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Family Reminders by [Julie Danneberg, John Shelley]

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Family Reminders Kindle Edition

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Product description


Mining for gold in 1890s Cripple Creek, CO, is dangerous, yet it’s the way of life for the frontier families who call it home. When 10-year-old Mary McHugh’s father loses his leg in a mining accident, their peaceful existence is destroyed. The once-jovial man becomes sullen and depressed when he can no longer support his family, and Mary’s mother grapples with trying to make ends meet while keeping her subservient role in the household. Mary’s dad has always carved wooden “Reminders” of the family and their special times, and these carvings bring both pain and comfort to the child. The story alternates between the present and past as Mary remembers happier times. She tries desperately to remind her family members of them as she schemes for a way for her father to support them again. Shelley’s India ink and pen illustrations add to the historical feel of this gentle, yet gripping story. This is a heartwarming novel about overcoming hardship, but it may need to be booktalked or read to children, who may not discover this little gem on their own.

School Library Journal --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The mine’s shrill disaster siren ripped through the everyday noises of the playground. Silence settled on the valley as the mine’s dynamite blasting ceased and the clanging, stomping ore press went still. All of us on the playground stopped what we were doing. Shielding our eyes against the sun’s brightness, we looked toward the telltale pile of orange-gold tailings that spilled down the mountainside away from the goldmine’s tunneled entrance. We looked hard, carefully scanning the area, hoping to see something that would explain that screeching siren. But we were too far away. Besides, we all knew that the danger was inside the mountain, not outside.
            My stomach lurched as I thought of Daddy inside that mountain. Usually I liked glancing across the valley, knowing that he was right there, busy at work. “Like a worker ant in an anthill,” he often joked. But that day the mountain didn’t seem friendly and forgiving: it loomed threatening and angry against the skyline.
            My friend Emily came to stand beside me. She squeezed my hand and said, “Don’t worry, Mary. I’m sure he’s okay.” Emily’s father worked the night shift so she was spared the worry. “You know it always works out,” she said. I nodded, but in my head I knew that it hadn’t worked out for Matthew and Aaron O’Malley. A day after the siren went off last year, we found out that they were fatherless. Their daddy and uncle lay buried under a pile of rocks. A week after the siren went off, there was a double funeral, and two weeks later the remaining O’Malleys moved away.
            As the siren blurted out its bad news over and over and over again, I scanned the pale, scared faces of my classmates and wondered, Is it your uncle? Is it your brother? I didn’t let myself put words to the real question that was rolling through my mind. Is it my father?
            Finally the siren stopped. After a few minutes of silence, Miss Sullivan, white-faced and teary-eyed, gathered us up and ushered us back into school. “Let’s try to keep busy, shall we?” she said as she started us on our regular afternoon lessons. Although we all went obediently through the motions, no one had thoughts of anything but what was happening in the mine across the valley.
            Finally it was time to go home. Miss Sullivan helped us with our coats and sent us quickly out the door. I didn’t even bother waiting for my friends. Instead I flew down the hill toward home, my feet pounding the wooden sidewalk. When I reached my own block I slowed down, not wanting to rush into any bad news that might be waiting for me.
            Deliberately, I opened the gate. Deliberately—one, two, three, four—I climbed the steps of the porch. I paused for a minute at the front door, took a deep breath, and walked inside. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • Publisher : Charlesbridge; New edition (1 February 2013)
  • Language : English
  • File size : 5391 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 114 pages
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