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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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482821,353 (4)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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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 |
This 1972 Newbery honor was yet another Newbery that deals wisely, astutely and beautifully with a difficult subject.

Young, Navajo Indian child, Annie loves her grandmother with all her heart. When her grandmother tells her that she will pass away when the last thread is woven on a rug that Annie's mother is weaving, Annie results to extreme measures to ensure the rug is not finished.

Like so many of us, the inevitability of death is a difficult concept. Loss, grief, fear and pain are emotions we want to avoid. Which one of us wouldn't go to extreme measures if we could save someone we love?

In this heart felt tale Annie slowly learns that death is both another cycle.

Recommended. ( )
  Whisper1 | Dec 22, 2011 |
A young Navajo girl, named Annie, loves her grandmother very much. She is given terrible news; her grandmother will go back to Mother Earth when the rug is taken down from the loom. Each family member chooses an item of hers that they would like to keep, Annie chooses her weaving stick. Annie tries to come up with schemes to keep her mother from weaving, so that her grandmother will not die, none work. Her grandmother explains to her that you cannot stop time, all things come from the earth and all things must return to the earth when it is their time. Annie helps her mother finish the rug with her grandmothers weaving stick.
I liked the book a lot, it explains that no matter how hard you try, things will end. I think that all children can relate to this book, not only those that have lost a loved one. Every child has tried to make time not come, for instance trying to hide a report card, only to learn their parents got a copy in the mail. The book was emotional, yet very easy to read. I believe children would enjoy this book.
1.) The class will have a show and tell of their family traditions. Each class member can bring in items to help, or simply describe something that their family does.
2.) Students will write a story describing a time that they tried to make time stand still. This story should include details of how the conflict was resolved.
  aubreycroat | Nov 23, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (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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