Eleanor Estes/Moffat Books

Monday, January 31, 2005

Hilda van Stockum

(1945, 236 pages)

We just read The Mitchells (also called The Mitchells: Five for Victory) by Hilda van Stockum. Reminded us very much of The Moffets books by Eleanor Estes. Both are set during WW2, describe lives of large families, father not present (Mr. Mitchell is in the Navy, Mr. Moffet is deceased). Eleanor Estes' style worked better for me - I love her humor, and the way she gets inside the heads of her young characters. But The Mitchells is well worth reading, especially for the smallest eager reader in our house, who doesn't find something new to read everyday, since she's already read everything she can get her hands on. We will certainly read the two sequels, Friendly Gables and Canadian Summer.

I read another van Stockum book a few years back that I didn't care for as much, called The Borrowed House. Another wartime book. It was not dull, but I couldn't recommend it to my younger kids because of a subplot that dealt with the marital problems of the parents of the main character, a young girl. I don't remember it clearly, but did remember that part of it struck me as not quite suitable for the 12 and under crowd.

You can read Amazon comments on that book here.

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