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Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald

Nancy and Plum (1952)

by Betty MacDonald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Better than I remember from childhood because I can now appreciate the lovely descriptive language more than the heart-strings story. ( )
  2wonderY | Mar 16, 2014 |
An old fashioned story. These children were a little more believable than the people of Roald Dahl. Still not very real. I was happy that all turned out well in the end, but the villains didn't seem to get their comeuppance and the children left at the orphanage seemed to me to still be stuck in an untenable position. Not Betty MacDonald's best. I do love Mrs Piggle Wiggle. I'll have to reread the Egg and I. I liked it a lot as a kid. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
When their parents die and they are left in the guardianship of a bachelor uncle, sisters Nancy and Plum are sent to board with the penny-pinching Mrs. Monday and her disagreeable niece Marybelle. Like all of the neglected children left in Mrs. Monday's care, Nancy and Plum are underfed, dressed in little more than rags, and treated harshly while Mrs. Monday lavishes toys, good food, and nice clothes on Marybelle. Nancy and Plum survive by imagining a better life for themselves -- and by a tiny bit of help from outsiders like their teacher, the town librarian, and Mrs. Monday's cowed handyman Old Tom. When life at Mrs. Monday's becomes unbearable, Nancy and Plum run away. They soon discover that they cannot make it in the world on their own . . . but will they be able to find the help they need to end up in a better situation?

I was left vaguely dissatisfied with this story. I imagine that, had I read it as a child, I would have loved it. The characters are stock figures: the plucky heroines, the evil villain, the kind teacher, the quiet old handyman. Morals are dropped in with a rather heavy hand, and the story ends in a predictably happy fashion. Children who enjoy this sort of story will eat this book up, but I found it just a bit flat ( )
  foggidawn | Sep 21, 2013 |
Two orphaned sisters are sent to live at a boarding home run by the cruel and greedy Mrs. Monday, where they dream about someday having enough to eat and being able to experience a real Christmas.
  prkcs | Dec 16, 2010 |
This book was first published in 1952 and there are elements of it which are dated. I was a child in 1952 and so have no problem with it but today's children might need some explanations about lighting wood stoves and lanterns. The story is about two orphaned sisters, Nancy 10 and Plum 8. Their Uncle put them in a Boarding House for children in Heavenly Valley. The Boarding House is run by a Mrs. Monday and she takes the money for these thrown away children, uses the children as servants, feeds them on gruel and prunes, and takes even that away for the least provocation. She and her niece, Marybelle, dress well and eat well at the expense of their wards. The sisters are close and keep each other going by imagining, literally, a better life. This book is about values, about making do with next to nothing and helping others. Nancy and Plum help the other children at the Boarding house, and are helped by Old Tom, their teacher, Miss Waverly, the librarian, Miss Appleby and the Campbells. Plum is very funny and full of antics and high spirits. Her sister Nancy is quiet, very truthful, imaginative and dreamy. I enjoyed the fact that the girls were so independent and self-sufficient. Granted, even that does not make up for no parents. Perhaps the ending is a little overly happy but children seem to have no problem with that. ( )
  Eurekas | Oct 29, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Betty MacDonaldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopkins, HildegardeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Annie and Joan
First words
It was Christmas Eve. Big snowflakes fluttered slowly through the air like white feathers and made all of Heavenly Valley smooth and whire and quiet and beautiful. Tall fir trees stood up to their knees in the snow and their outstretched hands were heaped with it. Tree that were bare of leaves wore soft white fur on their scrawny, reaching arms and all the stumps and low bushes had been turned into fat white cupcakes. Mrs. Monday's big, brick Boarding House for Children wore drifts on its window sills, thick frosting on its steep slate roofs, big white tam o'shanters on its cold chimneys and by the light of the lanterns on either side of the big iron gates you could see that each of the gateposts wore a round snow hat. Even the sharp spikes of the high iron fence had been blunted by the snow.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037586685X, Hardcover)

It was Christmas Eve. Big snowflakes fluttered slowly through the air like white feathers
and made all of Heavenly Valley smooth and white and quiet and beautiful.

So begins the story of two orphaned sisters at Mrs. Monday’s Boarding School. But nothing is heavenly for Nancy and Pamela (aka Plum): their parents died in a tragic accident years ago, they’re constantly punished by the cruel Mrs. Monday, and they’re all alone for the holidays.

Luckily, Nancy and Plum have each other, and though their prospects may be bleak, they’re determined to change their lot for the better. If their plan works, the spirited sisters will never spend Christmas at the cold, dark boarding school again. But what will they find on the other side of Mrs. Monday’s gate?

Adventure, warmth, unforgettable characters, and unexpected kindness abound in this classic story by Betty MacDonald, which was originally published in 1952. With illustrations by the acclaimed Mary GrandPré and an introduction by Jeanne Birdsall, National Book Award–winning author of The Penderwicks, this edition introduces the spunky, beloved heroines to a new generation of fans.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Two orphaned sisters are sent to live at a boarding home run by the cruel and greedy Mrs. Monday, where they dream about someday having enough to eat and being able to experience a real Christmas.

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