March 6, 2017

A Place to Belong

Once there were six children: Frances, Megan, Mike, Danny, Peg, and Petey. They were the Kelly children. In the mid-eighteen hundreds, they lived with their mother in New York City; they lived in a small run down apartment in the shabby part of town. Mother and Frances worked long hours washing floors in the houses of the rich people, none of the children went to school, and Mike sometimes got in trouble for pick-pocketing, but the Kelly children wouldn't have it any other way. What they lacked in money they made up for in love; their home may have been small, but it was filled to bursting with the love they shared for each other. No Kelly ever wanted to leave the ones they treasured. But everything is about to change; after Mike is caught pick-pocketing again, the children's mother decides that she cannot offer them the life they deserve so, with a heavy heart, she prepares to send them all West. They know they are going to better lives out of the congested city, but their worst nightmare is coming true: they are all going to be split up!

Danny was very glad that he and Peg had been adopted together and they were now going to live with a very kind couple, Mr. and Mrs. Swenson. Peg fell in love with their new home the instant she saw it and was entirely willing to become the Swensons' little girl, but Danny, even though he was relieved and grateful to the Swensons for taking them in, he still could not bear the thought to being away from his real family. One by one, each Kelly child writes to their mother and siblings, bubbling about their new homes and kind foster parents, all except Danny; he cannot bring himself to write a single word. A letter would finalize everything. He would no longer be a Kelly child; he would belong to the Swensons. He couldn't let that happen.

Another wonderful book by Joan Lowery Nixon. Through all her books, Nixon has used roughly the same formula set against the backdrop of the Wild West, and yet each book is its own story, pulling in different aspects of the West that were previously unseen. This book is no exception; though slower paced and less thrilling than the last few books, the story will still have you turning pages till the end. I believe that this book is good for all ages; no age limit need apply.


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