MY CONTRACT WITH HENRY by Robin Vaupel

MY CONTRACT WITH HENRY

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Beth Gardner, the “invisible girl in Seat 5 Row 4,” finds an ally in Henry David Thoreau, the next author in her eighth-grade English textbook. Beth’s classmates sneer, dismiss Thoreau as weird, and question why anyone would want to be alone or observe nature, and what’s wrong with having a big house and vacations in Florida? But Stuart Garfield happens to know of a tract of rugged land, and the group decides to try living and thinking like Thoreau. They build a cabin, stock it with only the items Thoreau actually brought, and live there whenever they can. If the success of the project is predictable and quick, it is nevertheless fun to watch Thoreau’s ideas infect these 13-year-olds marching to the beat of a different drummer. Each chapter begins with a quotation from Thoreau paralleling events in the story, and readers will learn much about the ideas, spirit, and relevance of Thoreau. An excellent introduction to Thoreau, and a fine companion to Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 15th, 2003
ISBN: 0-8234-1701-8
Page count: 244pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2003