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Hester Kimball, ""the one with the good head on her shoulders,"" is the narrator. That good head also has a good eye for the telling detail and the author of Bonanza Girl (1962) is once again at home with period fiction. The seven Kimball children, with 12-year-old Hester and her 13-year-old brother Whit leading them, worked and saved $27.00, enough to buy The Nickel-Plated Beauty, Sunshine Stove-- The World's Finest for their mother. It was an almost impossible sum for children in 1886 to acquire, about half of what Mr. Kimball could make in a month's work. The old stove had rusted out in the salt sea air of the peninsula area of south-western Washington State. In the spring, Whit had sent for the stove C.O.D., convinced that this was the way to buy when you had no money. The Kimball children decided to work off the price until Christmas and present it as a surprise. All of them dug and sold clams, Hester put up her hair and went to work at her aunt's hotel where she joined Aunt Rose's henpecked husband in a killing schedule. Whit worked for the skinflint storekeeper who threatened to sell the magnificent stove he stored for them. Hester tells about the seven months of hard labor with humor and growing insights into hard work, money, and what it means to realize a goal.

Publisher: Morrow