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A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's…
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A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32 (original 1979; edition 1990)

by Joan W. Blos

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1,641204,395 (3.49)33
Member:eduscapes
Title:A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32
Authors:Joan W. Blos
Info:Aladdin (1990), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:location-Tubnewbery80, 1830's, death, farm life, friends, maple sugaring, New Hampshire, remarriage, quilts

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A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32 by Joan W. Blos (1979)

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Summary: This is the story of Catherine, in New Hampshire in the mid to early 1800s. Her mother had passed away even before the diary opens. It is an eye opener about her hardships, making it thru the Eastern seaboard's brutal winters, and how she engaged in the procuring of maple sugar from the trees!

Personal reaction: Even though this teenager's life is clearly difficult, and full of hard work, it's also poignant and touching, as she faces the loss of friends and family struggles.

Classroom extensions: I'd have a taste testing of different maple syrups for the kids to enjoy. Kind of a kinesthetic learning on how delicious maple syrup is and we take it for granted but how labor intensive it is to garner.

I would try to show them a video of an old-fashioned weaving loom and how it worked.
  Dowrox | Jul 24, 2016 |
A short YA book about the life of Catherine Cabot Hall who lives on a New Hampshire farm in 1830. Written as Catherine’s diary over the course of a year, she writes of her daily life and as this is a YA book, the subject matter is fairly light, although she does touch briefly on the subject of slavery. During the year, her life goes through some big changes as her father brings home a second wife and her best friend gets ill and dies.

I am not sure whether this book would speak directly to today’s younger audience, as Catherine’s life is so very different from that of a modern reader, but the author definitely gives us a glimpse of how the social mores of the day, the religious teachings and family rules all played a very important role in shaping one’s life in the 1800’s.

For me personally, I found A Gathering of Days a little light and would have liked to delve more into some the issues that were mentioned in passing but, of course, I am not the target audience. Overall, this is an enjoyable sentimental story that comes across in a realistic manner. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Sep 12, 2015 |
This book was a somewhat boring account of a girl's childhood in New England written in diary form.

The best part was the use of the word abecedarian. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Understated and affecting story of a young girl in New England, and the two years during which she went from being a heedless girl to being nearly a woman grown. Historical detail is rich in this book. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
“It was an apt choice, . . . for are we not, all of us, wand’rers and strangers; and do we not, all of us, travel in danger or voyage uncharted seas?”

Father speaks of the quilt, her Mariner’s Compass, that Catherine, 14, is piecing, under the guidance of her new stepmother. This novel, in the form of a diary, covers two years of Catherine’s life in rural New Hampshire. Running the house after her mother’s death, school days, friends, marriages, death and life, a runaway slave - seasons and times, and a young girl, change.

”This year, more than others, has been a lengthy gathering of days wherein we lived, we loved, were moved; learned how to accept.”

Beautiful. 4.2 stars ( )
1 vote countrylife | Mar 14, 2012 |
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To my namesake, Catherine:

I give you this book on your fourteenth birthday, as I turned fourteen the year of the journal; the year that was also my last on the farm tho' I did not know it then.
Quotations
It was an apt choice ... for are we not, all of us, wand’rers and strangers; and do we not, all of us, travel in danger or voyage uncharted seas?
...now does the present re-pay the past and flow on towards the future.
This year, more than others, has been a lengthy gathering of days wherein we lived, we loved, were moved; learned how to accept.
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Book description
From the back cover: I, Catherine Cabot Hall, aged 13 years 6 months, 29 days. . .do bebin this journal. So begins this journal of a girl coming of age in nineteenth-century New Hampshire. Catherine records both the hardships of pioneer life and its many joys. Even as she struggles with her mother's death and father's eventual remarriage, Catherine's indomitable spirit makes this saga an often-times uplifting and joyous one.
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The journal of a fourteen-year-old girl, kept the last year she lived on the family farm, records daily events in her small New Hampshire town, her father's remarriage, and the death of her best friend.

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