by Patricia Beatty
In this historical fiction set along the northwest coast, the Kimball family is poor but happy. When the oldest Kimball child orders a brand-new (and very expensive) cookstove C.O.D., he has no idea that he will be expected to pay for it when it arrives. Through a series of events, the children arrange for the storekeeper to hold the stove until Christmas, giving them all summer and fall to try and earn the money. The rest of the story follows their ingenuity and persistence as they work hard to earn the stove for their mother.
I’ve been reading several of Beatty’s book recently, because I seem to have acquired them at various booksales over the years, but have never really sat down and read through them. While I have decided to pass on most of them, this one was a keeper for me. The family is delightful, and the unselfishness of the children, as they devote all of their spare time to earning money so they can purchase a present for their mother, is admirable and touching. This family seemed more real than many of Beatty’s other characters, and I enjoyed their dialogue and interaction.
This book is still a 3/5 for me, but a high 3, and a keeper for my library.