The Bread Winner

Arvella Whitmore, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (144p) ISBN 978-0-395-53705-3
Pleasant if not entirely persuasive, this novel by the author of You're a Real Hero, Amanda features a heroine who is pluckiness personified. When the family farm is lost during the Depression, Sarah is horrified by the ramshackle hut she and her parents move to and worries when neither lands a new job. But while the adults buckle under the strain, Sarah rallies: before long, she has started a bread business, baking loaves and selling them to appreciative neighbors, eventually enlisting the aid of both parents and, ever resourceful, commandeering a storefront in the center of town. No sissy she, Sarah also fights back against the local bullies and rescues the store's cashbox from a thieving hobo. However, she is a little too good to be true (for example, she voluntarily takes a math test on her first day in a new school because it looks ``easy and fun to do''). The setbacks Whitmore throws in are almost formulaic, and Sarah's enthusiasm for baking does not fully emerge. On the other hand, Sarah's reactions to her parents' despair are both convincing and moving, and it's impossible not to admire her never-say-die attitude. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-32842-5
Paperback - 138 pages - 978-0-618-49479-8
Prebound-Glued - 138 pages - 978-0-7569-5083-5
Prebound-Sewn - 144 pages - 978-1-4177-1772-9
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