Just as Saturday morning TV scheduling back in the fifties and sixties was reserved for kids’ cartoons, PWR reserves Saturday mornings for recommendations of kids’ books. Today’s recommendation targets 2nd through 4th grade history buffs who would like to know more about The Great Depression.

This wonderfully illustrated picture book recounts what life was like and “how hard things were.” The girl who is shown writing the book on the first page is writing how her grandfather and grandmother heard, “there were jobs in Idaho picking potatoes,” and how they “borrowed money for gas and left Iowa…” Picking potatoes day and night, the girl’s grandparents finally traded potatoes for necessities until the Depression was over.

Her final words on the last page are, “All this could be how I have come to like potatoes.”

To think of eating, picking, and “living” potatoes for years is something that blew my mind and will probably do the same to your children/grandchildren’s minds. I highly recommend this book as an answer to questions about The Great Depression.



Today’s choice, a winner of the Newberry Medal in 1977, and nominated for the National Book Award, is a “classic” I’d heard about and even recommended to my junior high students during the 70s. Ironically enough, I’d never read it until this week. Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry bears a cover that would attract anyone, child and adult alike.  There is a young African American girl in bib-overalls holding tightly to two younger boys as flames and fire threaten the place where they are standing, their house.

I have just begun reading, enjoying the author’s fine writing style as she describes the three Logan children joining other children on their long, dusty trek to their first day of school.  Once there, by “showing, not telling”, she makes clear the inequality of education of the black and white students. The cover blurbs inform me that the story is set in the Great Depression in the deep South. I hope to read it tonight and tomorrow, then place it in my Little Free Library. The sun is supposed to come out Sunday after several days of cold, rainy and overcast weather. Perhaps families will be taking “after-Sunday-dinner” walks and will stop off to get choose a book for the evening.