A Place for Peter



Book: A Place for Peter

Author: Elizabeth Yates

Illustrator: Nora S. Unwin

Publisher: JourneyForth, republished 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0890847480

ISBN-10: 0890847487

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 12-16

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, 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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Yates, Elizabeth.  A Place for Peter (published in 1952 by Coward-McCann Inc. Publishers, New York City, NY).  Thirteen year old Peter lives with his father Andrew, his mother Martha, their elderly hired man Benj, and the family dog Shepherdess (Shep) on a Vermont mountain farm.  As often happens when a son reaches adolescence, Andrew doesn’t know whether to think of Peter as a man to be trusted or as just a boy, and a bit of tension arises between the two.  Then Martha receives a letter from her older brother Kenneth that her younger brother Leonard, recently married with a wife expecting a baby, had been seriously injured in an accident, and it was questionable if he would live, so she has to go away and try to help nurse him back to health.

With Martha gone and both Andrew and Benj having to continue the regular farm work, Peter must fill in for his mother in doing such tasks as tapping the sugar maples to make syrup and planting the garden in addition to his own chores.  Then Peter volunteers for the exceptionally hard job of clearing a path through the rough terrain in order to take their heifers for breeding on a neighbor’s farm.  Can he earn his doubting father’s trust by successfully completing these important tasks?  Or has he foolishly taken on too much?  And what will happen when he is bitten by a rattlesnake?  Mountain Born, a 1944 Newbery Honor Book, follows Peter’s growth from a little boy of six until he is twelve.  A Place for Peter picks up where the earlier novel left off.

This beautifully written story of a young man learning how to be responsible is a great book for the whole family.  Also, it is always nice to have children’s literature in which people openly express thanks to the Lord for the good blessings which they receive.  Author Elizabeth Yates’s style of writing gives the reader an engaging tale that contains gorgeous descriptions.  It is highly recommended as an enjoyable addition to any young person’s library.  There is another book about Peter and his family published in 1947 and entitled Once in the Year.  It is not really a sequel to either of the other ones but simply uses the same characters to combine a couple of traditional folk tales which Martha and Benj tell Peter to form a Christmas story.

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