Sunday, February 20, 2011

Little Audrey

White, R. (2008). Little Audrey. New York, NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.

Plot Description:
It is 1948 in Jewell Valley, a coal mining town in Virginia. Audrey is eleven and lives with her mom, dad, and three little sisters. The town is made up of all coal miners and their families. Audrey's mom comes in and out of a deep depression brought on by the death of Audrey's littlest sister four years ago. Audrey is recovering from a recent bout with scarlet fever where she very nearly died, this sickness left her very skinny and having to wear glasses. Audrey's father has a drinking and gambling problem and often leaves his family with no money for food. Audrey struggles to get by amongst the problems at home, bullies, and the hard life of living in a coal miner town. In the end, Audrey's life gets even harder when tragedy strikes her family and she realizes that she must work harder than ever to help her family.

This book was interesting to me because even though it is fictional, the story was written about the author's family. It is a true account of what her family went through in 1948 through the eyes of her eleven year old sister Audrey. It is a bittersweet story of a little girl dealing with friendships and the typical problems of an eleven year old girl, but also having much more grown up problems to deal with as well. Problems such as not having enough food to eat or bringing her mom out of her depression or hoping her dad doesn't spend all their money on alcohol. I enjoyed the book because my great-grandfather was a coal miner and the town my parents grew up in had company towns such as these nearby. It was interesting to read a first hand account of the lives of the coal miner families, it was obviously a very hard life.

Historical Fiction

Reading Level:
Ages 9 - 12

Similar Books:

poverty, family, death, siblings

Character Names/Descriptions:
Audrey: Eleven year old girl, has three younger siblings, wears glasses and is skinny due to having scarlet fever, narrates the book

With a mother suffering from depression and an alcoholic father, Audrey, an eleven year old in 1948 in a coal mining town in Virginia, faces more than just the typical problems of a young girl growing up. Sadly, Audrey must grow up even faster as tragedy strikes her already suffering family.

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