Kindred Souls
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Kindred Souls

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  787 ratings  ·  191 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...more
Hardcover, 119 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Newbery 2013
44th out of 119 books — 1,066 voters
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Community Reviews

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Rachel
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 han...more
Brenda
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'...more
Wendy
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 woul...more
Susan
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...more
Mary Lee
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...more
Alan
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...more
M.
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...more
Kristin
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.
Kristen Badger
MacLachlan, P.(2012). Kindred Souls. New York: HarperCollins.

This sweet and touching story revolves around the special relationship between a young boy and his elderly grandfather. The farming family pulls together and creates something special for the grandfather when he becomes ill.

This book would make a good read aloud for elementary social studies classes. Would tie in nicely with units involving country and farm life. Teachers could also discuss and create sod houses with the class.

Interm...more
Heather
A simply written book, like most of Maclachlan's, but more serious in tone than most books at this level. A boy, Jake, is very close to his 88 year old grandfather, Billy. So close, in fact, that they are considered "kindred souls." Billy asks Jake to build him a sod house, because he so loved the sod house he grew up in. At first Jake resists, but when Biully falls ill Jake decides to build the house to encourage Billy to get better. Billy eventually comes home and is very pleased with the hous...more
Ann Marie
I would say - again - 3rd to 4th grade reader. This is a sweet story of a little boy and his love for his grandfather. If we put aside everything else - it is a sweet story. But grandpa gets sick and the little guy must face his grandfathers death. Then for the twister. Grandpa commissions the boy to build him a sod house. Really ? How many 3rd graders even know what a sod house was let alone how to build one. So the kid starts to build the sod house and then one by one each of his family member...more
Susan
A sweet story about family love.
Linda Lipko
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...more
Annette
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 s...more
Josiah
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
Ms. Yingling
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 healt...more
Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth K.
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...more
Jennifer Haight
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...more
Rebecca Reid
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 MacLac...more
Susie
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
C.C. Thomas
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...more
Peg
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 an...more
Dustin Roberts
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 o...more
Sarah
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.”...more
Katie Helwig
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
audreyii_fic
A story about a ten-year-old boy in denial about his grandfather's steadily declining health, this is quick, simple, and beautiful. That being said, as someone who lived through these exact emotions a month ago, I'm not sure I'm in the best position to analyze it. I cried like an infant, but I don't know if that means it's good; it might just be hitting me at the right time. But, then, isn't that part of what books are for? Recommended... I think.
Rene Kirkpatrick
Patricia Maclachlan is one of my favorite authors of slim volumes. She has a gift for sharing ideas and thoughts with few words that convey big pictures. As someone who's read a lot of her books, I pretty much knew where this one was going but it was still good.

Jake's grandpa billy is 88 years old and is spending a lot of time thinking about the sod house he lived in when he was very young. He is feeling melancholy and the arrival of Lucy, the dog, helps him and his family feel a little better....more
Kris
Short story and a quick read, but will lead the reader to ponder long after finishing the last word. Patricia MacLachlan's writing is magical, lyrical, and just right for early elementary school age kids -- or anybody! Perfect to read aloud. MacLachlan has a real gift for taking complex subjects and making them beautifully simple and real and wonderful.

3 Starred Reviews: PW, Kirkus, BCCB

"It's rare to find a children's book that deals so well with death as part of life, offering kids an effectiv...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Patricia MacLachlan is a bestselling U.S. children's author, best known for winning the 1986 Newbery Medal for her book Sarah, Plain and Tall.

For more information, please see http://www.answers.com/topic/patricia...
More about Patricia MacLachlan...
Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1) Skylark (Sarah, Plain and Tall #2) Waiting for the Magic Caleb's Story (Sarah, Plain and Tall #3) All the Places to Love

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