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With Love from Booky by Bernice Thurman…
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With Love from Booky (1982)

by Bernice Thurman Hunter

Series: Booky (2)

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654285,541 (4.36)1
Booky is turning thirteen and life is ever-changing! Once again, she counts on her humour and wit to help her survive the growing pains. The irrepressible Booky is back! She's growing up and getting into more scrapes than ever - sneaking into a show, telling ghost stories to scare the daylights out of little kids, getting fired from her first babysitting job, and more. It's also a year of firsts for her: first pair of shorts(!), first crush, first date, and her first experience with death. And to top it off, money is still tight and her parents still argue. How will she survive the growing pains? As always there is the warm side of Booky, the side that cherishes her grandfather and her Aunt Aggie-the Booky that will hold her family together even through the hardest times.… (more)

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This omnibus edition includes all three books in the trilogy: [That Scatterbrain Booky], [With Love from Booky], and [As Ever, Booky]. It also has a bonus story, which appears between the first and second books, titled: “Visitors From Saskatoon” and it is a short story of only 8 pages, not including the photos.

That Scatterbrain Booky, book 1 = 5 stars (read 3/6/11-3/9/11)

Thanks to Goodreads’ friends Gundula, I have a copy of this of my very own, which I am happy to lend out. Another Goodreads friend offered to let me borrow her copies of the three books. What a wonderful site this is! What’s infuriating and disappointing though is how many books from faraway, and not all that far away, places are sometimes not available. Yes, this book is old, but it’s reprinted, and yet it’s not available at my public library. I’ll bet if the events in the book took place in the U.S. and not in Canada, our near neighbor, my library would have the book.

The cover has a painting of a young girl and normally I like deciding for myself what characters look like but turn the first page and there is a photo of a girl who looks exactly like the painting on the cover, and there are more photos. These are autobiographical novels with some non-fiction components.

The storytelling and writing style engaged me from the start. Booky’s narration is wonderful, her story lovingly drawn. So, despite the hunger and poverty and the hitting and yelling and other disturbing content, this book definitely qualifies as a comfort read for me. There was quite a bit of humor. There was a nifty appearance of the book [Anne of Green Gables]. The author’s vivid and genuine memories of childhood had universal appeal. The relationships and situations felt very genuine. And there was so much hopefulness.

Unfortunately, when I read books about hungry people is when I’m most prone to overeat and Booky’s descriptions of her hunger and the hunger experienced by her family members was vividly told, as were the descriptions of the foods they did eat.

The photographs of people and places and things and events from the time, including some of the author when young, really added to my pleasure of reading the story. It brought the historical fiction even more to life.

What a treasure! It’s ridiculous that just because this book’s events take place in Canada and it’s by a Canadian author, that it’ so difficult to obtain in the U.S. My library should have this edition (it has no Booky books) and I think I’ll recommend they purchase it for lending out. Thanks to Goodreads’ friend Gundula I own this lovely book, and thanks also to Goodreads’ friend Abigail who offered to lend me her 3 Booky books.

I expect this will be my favorite of the three books. The child narrator is so entertaining; in this book she goes in age from shortly before her 10th birthday until shortly after her 11th birthday.

If I’d read this when I was 9, 10, 11 it would have been one of my favorite books. My father talked about the Great Depression some when I was young. He was a young adult by then, but when he was Booky’s age he also lived in extreme poverty, no happy ending for him until he was older than Booky.

“Visitors from Saskatoon”, a Booky story = 4 stars (read 3/9/11)

I wasn’t sure that this additional 8 page long story would add anything of substance to the three Booky books. In this edition it appears after the first book. I ended up really liking it. It gave some fascinating information about Booky’s mother when she was young, and it manages to deftly convey the emotions that are at and under the surface, for both the visitors and the members of Booky’s family, and as with the first book this story is also narrated marvelously by Booky.

Booky: A Trillogy, continued:

I read this as a buddy read with Hilary.

Reread book 1: 2019/12/7-9 3 days. I’d remembered I’d liked it when I read it over 7-1/2 years ago but I actually remembered very little from it. It was almost like reading it for the first time.

I’d read the first book on my own a long time back. I liked it so much I was scared to continue but I’ve read enough reviews now of the second and third books that I wanted to read all three and I knew I had to reread the first book so it would be fresh in my memory. I wanted to read the trilogy as one book. (Much thanks to Gundula for giving me this copy. Unfortunately, this book is hard to find in the U.S. None of my libraries have it.)

From this trilogy I read the first book and short story that follows book 1 over 7-1/2 years ago. Later today I'm starting again, reading the entire book with HIlary. Eager to get started. I love all the photos.

We were delayed. I own a copy but the Open Library copy Hilary needs to read has been borrowed and has an additional person waiting, not true not that many days ago. It's so frustrating when books aren't available in certain countries. This one I'd think libraries in Canada would have it but that's not true in the United States or in England.

I’d already written reviews for the first book and the story that comes between books one and two, the parts I reread. I’ll add my notes to those and my reviews and reading of books two and three will be brand new.

The only frustrating thing is that seems so much more like a biography/non-fiction than a novel. There are even many photos of the people/characters. I don’t know what is true and what is fictionalized. The photographs are wonderful!

So after my second read of book 1 and the short story. I liked the short story but to me it seems like the last chapter of book 1.

I love Booky and her mother too. The story is great. I can feel what it felt like to be poor in the Great Depression with this family and the people they know who live near or are relatives and friends. Great historical fiction! The many photos included and knowing this book was based on the author’s life have me curious about what was true and what was fictionalized.

Book 2: read with Hilary 2019/12/10-12/12

With Love from Booky, book 2 = 2019/12/10-12

I read this in this omnibus edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

I loved it.

I was afraid I wouldn't like books 2 or 3 which is why I hadn't read them 7-1/2 years ago when I read book 1 and the story, but I love this and I think I'll love book 3 too.

It’s a testament to her mother for being such a good housekeeper to see what the “new house“ was like in another family’s/women’s hands. Booky’s family seemed poorer than the family of her friend so finances wouldn’t be an excuse.

Her first kiss, well that was the 1930s and I think those sort of games went out in the 1950s because when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s at those ages nobody was doing that kind of thing and I don’t think kids play that now but maybe. I have heard about recently younger people doing that or maybe seen it in movies? In this book the kids were very sweet and innocent and the mother on the premises did not seem at all perturbed.

Such a difference to have a great teacher vs. a horrid one. So glad that Booky did so well her last year before high school.

So sad for Willa. Hope a way is found for her to get the education she wants and that the family wants for her. We’ve come a long way as far as sexism/discrimination. With all of Willa’s squeamishness I wouldn’t have thought she would have being a doctor as a goal.

It was very sad about Grandpa but I'm so glad everyone was kind and helpful to Booky when she was grieving. What a great relationship they had!

I was afraid the end of book 2 wouldn’t feel like the end of a book but it did.

Thanks again to Gundula for the book!!!

As Ever, Booky, book 3 = 2019/12/13-14 buddy read with Hilary.

I love how L.M. Montgomery made her way into the story. So much fun! I love Booky and I love her mother. Willa too!

All seemed very 15 years old (to 17 years old) things, especially for the 1930s: the celebrity idols, the girl-boy party which was equally sad and hilarious and Booky’s concerns, her first jobs including her first real job.

I didn’t like rich girl Gloria but I did like rich boy Lorne.

I’d been so scared to read on but it’s really like one big book.

To summarize the 3 novels: Great and memorable characters & relationships and wonderful humor and touching stories, and such interesting photographs. The sibling relationships throughout all seemed completely authentic. One long story.

The only downside for me (aside from what always happens when I read about hungry people without enough food, especially when there are vivid food descriptions in the books, is that I get more hungry myself) is that these were published as novels but they’re obviously heavily autobiographical, so I’m left wondering what was real and what was fictionalized. I might have to try to look for a good and thorough biography of the author. It took me years but I’m grateful I’ve read the whole thing. For my reread of book 1 and the short story and my first reading of books 2 and 3, I enjoyed my buddy read with Hilary. I’m so glad I got to the whole trilogy! Sometimes when I read books and the main character is young I don’t always like it as much as they get older but this one was wonderful throughout. Great historical fiction. I got such a great sense of what it was like to be poor in the Toronto area during the Great Depression. Despite so much awfulness I envied having so many relatives and so many friends in the neighborhood. There is such a sense of community. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this young girl seeing her aspirations come to fruition.

I wanted to put this on my biography and non-fiction shelves because it’s obvious so much of this content belongs there. There are even real photos supporting the narrative, but they were published as fictional novels and that’s how they’re shelved so I’m restraining myself, even though the Epilogue and story details all the way through point solidly to autobiography.

I’ve added the individual books in addition to the trilogy book that I read for the purposes of the Goodreads “compare books” with other members feature.

Highly recommended trilogy of autobiographical novels for readers who enjoy historical fiction coming of age novels that have both drama & comedy, and it’s of particular interest to young readers who want to be writers.

This book is available on Open Library which is a good thing because it’s hard to get borrowed copies outside of Canada. I am so thankful for my copy, received years ago from Goodreads friend Gundula. It’s a treasure. ( )
  Lisa2013 | Dec 14, 2019 |
Book 2: read with Hilary 2019/12/10-12/12

With Love from Booky, book 2 = 2019/12/10-12

I read this in this omnibus edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3485526-booky

I loved it.

I was afraid I wouldn't like books 2 or 3 which is why I hadn't read them 7-1/2 years ago when I read book 1 and the story, but I love this and I think I'll love book 3 too.

It’s a testament to her mother for being such a good housekeeper to see what the “new house“ was like in another family’s/women’s hands. Booky’s family seemed poorer than the family of her friend so finances wouldn’t be an excuse.

Her first kiss, well that was the 1930s and I think those sort of games went out in the 1950s because when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s at those ages nobody was doing that kind of thing and I don’t think kids play that now but maybe. I have heard about recently younger people doing that or maybe seen it in movies? In this book the kids were very sweet and innocent and the mother on the premises did not seem at all perturbed.

Such a difference to have a great teacher vs. a horrid one. So glad that Booky did so well her last year before high school.
So sad for Willa. Hope a way is found for her to get the education she wants and that the family wants for her. We’ve come a long way as far as sexism/discrimination. With all of Willa’s squeamishness I wouldn’t have thought she would have being a doctor as a goal.

It was very sad about Grandpa but I'm so glad everyone was kind and helpful to Booky when she was grieving. What a great relationship they had!

I was afraid the end of book 2 wouldn’t feel like the end of a book but it did.

Thanks again to Gundula for the book!!! ( )
  Lisa2013 | Dec 13, 2019 |
Beatrice Thomson, better known to her friends and family as Booky, returns in this second installment of Bernice Thurman Hunter's trilogy of children's novels - begun in That Scatterbrain Booky, continued here, and concluded in As Ever, Booky - devoted to her experiences growing up in Depression-era Toronto. Opening the summer that Booky is sent from her home on Veeney Street, in the Swansea neighborhood - so-named because its settlers (Booky's extended maternal family) hailed from Swansea, in Wales - to the Muskoka farm of her paternal grandfather, With Love from Booky chronicles the ups and downs of its heroine's life, as she gradually moves from child to young woman. Booky's letters to and from home, her close family ties and friendships, her first job and first date, are all detailed here, in a narrative every bit as humorous and heartwarming as the first.

The charm of With Love from Booky is owing, in no small part, to the narrator herself, whose perceptive appreciation (despite some natural naivete) of the people around her makes her world truly come alive for the reader. I don't think I have read any work, intended for children, that gives a better sense of the real suffering and hardship of the Great Depression, than this book, and its predecessor. But despite the ever-present reality of need - which is, admittedly, a little less harsh in this volume, as Booky's father is (mostly) employed - the story still manages to feel lighthearted, probably due to its focus on those childhood and adolescent experiences common to so many young people, despite economic circumstance. There is humor here, and pathos - not least of all, when Booky's Grampa Cole unexpectedly dies, leaving her with all the regrets of the young, who, having thought they had all the time in the world to spend with loved ones, instead discover true loss for the first time. Highly recommended, to all those young readers who enjoy historical fiction, and tales with strong female characters. Just be sure to start with the first volume of Booky's adventures! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 20, 2013 |
The second novel of the Booky trilogy, [b:With Love From Booky|647637|With Love From Booky (Booky, #2)|Bernice Thurman Hunter|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1328021153s/647637.jpg|633781] is very similar in both scope and general feel to the first book of the series ([b:That Scatterbrain Booky|1426406|That Scatterbrain Booky (Booky, #1)|Bernice Thurman Hunter|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1328020606s/1426406.jpg|1416886]), and equally entertainig, poignant and evocative (I cannot really say which of the two books is my favourite, as both of them are simply lovely). The story opens with Beatrice (Booky) Thomson being sent to her paternal grandfather's farm in Muskoka for her health, and actually ends with another visit to the farm, after the death of her maternal grandfather (Grampa Cole) has left Booky feeling somewhat depressed and melancholy.

Booky is as charming a narrator in this second installment, an astute observer of human nature (with both a sense of humour and a critical eye towards not only the faults of others, but her own shortcomings as well). The Great Depression is still an ever-present entity, and although Booky's father is gainfully employed for most of the novel (except for when he is temporarily laid off), money remains tight, and poverty always seems to lurk just around the corner. However, even with the specter of the Great Depression looming, the possibility of Beatrice perhaps contracting consumption, the sadness of Grampa Cole's death, [b:With Love From Booky|647637|With Love From Booky (Booky, #2)|Bernice Thurman Hunter|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1328021153s/647637.jpg|633781] is never depressing or overly sentimental. Humour, love and fun are combined with more serious questions, problems and incidents to present a realistic, informative, and entertainingly readable account of 1930s Toronto (of family life, of childhood during that era). Recommended for anyone who enjoyed the first book of the trilogy (I would consider [b:With Love From Booky|647637|With Love From Booky (Booky, #2)|Bernice Thurman Hunter|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1328021153s/647637.jpg|633781] suitable for children above the age of nine or ten, with the caveat that the death of Grampa Cole is sad and quite realistically portrayed). ( )
  gundulabaehre | Mar 31, 2013 |
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The irrespressible Booky is back. She's growing up and getting into more scrapes than ever - sneaking into a show, telling ghost stories and scaring the daylights out of little kids, getting fired from her first babysitting job, and more. But there is also the warm side of Booky, the side that cherishes her grandfather and her Aunt Aggie, that has a crush on Georgie Dunn, that holds her family together through the hardest times.
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