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Family Reminders (Paperback)
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Sometimes we all need a little reminder.
Ten-year-old Mary McHugh’s world is shattered when her father is injured in a mining accident in the late 1800’s. After losing his leg, Mary’s father falls into a deep depression. He no longer plays the piano or has interest in carving the intricate wooden "Reminders" that he has always made to remind the family of the milestones they shared together. To make matters worse, the family may need to leave their home in Cripple Creek, Colorado in order to make ends meet.
Mary’s love for her father and her desire to get life back to "normal" push her to take a chance that restores her father’s spirit and brings her family a new life, strengthened by the hardships they have endured.
About the Author
Julie Danneberg is the author of several books for children, including FIRST DAY JITTERS, FIRST YEAR LETTERS, LAST DAY BLUES, COWBOY SLIM, and FAMILY REMINDERS. She lives in Denver, Colorado.
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