Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! #tbt: Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade by Trinka Hakes Noble

Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade: a Thanksgiving story by Trinka Hakes Noble. Illustrated by David C. Gardner. Tales of Young Americans series. unpgd. Sleeping Bear Press, September, 2017. 9781585369607. (Own.)

I was going to skip #tbt today. Take a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. But then this book popped into my head and even though it's only a year old (#tbt usually features books older than 10 years), I decided to review it. 

The year is 1918 and a flu epidemic is sweeping the country, especially the tightly packed immigrant communities in New York's Lower East Side. Rettie is doing her best to care for her stricken mother and four younger siblings. She's only nine and her father is off fighting in the war. She scrambles to do odd jobs to earn money and hopes to participate in the ragamuffin parade so she can collect coins. She hopes the epidemic will not cancel the parade because she wants to feed her family on Thanksgiving. 

Poignantly told and sumptuously illustrated, this tale tugs at the heartstrings. This picture book for older readers is a wonderful Thanksgiving read aloud to encourage gratitude and reflection. An author's note at the end provides historical context. Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade is a wonderful addition to any school, public or classroom library!

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