HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Pa’s Harvest: A True Story Told by Ephrem Carrier
Author: Jan Andrews
Illustrator: Cybèle Young
Publisher: Groundwood Books (October 30, 2000
Related website: http://www,groundwoodbooks.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 5 – 8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Andrews, Jan. Pa’s Harvest: A True Story Told by Ephrem Carrier (published in 2000 by Groundwood Books, a division of Douglas and McIntyre, 720 Bathurst St., Suite 500, Toronto, Ont., Canada M53 24R). Did you know that the Great Depression affected people in other countries besides our own nation? It is during the Depression, and young Ephrem Carrier lives on a farm in Canada with his father, mother, and older brothers. In the spring, he helps his father put in their potato crop—cutting, plowing, and planting. For the past few years, the potato crop has failed almost entirely. But this year there is hope for the best crop ever. Then come fall and time for school.
However, a good crop does not ensure a good market. No one has any money to spend on potatoes. During the winter, Ephraim’s father must turn to logging to make ends meet. When he returns months later, will there be enough money for Christmas presents? And what will happen to the potatoes? Based on a true story, the book, with Jan Andrews’s simple text and Cybele Young’s beautiful ink-and-watercolor illustrations, reveals the strength of family love that helps people survive terrible hardships. Each step of the way, Pa would put his arm around Ephrem’s shoulders and squeeze lovingly. It is a heart-rending yet heart-warming story.