book for older readers interested in U.S. history or Thanksgiving celebrations, this is a timely selection as this year marks the U.S.'s centennial commemoration of World War I.—Rachel Zuffa, Racine Public Library, WI - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2017 Thanksgiving gets a historical bent in this picture book, which takes readers back to 1918 New York when the Spanish influenza was devastating the city. In tenements on the Lower East Side, nine-year-old Rettie cares singlehandedly for her younger siblings and her mother, who is ill with consumption, while Rettie’s father fights in WWI. Rettie earns pennies by cleaning, but she knows her best chance to earn money is the traditional Ragamuffin Parade that happens each Thanksgiving, where children dress up in old clothes and collect pennies from the wealthy. But with the influenza outbreak growing, the parade may be canceled, and Rettie won’t be able to give her family the Thanksgiving dinner she so desperately wants to give them. There’s a lot going on here for a picture book, but the story provides a useful first look at hardship, and Gardner’s illustrations highlight a moment of brightness in a dark time. A warmhearted holiday tale. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.