Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield, illustrated by Ada C. Williamson.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1917 (orig. pub 1916)
Children’s literature, 271 pages.
Lexile: 1000L .
AR Level: 5.9 (worth 8.0 points) .
NOTE: The references above are to the print edition, however I read the free ebook edition available at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5347? .
Nine-year-old Elizabeth Ann’s parents died when she was a baby, so she’s lived all her life with her great-aunt Harriet and has been raised by her cousin (whom she calls aunt) Frances. However, since Harriet’s taken ill, she has to go live with another branch of the family while Frances nurses her mother.
At my new job I’ve been getting to know some homeschooling parents. Many are more concerned about other aspects than diversity, but one asked my opinion about a few booklists. Most of the books I was able to find reviews of on other sites, but a few I wasn’t able to find good critiques of, so I found copies to read them myself.
Friends, it was dismal.
After reading so many books that were at best unconsciously perpetuating stereotypes and untruths, and knowing they’re on modern day reading lists and staunchly defended by certain parents, I was feeling rather depressed about America. So I decided to try to find some better books. Most don’t fit on this blog, but since this book deals with kinship fostering/adoption, I’ve chosen to review it.