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Annie and the Old One by Miska Miles

Annie and the Old One (original 1971; edition 1972)

by Miska Miles, Peter Parnall (Illustrator)

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5241019,294 (3.96)2
Title:Annie and the Old One
Authors:Miska Miles
Other authors:Peter Parnall (Illustrator)
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (1972), Hardcover, 44 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Newbery Honor Winner, Multicultural, death

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Annie and the Old One by Miska Miles (1971)



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This realistic fiction book tells the story of a young girl and her Navajo family. She has a grandma who tells them that when they finish weaving their next blanket, it will be her time to pass away. The girl, Annie, does not want to believe that her grandma will die soon, and tries to make her mom stop weaving so that she cannot finish the blanket. It doesn't work. Annie has to go to school, but she just wants to be home, so she steals her teacher's shoe and puts it in the trash can, hoping that her parents will be called and have to come pick her up. Then, her mom would not be able to work on the weaving. But, Annie did not get in trouble. Her grandma ends up passing, and they know it is okay.
  jresner | Apr 21, 2015 |
The genre of this book is realistic fiction. Annie, a young Navajo girl, is saddened by her grandmother's prediction that she will die when her mother finishes weaving the rug on her loom. In her small power, Annie tries everything to get her mother from weaving in order to preserve the life of her grandmother. She tries getting into trouble at school, setting their livestock loose, and even unraveling the weaving. At last, her grandmother tells her that she cannot stop the passage of time. Finally accepting the Old One's fate, Annie sits down to learn how to weave herself. ( )
  athena.j | Apr 20, 2015 |
Summary: Annie, a little Navajo girl, lives with her mother, father and grandmother. It is immediately clear that Annie loves her grandmother very much and spends much of her time with her. Annie's grandmother announces that when the rug on the loom is finished being woven, she will rejoin the Earth. Annie does not like this and does many things to stop the rug from being finished. Her grandmother takes her for a walk on the mesa and explains to Annie that a person cannot stop time and things that come from Earth must return to it. Annie goes home and begins weaving the rug.

Personal Reaction: My heart broke for Annie as she struggled with the knowledge that her grandmother would be passing soon. The author was able to illustrate how children often take sayings literally. As a reader, I sympathized with Annie when her plans to delay the weaving went wrong.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Bring in a loom and woven rug to demonstrate the pieces that are referred to in the book and how a rug is woven.
2. Discuss plant life cycles that were mentioned in the book, like a cactus flower. ( )
  Sara.rivera | Aug 27, 2013 |
A quiet and reflective book about a young girl coming to terms with her grandmother's approaching death. The illustrations are also quiet but very lovely. Annie rebels against nature and tries to prevent time from passing. This does not work as well as she hoped it would, and her grandmother intervenes. Very warm and loving and pretty realistic. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Annie's grandmother tells the family that her time is up and that when the rug that is being made on the loom is finished she (the grandmother) will die. After this declaration, the family goes about their business as normal, much to Annie's dismay. So Annie takes matters into her own hands and begins to make trouble that takes time away from being able to use the loom and even undoes full days worth of work on the rug in attempt to prevent it's completion and her grandmother's death. Her grandmother finally catches on to what Annie is doing and explains to her that it's part of the cycle of life and no matter what Annie does, she cannot stop it or prevent it.

Personal Reflection:
I thought this was a poignant look at a young child's perception of death versus what an adult may know about it. The author did a wonderful job of telling the story from a child's point of view making it something a child would more easily relate too.

Classroom Extension:
- This book could be used in a unit covering different culture's approach to or traditions relating to death.
- It would be an excellent book to refer a child to who is struggling with the death or dying of a family member. ( )
  JLGadberry | Nov 5, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Navajo Fiction… In this contemporary story, Annie finds it difficult to accept her grandmother's impending death until the grandmother explains that death is part of the ongoing cycle of life. This poignant message is told in simple language and illustrated with beautiful black-and-white drawings.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miska Milesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parnall, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Annie's Navajo world was good - a world of rippling sand, of high copper-red bluffs in the distance, of the low mesa ner her own snug hogan.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A Navajo girl unravels a day's weaving on a rug whose completion, she believes, will mean the death of her grandmother.

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