TILLI'S NEW WORLD by Linda Lehmann


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Based on the author's mother's childhood, this sequel to Better Than a Princess (1978) picks up little Tillie after she, her brother Albert, and her sister Melia have crossed the ocean to join their immigrant parents on a Missouri farm. Despite the sadness of an infant brother's death, the children are happy with their loving parents, happy with their mother's good cooking (though the corn bread and molasses must be stretched thin through the first winter), and happy to work hard on the farm. But Tillie longs to go to school, and her parents don't seem to think it important. Finally, when they get a tenant farmer and move to town, Tillie gets two years of schooling in. Then, after they've bought and moved to a second farm, she has another good year at school and in town as helper in a splendid house to a nice woman who makes her dresses and wants to adopt her. But Tillie, though tempted, chooses her own family--and her next stint at school is cut short on the death of another, deeply mourned little brother. Toward the end, with the parents away, a little sister who is Tillie's ""own"" loved charge falls into the well. When Tillie and Melia pull her out she is limp and cold, and this time Tillie's grief is painful indeed. But, amazingly, the next morning little Rosie wakes up okay. This too is based on a real incident, though it's hard to believe it happened just as the grownup Tillie remembered it. In any case the book is made up of plain, authentic particulars and has the trusty appeal of a pioneer childhood lovingly recalled.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1982
Publisher: Elsevier/Nelson