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The Wheat Doll

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
It is the late 1800s. Mary Ann lives with her family in the rugged Utah territory, where she tends the vegetable garden, dips candles, and braids rags into rugs. Mary Ann has a busy life, and a special friend to share it with: her beloved homemade doll, Betty.

Betty's wheat-filled body sits straight and tall. Her embroidered eyes never blink. Still, Mary Ann knows that Bett

Hardcover, 30 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Peachtree Publishers (first published January 1st 2008)

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Patricia Kemp Blackmon
In the nineteenth-century little girls that lived on farms usually had handmade dolls. Rag dolls stuffed with rags, saw dust, hay or wheat anything that was at hand.

This was the case for Mary Ann she had a lovely little doll stuffed with wheat. Her doll's name was Betty and she had pretty black satin embroidery eyes. Betty spent most of her time in Mary Ann's apron pocket. She would listen to and watch Mary Ann do everything. Like making candles and work in the garden. She went everywhere with
N_Allie l
Nov 02, 2010 N_Allie l rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
Set in the late 1800s in Utah, Mary Ann was a Frontier child. Mary Ann grew up like most other children of this time period did. She tended to her chores such as planting vegetable gardens, sewing, cooking, etc. We learn early on that Mary Ann she has a special friend, a wheat doll named Betty. In those days children did not have dolls and toys that we are used to today. Instead, most children made toys out of whatever they had around; in this case wheat (because Mary Ann's family harvested this ...more
Nov 29, 2009 Linda added it
Randall, Alison L. The Wheat Doll Bill Farnsworth
30p. Peachtree Publishers; c2008;$16.95,PLB; ISBN 13-978-1-56145-456-3.

Grades K-6 -Living in the rugged territory of Utah a young girl makes her own friend from a handmade doll. Everyday life is focused on chores and routine. Nature can turn cruel quickly and when Mary Ann is tending her garden a storm comes up from nowhere and forces Mary Ann and her family to quickly seek shelter. Will she find her friend when the storm lets up or will
Book 64 Bibliographic Citation:
Randall, A. (2008). The wheat doll. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree.

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 6—8, Grades 1—3)

Mary Ann’s best friend is her doll, Betty, and they share secrets together in the rugged territory of Utah. When a severe storm forces Mary Ann to leave her doll in the garden, Betty has disappeared. Will Mary Ann ever find Betty? The future holds many surprises!

Awards/Reviewing Sources:
Booklist (November 1, 2008 (Vol. 105, No. 5))
Horn Book (Spring 2009)
Dec 05, 2008 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This picture book based on a true story is a lovely glimpse into the world of the frontier. Mary Ann is hard at work in the garden harvesting carrots. For company, she has her doll Betty, who is filled with wheat. Betty watches Mary Ann work and listens to everything she says intently. When Mary Ann carries the carrots to the root cellar, she leaves Betty in the garden. Behind her, a storm comes filling the sky with black clouds and roaring with high winds. Mary Ann's mother insists she come ins ...more
Kristy Sikora
Sep 12, 2010 Kristy Sikora rated it really liked it
The Wheat Doll by Alison Randall was published in 2008, and it was her first picture book and a winner of the IRA Children's Literature Award. It is based on a true story passed down by family members in Utah during the 1800s. The illustrations are beautiful and emotional.

Mary Ann lives on the frontier and has a beloved wheat doll, which is devastatingly lost during a bad summer storm. She longs to have her doll, and best friend, but as the seasons pass, her doll is not found. In the spring, Ma
Michelle M
Apr 28, 2013 Michelle M rated it it was amazing
Alison has the ability to write in an authentic middle grade voice, not an easy feat as any children’s writer can tell you. She also has the talent to write a story that a boy or a girl would like to read. Outlaws, pioneers, possible witches and bank robbers fill the pages of her short stories, allowing us a peek into a rustic past and the imaginations of the children who lived there. This book's character is a pioneer girl who loses her doll, but has it returned to her in a unique way. It is ba ...more
Marcy Ortegon
Oct 03, 2015 Marcy Ortegon rated it it was amazing
This was an award winner book.

This is an adorable story about a girl who knows that her doll is listening to her and always there for her! However, there is a big storm and Mary Ann has to leave her doll outside! The doll becomes lost. Time goes on and Mary Ann continues to look for her beloved doll. Then, in the mud, Mary Add sees a patch of shoots in the mud that had a head, arms, and feet. She knew it was her doll and she know the doll would be there to listen. She took care of the patch and
Amy Taylor
Feb 16, 2011 Amy Taylor rated it really liked it
This is based on the true story of a little girl named Mary Ann and her wheat doll, Betty, who grew up in Utah in the late 1800s. One afternoon a terrible storm surprised Mary Ann and her family and she was force to seek cover quickly and leave Betty in the garden. When the storm passed she searched for the doll but couldn’t find her. But the following spring she found something surprising.
I would definitely recommend this book to kids. I love that it’s historical fiction and that it shows the
Melissa Trumbo
Mary Ann lived in the rugged land of Utah where her summer days consisted of doing chores and tending the garden. Her beloved hand made doll, Betty, watched over her and was her confidant. One day a storm brews in and Mary Ann has to help seal cracks in the house before it hits. She didn't have time to bring Betty inside and isn't able to find her for the rest of the year. She is heartbroken at the loss of her best friend. The following summer, Betty appears in the mud and Mary Ann is overjoyed ...more
Mar 27, 2009 Terry rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful story. Although it is set in 1800s Utah, it is a timeless tale about the connection between a girl and a treasured friend. There is a happy ending, and the twist is most clever. The illustrations are incredibly beautiful, and you could select them individually to either tell this story or to create new ones. The story is simply presented and the 5.1 reading level seems high for the content. This is based on a true story, which you don't learn until you get to the end.

To read
Jan 08, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing
A tender story of life in Utah Territory through the eyes and heart of young Mary Ann. Her best friend is her home-made wheat-filled rag doll. When the doll, Betty, is lost in a storm, Mary Ann never gives up searching for her. The following spring, Mary Ann makes a surprising discovery.
This story is based on a true incident and that makes this book all the more endearing. I also like the realism in the illustrations; Mary Ann is not a tiny toddler, but a budding adolescent girl. Very insightful
Feb 08, 2011 Sandi rated it liked it
Shelves: t-l-306
This was a good story that almost brought tears to my eyes. It is about a little girl that loses her wheat doll when she forgets her outside after she has been working in the garden. There is a storm that night and she is not able to find her doll the following day. It has a great ending and is a good read. Check it out.
Rebecca Early
May 03, 2015 Rebecca Early rated it really liked it
In the 1800's, Mary Ann lives with her family in Utah. She has a very busy life. Not much for others to be in it. So she creates a wheat doll. Someone who she can talk to and tell her secrets to. A storm comes in and ruins her home. While the storm is going on all she can think about is her doll and how its lost forever.
Megan Lee
Dec 03, 2013 Megan Lee rated it really liked it
This is a cute book based on a true story. It shows and tells a lot about the time period, and i would high;y recommend it.
Jan 01, 2010 CFAITC added it
Shelves: primary
A story about a young pioneer girl and her wheat doll. Students learn about pioneer life and the production cycle of wheat.
Aug 08, 2008 Christi rated it it was amazing
I had to add it to my list because my sister wrote it. This is not her first publication, but her first book.
May 23, 2009 Celestia rated it it was amazing
I am always looking for picture books that are fun and have meaning. This is one of those. And it has a surprise ending. It's also based on a true Mormon pioneer story. Love it!
This is a beautiful historical fiction book about a pioneer girl growing up in Utah. Heart warming story and great pick for the Goldfinch Award!
Kate Wilson
Mar 27, 2011 Kate Wilson rated it it was amazing
Mary Ann lost her doll named Betty during a bad storm. The coolest part was when she found her doll because it wasn't a doll anymore it had grown into wheat.
Feb 28, 2011 Firstgradejags rated it it was amazing
We loved this book because it was a true story. This book helped us write stories about times we lost things we loved.
Jun 24, 2010 Teri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Catherine rated it it was amazing
Jan 28, 2014
Sarahfnm rated it it was amazing
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Nov 20, 2012
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Mar 03, 2015
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Aug 09, 2008 Carrie rated it really liked it
This is a nice Utah picture book! Kids were NOT spoiled back then! Thanks, Christi!
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Alison L. Randall is the author of the picture book The Wheat Doll. Her workshops and classroom presentations include A Writer's Life: Based on a True Story; The Amazing Adventures of You: Fun ways for Children to Preserve their own Life Stories; and What If: Turning Truth into Tales. For adults, she offers Raising a Reader. Randall uses examples from her picture book and published short stories t ...more
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