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CALEB’S STORY by Patricia MacLachlan Kirkus Star

CALEB’S STORY

By Patricia MacLachlan

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-023605-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

Newbery Medalist MacLachlan continues the story of the Witting family, with the believable characters readers have come to know and love from Sarah, Plain and Tall (1985) and its sequel, Skylark (1994). The family has changed, as Sarah and her husband Jacob now have a daughter named Cassie, a feisty, outspoken little girl of four or five, and older daughter Anna is living in town to attend school and work for the local doctor. Another major change in family dynamics occurs when Jacob’s long-lost father suddenly appears. He is a worn-out, cantankerous old man with nowhere to go but his old farm, which he abandoned, along with his family, when Jacob was a boy. The bitter conflict between father and son is the heart of the narrative, this time told in first-person (and recorded in his own journal) by Caleb, who also copies passages from his sister Anna’s journals from the previous two stories to help him understand his family. Sarah remains the rock, urging her husband to forgive his father and caring for all of them in her wise, understated way. MacLachlan’s appreciative readers will savor this new addition to the chronicle of a delightful family, and many will be hoping for another volume in the series so we can learn precocious Cassie’s story as she grows older. (Fiction. 8-10)