Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’


Title: I’M THANKFUL FOR…A Book About Being Grateful

Author: Uncle Amon

This is a charming book that contains five short stories for children about reasons for being grateful. Billy and his cousin Jillian are the main protagonists. Each of the stories contains a practical lesson that children and adults may share. For example, in the story about tools, Billy comes to the rescue for Jillian when her desk needs fixing. Later his mother gets in trouble and Billy is able to use both his tools and ingenuity to come to the rescue. His good deed results in an unexpected reward. Without giving away too much of the plots, the other tales focus on pets, older friends, school and fresh air and sunshine.

The stories are full of humor. There is quite a bit of dialogue that develops the characters and makes the story easy to follow for beginning readers. Although the book is targeted for ages four through ten, I would especially recommend it for the six to eight-year-old age group. Bonus features include mazes, puzzles, and a followup activity for each of the tales. Th perfect book for parents and children to share and enjoy. If you are looking for a Thanksgiving holiday book, this one is a good choice.

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A Pardon for Tommy

Written by Patricia Nmukoso Enyi

Chelsea is a college freshman who wakes to recurring nightmares. When she was twelve, Chelsea lost her home during Hurricane Katrina. She and her father were swept away by the flood waters. Chelsea has not been able to bring herself to return to New Orleans

Chelsea retells her experience. She survives the flood with the turkey her father captured for Thanksgiving Dinner in her backpack. Enyi traces Chelsea’s harrowing experiences while awaiting rescue and the reunion with her mother and brother at the Houston Astrodome. The family struggles to maintain hope that Chelsea’s dad, Max, will be found alive.

The scene shifts to adjustment to a new life in Houston at their grandmother’s home. Several subplots are included. There are New Orleans’ bullies who have also moved to the new school. Rex, their mother’s twin brother, is unwelcome at their new house. Chelsea has become attached to “Tommy,” her pet turkey. She cannot accept killing Tommy and celebrating Thanksgiving without their father. Will the family find out whether Max is alive or dead? How will the children adjust in their new home? Does “Tommy” become Thanksgiving Dinner?

The characters in the story experience typical coming of age experiences, compounded by the tragedy of this natural disaster, their father’s disappearance, a forced move, and the family’s dysfunction. This book could benefit from some editing. Transitions are not always clear, and the subplots are not fully developed. On the other hand, the author does a good job of painting the pain and trauma of the disaster. Readers need to suspend belief at times; a turkey surviving so many mishaps is a bit far fetched. On the other hand, the story is a powerful one for middle-grade and young adult audiences.

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