Author: Wolk, Lauren
When twelve-year-old Ellie and her family lose livelihood and move to a mountain cabin in 1934, she quickly learns to be an outdoors woman and, when needed, a healer.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 508416
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/20)
School Library Journal (04/01/20)
Booklist (+) (03/01/20)
The Hornbook (+) (00/07/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2020 *Starred Review* It is a magical thing to step into a world created by Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea, 2017), even without any fantastic enchantment. In this instance, the story of Ellie and her family is a diamond glinting in the rough of the Great Depression, when poverty drives them from town to a more wild existence on a mountainside. Though her mother and older sister yearn to return to civilized life, Ellie thrives in this new environment. But they all must muster different brands of courage when an accident leaves Ellie’s father in a coma. Though only 12, Ellie steps up to do many of the tasks, such as hunting and fishing, that had been her father’s, all the while remaining determined to jar him back awake by any means possible. Her spirit and empathy eventually lead her far up the mountain to the cabin of Cate, aka the local hag, where Ellie discovers that Cate is herself ill with a festering wound. Compelled to help Cate as much as her father, Ellie learns and accomplishes more than she knew was possible. Complex and fiercely loving, Ellie is a girl any reader would be proud to have as a friend. Woven with music, puppies, and healing, Wolk’s beautiful storytelling turns this historical tale of family and survival into a captivating saga. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 Gr 4 Up—The Great Depression took many things from Ellie's family–her parent's jobs, their house, and their comfortable lives. They moved to property on Echo Mountain to start over and rebuild. And what the Great Depression didn't take, the mountain did. Ellie lost the family that she once knew. Her mother and her sister, Esther, weren't meant for life on the mountains, they said. And her father has spent the last several months in a coma due to an accident from a felled tree. Ellie carries the emotional burden of taking the blame for it and the physical burden of handling the manual tasks in his absence. But while the mountain takes, it also gives–carved trinkets, plants for healing, and friendships found in unexpected places. Wolk crafts an uplifting story of resilience and determination during a time when morale is incredibly low. She illustrates how people are multifaceted, and not always what they seem. In this novel, family can take many forms—the one you're born into, and the one that finds you when and where you least expect it. The narrative does contain subtle but direct details involving maggots, blood, and wounds that will intrigue the most reluctant of readers but may be too much for those with a weak stomach. VERDICT A heartfelt read and recommended first purchase for all collections. You can tell readers that the dog doesn't die at the end.—Alicia Kalan, The Northwest School, Seattle - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.