Schoolroom in the Parlor: Fairchild Family Story No. 4



Book: Schoolroom in the Parlor: Fairchild Family Story No. 4

Author: Rebecca Caudill

Illustrator: Decie Merwin

Publisher: Bethlehem Books, republished 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1883937829

ISBN-10: 1883937825

Related website:

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 8 and up (read aloud 4 and up)

Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Caudill, Rebecca.  Schoolroom in the Parlor: Fairchild Family Story No. 4 (originally published in 1959; republished in 2005 by Bethlehem Books, a division of Ignatius Press, 10194 Garfield St. S., Bathgate, ND  58216).  Six—soon to be seven—year old Bonnie Fairchild lives with her father, mother, and older siblings, Althy (14), Chris (12), Emmy (10), and Debby (8), in a house near Black Mountain, Kentucky.  School in the Kentucky hills goes from August to the last Friday before Christmas. After that the snows are too high, and later, the thawing rivers too full, for the five Fairchild children to make it safely to Miss Cora’s little school house in the woods. Now that Althy is fourteen, Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild have other plans for the long winter months. Bonnie, Debbie, Chris, and Emmy will go to school in the Fairchild parlor with Althy as their teacher.  Aha!  A book about homeschooling.

The girls decide to call their new teacher “Miss Althy” to make it seem more like real school.  What will the children study?  Will they learn their lessons well?  How will “Miss Althy” do as a teacher?  And what surprises await them all at the end of the semester?  Not only does this lovely story portray a wonderful picture of family life in the hills of Kentucky, but also it shows what it was like to have school at home in the early 1900s. Author Rebecca Caudill, the pen name of Mrs. James S. Ayers (1899-1985), based the book on experiences of her own childhood spent in Appalachian Kentucky on a rocky farm squeezed between the Black Mountains and the Poor Fork River in Harlan County.   It is the fourth and final book in the Fairchild Family series.  The first three are Up and Down the River, Schoolhouse in the Woods, and Happy Little Family.  Caudill won a Newbery Honor Award in 1950 for her Tree of Freedom.

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