A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
In addition to learning something about modern-day farm life and pioneer-era prairie sod houses, readers will benefit from observing Jake's love and respect for his grandfather and his willingness to listen to old stories and take each day at his grandfather's pace.
Jake gradually realizes and then accepts that nothing lasts forever and that part of love is being able to let someone go. Family unity is emphasized by example, not in a preachy way.
Positive Role Models
Jake is a caring and thoughtful boy. Though he senses that giving his grandfather his heart's desire -- to rebuild the sod house he lived in when he was a boy -- will mean the end of something for him personally, he makes it happen because he knows how important it is to his grandfather. Jake's grandfather is a vibrant and observant man at age 88, and the people around him treat him with love and respect. Jake's family is supportive of his plan to build the house, and everyone pitches in to help.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kindred Souls is a story about the last months of a grandfather's life, told from the point of view of his 10-year-old grandson, Jake. Though Jake asserts that his grandfather will live forever, he must come to terms with the fact that everyone dies eventually. Jake's journey to this understanding is handled with sensitivity and honesty.
Is It Any Good?
Patricia MacLachlan's gentle pace matches the summer days on Jake's farm; not much happens in KINDRED SOULS, but it's pleasant and warm. Jake witnesses various phases of life on the farm -- a calf is born, the hummingbirds get ready to go south -- and always, in the midst of the modern-day tractors and computers, the past is kept alive through his grandfather's memories and Billy's interest in them. It's a sweet and honest look at a boy's last days with his grandfather, from the Newbery Award-winning author of the Sarah, Plain and Tall series.
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