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Christmas After All : the Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift

by Kathryn Lasky

Series: My Story, Dear America Re-issue - Publication Order (16), Dear America (Depression Era: Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932), Dear America - Publication Order (23), Dear America Collections (Dear America: Depression, 1932)

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685827,074 (3.89)7
In her fictionalized journal, eleven-year-old Minnie Swift recounts how her family dealt with the difficult times during the Depression and how the arrival of an orphan from Texas changed their lives in Indianapolis just before Christmas 1932.
  1. 00
    Kit: An American Girl, 1934 by Valerie Tripp (AvengingExile)
    AvengingExile: A Great Depression story with a girl about the same age that, I believe, is a little more compelling. I read the series as an adult and still found it enjoyable.
  2. 00
    Not a Nickel to Spare: The Great Depression Diary of Sally Cohen by Perry Nodelman (rebecca191)
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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
00001157
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Summary: This is a great book that demonstrates the struggles a young girl and her family face during the Great Depression and through the holidays. Through their efforts, they still find happiness even in the hardest of times.

Personal Reaction: I think this is a great demonstration of how things were during the Great Depression. I think there is so much in the struggle and challenges, that this story shows that love and commitment in family really did help people pull through some of the darkest times in our history.

Classroom extensions: I think it would be great for students to look on a map and see where cities grew due to the Great Depression. I think the Dust Bowl would be a great area to show students in Oklahoma due to their connection to the history to get them more interested in this time period. ( )
  CelesteJoy | Sep 19, 2015 |
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not. ( )
  benuathanasia | Sep 5, 2012 |
Summary: Christmas After All tells what life was like during the great depression. This story is about a young girl and the sacrifices that her family has to make during the great depression. This is a great coming of age book for children in upper elementary.

Personal Reaction:
This was one of my favorite books when I was younger. It's a great book to use to introduce children to historical fiction from the great depression era. This book show's what live was like during this difficult time in our nation's history in a way that is interesting and appropriate for children.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. I would have students do a T-chart like we did in class showing fact and fiction items from the story.

2. Students could also create a compare and contrast T-chart showing how the life of the girl from the story is different than student lives today. ( )
  KatieKirk | Oct 28, 2011 |
Minnie Swift is a young girl living in Indiana during the Great Depression. While the GD is subject to many novels, the point of view from a young girl is not common. This is perfect for younger adults interested in history. ( )
  Maggie_Rum | Jun 9, 2011 |
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Mama and Papa believe in cold.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In her fictionalized journal, eleven-year-old Minnie Swift recounts how her family dealt with the difficult times during the Depression and how the arrival of an orphan from Texas changed their lives in Indianapolis just before Christmas 1932.

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This book provides wonderful historical context while being centered around a fictional character. Students would be able to relate to this young girl in ways they could not relate to regular history books. This would be great for read alouds, or small groups. Students could then write reflections about the journal entries written by Minnie.
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