The True Gift: A Christmas Story
by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Brian Floca
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2009
While on their annual Christmas visit to their grandparent’s farm, Liam connects with this grandparent’s white cow. Liam senses the cow is lonely since his buddy, a burro, returned to his family. Sensitive to the animal’s needs, he decides to find a friend for White Cow for Christmas. He posts “Friend for White Cow for Christmas” posters around town. He learns of a brown calf, but it costs $200. Liam and Lily pool their Christmas money, but are still short. Find out what Liam sacrifices and how he saves the brown calf’s life.
A page-turning story for the holidays by Newbery Award winning author, Patricia MacLachlan.
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Quiet hero, animals, 9-12
Katherine Tegen Books, 2015
I couldn’t put it down once I started and I was crying by the end. Another wonderful read by Newbery-award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan.
Readers peek into the relationship 10-year old Jake has with his grandfather, Billy. They have a special relationship and visit the special places on the farm, including the remains of an old sod house his grandfather lived in many years before. His grandfather says they have kindred souls, something Jake doesn’t quite understand in the beginning. His grandfather asks Jake to build him a sod house; Jake doesn’t want to. Then one day a dog appears and Grandfather knows it has come for him and claims it. Soon, Grandfather takes sick and is eventually taken to the hospital. The dog bolts to follow the ambulance taking Grandfather. Grandfather asks Jake to sleep with the dog until he returns. The doctor gives the family special permission to allow the dog into the hospital. The family seems to know Grandfather’s time may be coming soon, but never say that. Instead, they build him his sod house. Grandfather returns to enjoy his house and Jake learns that he and grandpa do have kindred souls.
A touching story I finished in one read. Kindred Souls is a beautiful book about a quiet boy dealing with the death of his grandfather, his kindred soul.
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9-12, quiet hero, dog, death/etc