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Kindred Souls

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,329 Ratings  ·  259 Reviews
Jake’s grandfather, Billy, hears the talk of birds, is eighty-eight years old, and is going to live forever. Even when Billy gets sick, Jake knows that everything will go on as always. But there’s one thing Billy wants: to rebuild the sod house where he grew up. Can Jake give him this one special thing?

From beloved author Patricia MacLachlan comes a poignant story about wh
Hardcover, 119 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Jul 11, 2012 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Kindred Souls is a kind comforting embrace from the first. It is like reading a poem that surrounds you with all the best people have to offer. Jake's grandpa, Billy, and he share a powerful bound. They are kindred souls who know best how to support each other. There is nothing unusual in what they do and in how they are together but that is what makes everything about their relationship extraordinary.
Jakes says, "After I do my chores, Billy and I take our daily walk around the farm. Everyday I'
Jun 06, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
This is a lovely, lovely book. It was a struggle not to lose myself in it too deeply; the story is straightforward and literal, yet it felt like a metaphor for the death of my own grandfather--which happened when I was an adult, not a child, and in the city, not a remote family farm. I bet it will feel that way to many people. I think the literal aspects will still hold the attention of children--the details of building a sod house, the amusing dog vignettes, the details of the hospital. It ...more
Jun 19, 2015 Erin rated it really liked it
1) Why did you choose this book for this project?
-I chose the book Kindred Souls for this project because I truly loved the book and wanted to promote it for teachers and students alike! I also thought that this book was a good one for teacher’s to have in their back pocket because it talks about a death in the family, and it does a good job of focusing on the good things/ memories compared to the sadness and grieving that goes along with death. I also thought it would be a good book for looking
Aug 09, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
picked MacLachlan's book, Kindred Souls, off the shelf for two reasons. One, it was short and I didn't have very much time to read a book. And, two, because I loved the title. It reminded me of Anne in Green Gables, when Anne Shirley first explained kindred spirits to me. Anne described kindred spirits as being two souls who are bonded, best friends, a person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one's own. I saw the illustration on MacLachlan's book of an old man with a child holding ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Susie rated it it was amazing
From the cover picture until the end, I liked just about everything about this book. (Although I wish I knew how old Jesse and Lida are; never saw mention of it.) I'm not big on lots of descriptive prose, and MacLachlan wastes few words; a lot happens although the book is relatively short. There is such a sweetness about the entire story. When Jake describes their daily walks as predictable, rather than boring, and his brother decrees, "He's old and nuts. You're young and nuts," you can see that ...more
Mary Lee
Jul 08, 2012 Mary Lee rated it it was amazing
My eyes welled up on page two of this book, and when I put it down I gulped back a sob.

Patricia MacLachlan dedicated this book to the memory of her father. "...born in a sod house on the prairie he loved."

My father would have been 85 this year. He was born in a sod house.

How I wish he were here, watching the birds -- no hummingbirds, but definitely redtailed hawks. How I wish a good dog -- a farm dog -- an angel dog -- named Lucy could find him. How I wish I could build him a sod house.

This book
Mar 20, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-book
Another marvelous book by Patricia MacLachlan.

Kindred Souls tugs the heartstrings. A lot. It's the story of Jake, age 10, and his grandfather, Billy, age 88. According to Jake's mother, they are kindred souls.

Patricia MacLachlan always finds a way to capture the beauty of a place, a moment, a personality, in just a few carefully chosen words. She does it again in this book. It's not up there with Word After Word After Word, or Sarah, Plain and Tall, but it is a good book about how people grow
Mar 10, 2012 Alan rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
ATOS Book Level: 3.0
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)
AR Points: 1.0
Word Count: 10235

A touching book that deals with the loss of a grandparent. Jake believes his eighty-eight year old grandfather is going to live forever and when Billy, his grandfather gets sick and needs to go to the hospital, Jake decides to work on the project Billy wanted them to work on, rebuilding the Sod House that Billy originally lived in when he settled this land (making it interesting for any child familiar with th
Apr 02, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one much more than Waiting for the Magic. She addresses the subject of losing a loved one head-on, but with an approach that is simple, appropriate, and nurturing to young readers. That is not to say that I did not cry at the end, but I felt comforted, knowing that Jake will be ok and Lucy will continue her Angel work with another family. Appropriate for primary through intermediate aged readers.
May 08, 2012 Donalyn rated it it was amazing
Jake adores his grandfather, Billy, but must face the fact that Billy won't be around forever. A beautiful story about love, family, and closure. I cried when I read the author's dedication and remained misty-eyed through the entire story.
Jul 28, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
A sweet story about family love.
Feb 17, 2013 Josiah rated it liked it
Patricia MacLachlan's perfectly lovely, marvelously efficient storytelling has never been in finer form than in the pages of Kindred Souls. Writing to honor the memory of her late father, who lived past age one hundred and loved the prairie just as much as Billy does in this book, Patricia MacLachlan has created a story of quiet, enduring strength, the experience of love in its many forms standing behind each word in the book. The reality of those we know and love shuffling off into the ether o ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Jake and his grandfather, Billy, have always had a special bond. They enjoy walking together in nature and visiting with animals, and though Billy is getting old, Jake is sure he will live forever. One day, just before he falls ill and winds up in the hospital, Billy asks Jake to build him a sod house like the one he lived in as a child. Convinced the sod house will make him well, Jake starts to work, enlisting the help of his siblings to complete the project.

Like The Truth Of Me, this book is p
DyolF Dixon
Mar 07, 2015 DyolF Dixon rated it really liked it
Shelves: realism
Kindred Souls is by Patricia MacLachlan is a very good book as is her book fly away. These two books have very similar themes. They both are good books. The grade levels for reading this book is third grade through sixth grade. When I saw the books were by the same author, I got the books to see how similar they were. The author is the Newbery Medal-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall. I was sure the author was a good writer. I wanted to see how similar the books would be. I think since the ...more
Rebecca Reid
Apr 24, 2012 Rebecca Reid rated it liked it
Because my son is so young, I’m just beginning to re-familiarize myself with middle grade fiction; I haven’t really read much since I was a youngster. I remember really loving the gentle rural setting of Patricia MacLachlan’s Sarah, Plain and Tall when I was a young girl: it was one of my favorite books. When I saw a new book by Ms MacLachlan, I thought I’d give it a try; the publisher, via LibraryThing Early Reviewers, sent me a copy for review consideration. I’m also delighted to see Ms ...more
Linda Lipko
Jan 30, 2014 Linda Lipko rated it really liked it
As usual, this author is the queen of poignancy. The story of an extended family living on the prairie together, as the eldest mentors the youngest, is tender and sweet.

And, in today's world, as this morning I read the local newspaper of a girlfriend harming the three year old child, leaving scars, and, when the father simply said to the judge "It isn't THAT bad!", I couldn't help but wonder just what happen to this society of ours.

Feeling old and disheartened, it was good to read a sappy book o
Jun 06, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denice Hein
Jan 21, 2015 Denice Hein rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Upper Elementary-young Middle Schoolers
Horn Book Magazine
( December 17, 2011; )
In seventeen short chapters MacLachlan traces the final act in the story of ten-year-old Jake's relationship with his grandfather, Billy. This is a farming family and Billy, aged eighty-eight, still lives on the land where he was born. All is predictable, benign, idyllic -- hummingbirds and new baby calves, shared chores and family jokes. The first sign that change is afoot comes in the mysterious arrival of a stray dog, a dog that glues herself to Billy.
Dustin Roberts
Apr 15, 2012 Dustin Roberts rated it liked it
The story is told from the first person perspective of a young boy named Jake. Jake lives on a farm with his parents, brother, sister, and his best-friend /grandpa Billy. We follow the daily life of the family and see the bond between Billy and Jake. Billy is 88-years-old , talks to the birds the same way he has since the first bird of time, and Jake knows he will live forever. On their daily walk around the farm, Billy and Jake will always end in the Russian Olive Trees by the remnants of the ...more
C.C. Thomas
Jul 14, 2013 C.C. Thomas rated it really liked it
MacLachlan has quickly risen to the top of my favorite author list. Her prose is like the finest poetry, no less powerful for its brevity. Indeed, I marvel that she is able to pack such emotion and meaning into such few words, like a little packet of word dynamite.

Jake and Billy are kindred souls, more than just grandson and grandfather. They're always together and always know just what to say to each other. But, on a walk around their farm one day, Billy starts reminiscing about the old sod hou
Jennifer Haight
Feb 20, 2012 Jennifer Haight rated it really liked it
Kindred Souls is a smooth, and heart filled story of family, life, love, commitment and the gift of pride that one receives after working hard on a project. Written by Newbery Medal winning author Patricia MacLachlan the story centers around Jake, a young boy living on a large plot of land with his parent, his brother Jessie, his sister Lida, his parents and his grandfather Billy.
Billy has a close friendship with his grandfather and is saddened by his obvious decline in health. His grandfather
Holly Schurman
Oct 12, 2015 Holly Schurman rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Jake and his family but mostly about Jake and his grandfather, who everyone calls Billy. Billy is eighty-eight years old and has always lived on this land; before he built the wood house the family needs in now, he lived in a sod house over the hill and he misses it. Billy asks Jake to build a sod house for him but Jake says no. However, when Billy falls ill with pneumonia and has to go to the hospital, the whole family comes together to make sure he gets exactly what he ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Peg rated it really liked it
10-year-old Jake and his 88-year-old grandfather "Billy" are kindred souls, living together on the farm where Billy has spent his entire life. They pass their days simply, taking the same walk around the farm each day, noticing the ebb and flow of seasons and plant and animal life, the beauty of the prairie. Billy often comments on his love for the mostly destroyed old sod house in which he was raised and encourages Jake to construct a new one. When Billy is hospitalized with bronchitis, Jake ...more
Wendy Loewenstein

Review is from commonsensemedia
What parents need to know

Educational value
In addition to learning something about modern-day farm life and pioneer-era prairie sod houses, readers will benefit from observing Jake's love and respect for his grandfather and his willingness to listen to old stories and take each day at his grandfather's pace.
Positive messages
Jake gradually realizes and then accepts that nothing lasts forever and that part of love is being able
Elizabeth K.
Oct 15, 2012 Elizabeth K. rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-new-reads
This book confused me. The premise is BUILDING A SOD HOUSE. What kind of person does not become breathy and excited at a prospect of a book in which a kid builds a sod house?

Okay, that's not really what's supposed to be the premise, which is coming to terms with a grandparent aging, and well, you know, the end result of that. There's also a dog. (But they are also building a sod house.)

It's lovely, it's sweet, it's evocative of a rural way of living that is (mostly) in the past ... it also feels
Katie Helwig
Oct 24, 2012 Katie Helwig rated it really liked it
Billy is unstoppable in Jake’s eyes. His eighty-eight year old grandpa will live forever. Everyday Billy and Jake do everything together. Then one day an angel dog appears who becomes Billy’s right hand man. All Billy talks about is wanting to rebuild the sod house at the top of the hill where he grew up. He is determined to teach Jake how to do it and watch him build it for him. One day, Billy starts to get sick though. When he gets put in the hospital, Jake is determined to have the Sod house ...more
Feb 05, 2014 M. rated it really liked it
Probably 3rd grade and up, simple language, lots of white space on each page. High interest.
Jake’s 88-year old grandfather Billy lives on the family farm with Jake’s family. Billy’s memory is clearly fading (at least to the adult reader) but gently and kindly and Jake is comfortable with his grandfather’s lapses. Each summer day Billy and Jake walk the farm, saying hello to the animals and remembering the old days. Billy especially misses the old sod house he grew up in.
Billy gets sick and Jak
As a long-time fan of Patricia Maclachlan particularly "Sarah Plain and Tall", I was looking forward to reading "Kindred Souls". [return][return]The story revolves a young boy, his grandfather, and a stray dog. It's a perfect combination of characters for primary age children. I enjoyed the journey of building the sod house, but wished the author had included illustrations to help young readers visualize the story.[return][return]Like many of her other works, the book provided an inspirational ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 09, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
Jake's grandfather Billy is 88 years old, but Jake, who is ten, doesn't worry that his grandfather will die. They have a lot of fun together, hanging out on the family farm, talking about the way that things were when Billy was young, and watching the prarie. When Billy becomes ill and is hospitalized, Jake decides that he will build a sod house like the one his grandfather lived in when he was a boy. With the help of some books and his family, he manages to recreate the sod house. Billy's ...more
Jul 16, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jake and his eighty-eight-year-old grandfather, Billy, are kindred souls. They share a special bond, and Billy always tells Jake about the sod house in which he grew up, the foundation of which still rests in the prairie around the family’s farm. So when Billy asks Jake to build him a new sod house, Jake knows that he will—with Billy’s “Angel Dog” Lucy at his side—even though Billy becomes ill.

Beloved children’s author Patricia MacLachlan crafts a poignant and tender story with “Kindred Souls.”
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Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb's Story; and Three Names, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. She lives in western ...more
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