THE TASTE OF SPRUCE GUM by Jacqueline Jackson
Kirkus Star


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This is a totally satisfying story for girls. In 1903, eleven year old Libby Fletcher travels with her mother from their home in Illinois to the unfamiliar Vermont mountains where her father's family runs a lumbermill. Libby's Papa died within the past year and it comes as a well-timed shock to find that Mama is going to marry Papa's older brother, whom she had met only once--at her wedding. Libby is apprehensive, and Uncle Charles' family are a difficult brood to cope with. Not only that, it turns out that Libby and Mama will be living, not at the foot of the mountain in town, but up the mountain in the lumber camp, where, as the aunts predict, life is rugged and the lumbermen are rough and dangerous. Libby's biggest problem is with her new family. She takes an instant dislike to Uncle Charles. The story follows a familiar course--will Libby ever call Charles ""Papa?"" Of course she does, but the getting there in this story is fascinating. Mama has a lot of spunk, everyone says so, and it turns out that Libby does too. There are major events in this story, but nothing seems overdone or improbable. The turn-of-the-century setting should prove a magnet for the nine-to-twelves. They won't be disappointed; the story is full and Libby is an endearing heroine.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1966
Publisher: Little, Brown