Book Review: Gratefully Yours

Gratefully YoursGratefully YoursGratefully Yours by Jane Buchanan by Jane Buchanan

A very gentle and somewhat slow-paced story that might not grab more reluctant readers. Hattie is an appealing character, and Buchanan does a good job of showing her adapting to her new home as well.

My biggest complaints with the book are the abrupt ending (and apparently there is a companion book, Hank’s StoryHank's Story by Jane Buchanan, so that might help it not feel like such a quick wrap-up), and that there seem to be a lot of orphan train stories, and this one isn’t as compelling as some others.

If you’ve got a voracious reader who wants to read more about orphan trains or early 20th century rural farm life, I’d recommend it with a few cautions. Hattie is an orphan, and a few details about how she became one are shared, so super sensitive readers might be troubled. Other orphans are sent to families in the same town, and several of them are in rougher situations than Hattie, and while nothing is too explicit, it is clear that they are being mistreated to some degree. Finally (big possible spoiler alert!), an animal dies at the end of the book, so anyone bothered when pets die will probably be unhappy.

All in all, recommended in the right circumstances, but I wouldn’t push it on anyone who wasn’t already an enthusiastic reader or extremely interested in the topic or setting.

{Want a great orphan train book, set 40 years earlier than this one? Try Karen Cushman’s RodzinaRodzina by Karen Cushman. So good.}

Publisher’s Description:
When her family dies in a New York tenement fire in 1933, Hattie is sent on the Orphan Train to Nebraska to live with Henry and Elizabeth Jansen. Yes, Henry needs her help with the farm chores and with Elizabeth, who is still grieving for the death of their children. But Hattie knows she is unwanted. Can the Jansens ever love another child? “A blend of Anne of Green Gables and Orphan Train Rider; [readers] who enjoyed either of those will appreciate Hattie’s story.”

Book Details

Title: Gratefully YoursGratefully Yours by Jane Buchanan
Author: Jane Buchanan
Category: Juvenile Fiction / Historical
My Rating: 3 Stars

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  1. […] reading Gratefully Yours, I was curious to read this sequel. Either book can work as a stand-alone, but Hank’s Story […]

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