Jessie and Polly spend all day looking for their mama on the horizon, over the endless waves of grass and the huge sky. And when it is night, and they finally return to their soddy, somebody is already inside, waiting for them in the dark. "Mama?" Polly whispers. Yes, it is their mama. Except Mama can't hear them. And she can't see them. There's something wrong with Mama!WJessie and Polly spend all day looking for their mama on the horizon, over the endless waves of grass and the huge sky. And when it is night, and they finally return to their soddy, somebody is already inside, waiting for them in the dark. "Mama?" Polly whispers. Yes, it is their mama. Except Mama can't hear them. And she can't see them. There's something wrong with Mama!What can they do? Papa has gone East -- he may not be back for weeks. With no one but their evil neighbors, the Smiths, to help them, Jessie and Polly must fight for their land and their lives on the open prairie....
|Number of Pages||:||144 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Eleven year old Polly and nine year old Jessie live a quiet life on the prairie. The girls and their mother spend their days taking care of the land while their father is far away visiting his brother’s farm. One evening the girls return home to find their mother alive yet unresponsive, sitting on the rocking chair and staring straight ahead. The recent loss of her second baby, the absence of her husband, and the loneliness of the prairie have caused her to lose her mind. With the mean and greedy Smiths as their only neighbors, the sisters are forced to keep their mother’s condition a secret. Eventually the Smiths find out that the girls are alone and threaten to send the them away as orphans. Polly and Jessie need to act fast. They leave the safety of their home and find refuge in the bluestem grass that spreads as far as the eye can see. The girls must hide until their father returns to reclaim the land that is rightfully theirs. This book would be an interesting addition to a classroom study of the prairie, as it accurately portrays some elements of life prairie life. Polly’s family relies strongly on the land for survival. Without their father to harvest the crops, the girls realize that they will not have enough food to survive the winter. Children who read this book will be surprised at how alone families who moved to the prairies actually were. There were only distant neighbors and if something went wrong, it was difficult to get help, as the nearest town was many miles away. It would be interesting for students in a classroom to compare this to their own neighborhood/city life. Some elements of this story seemed disturbing- the mother simply walking off into the prairie and the girls unable to stop her. Also, the ending was a bit unrealistic as the girls get lost in the bluegrass, suddenly find their way out, and happen to see their father coming home at that very moment. Despite some strangeness to the storyline, this book has a unique focus on the natural beauty of the prairie. The main character, Polly has a love for the wide open land that is attractive to the reader. Ages 9-12.
This chapter book would be appropriate for late elementary aged children to middle school children.