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Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family
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Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The lives of four generations of one Louisiana family, woven together by a master storyteller


Tracing a family’s roots is like taking a journey through the years. In the case of one Louisiana family, that journey can be charted by the books they read and loved.


The journey begins in 1939 with Rose, who moves with her mother and siblings from rural Texas to live with their es
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Elaine volpe
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Mrs W
A series of vignettes tells the story of five generations of a Louisiana family. The first is Rose, who in 1939 is forced to drop out of high school and get a job in order to help support her newly-single mother and siblings. The ensuing chapters tell the pivotal moments in the lives of her descendants—the moments that make them who they are. The one commonality of all the stories is the presence of books, and how they influence and guide each person, whether they like to read or not.
• Mild swea
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Eden
Not Holt’s best, in fact best thing was that I could read a story, put it down, come back latter and pick on a new story. If we’re doing generational stories, Gratz’s is the better – more stuff to ponder.

1.Predict: Why do you think the author selected the title Part of Me for this book?
2.What was the author’s purpose in writing the story of six generations of a family through short stories as opposed to a straight novel approach?
3.List what traits, settings, and emotions are common in each story
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Louis
This book is very moving and well-written. It is a book that spans several generations of a family and is worth the investment of time. I am not familiar with this section of Louisiana, but Holt's writing truly gave me a sense of place. The aspects of a character becoming a bookmobile driver and that arc over time affected me as a librarian. The interactions between animals and people were insightful. Each new generation had fully-realized characters, and the transition from one generation to th ...more
Ruth
I thoroughly enjoyed this. I'm briefly going to tell my favorite and least favorite parts.
Least favorite: I wanted to know more of the stories! Sometimes threads finished up in the next generations, but some things I never found out and since I apparently don't do well using my imagination, I was no happy.
Favorites (two):
1. I loved how during each time period, the voice changed so I felt like I was reading a book from that time period. Absolutely delightful to me.
2. Families and books. I could l
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Michellena
My daughter both this book at Riverwalk Books, at the owner's suggestion. She enjoyed it and passed it on to me. Nice, light multi-generational historical fiction.
Jenny
This told the story of 4 generations of a family... each section of 2-3 chapters told from one person's perspective (1 generation per section, with a return to Rose, the great-grandmother at the end). I didn't explain that well, but this is really a lovely book. At the end of each section I felt a little sad to be moving to the next generation and wanted to know more about that individual... I love how reading connected them all. And how the story came full circle at the end. I also liked the wa ...more
Mrs. Tongate
Sweet read. 1939 Rose, 14, gets her first job driving a Bookmobile in Louisiana. She just moved from Texas to Louisiana to live with her grandfather, who her family has never met. I loved the progression with all family memebers. You next read about Rose's son, Merle Henry, 2 decades later. Then Merle Henry's daughter, Annabeth. Finally, Annabeth's son, Kyle. All family members share either their love or hate of reading. Kyle hates to read but finds a summer job at the library where he eventuall ...more
Kristin Aker Howell
These linked short stories - Trapped is my favorite - trace generatiosn of a Louisiana family through the books they've read. I have a bias against writers writing about writing, unless it's only for writers. The second half of this book contains lots of that. But, the first half is lovely. I do see how linked short stories can be jarring between character shifts, even in close third. It seems the link between the stories must be evident up front. All in all, these were linked through one charac ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is the story of four generations of a family in Louisiana, all tied together by the local bookmobile and library. This format, starting with the oldest generation and working up to the newest, kept me reading, as I wanted to know more in succeeding chapters about characters I was reading about as children. Some stories gave hints of what would happen to people in the future; others didn't. I like the way books influence the various characters in the stories. The final chapter brought it bac ...more
Sarah
Well of course this book made me homesick, as most books set in Louisiana do. But this wasn't just set in Louisiana, it was all over Louisiana - and that's what I loved most about it. Thibodaux, Forest Hill, Westbank and mention of so many other places close to my heart. I liked the format of the different experiences of each generation and how their lives mirrored the books they were reading; I feel like Holt did a good job of presenting each in a distinct and separate voice but I wish each sec ...more
Josh
So my wife picked this up for us to read while driving on vacation. It is a series of stories from a family over the course of several generations. Each story itself was interesting enough that I was curious to know where it went after the story was over. But the problem was that each story didn't see to have a point and the stories as a set didn't seem to lead anywhere. At the end of the book my first thought was "That's it? The first and last stories at least fit together, but what did the thr ...more
Barbara Canten
Very good read.
Hailey
AMAZING!!!
Carol C
This book is really individual stories of several generations of a Louisiana family. The stories are loosely intertwined and at the end tied together by the theme of love for books! I listened to the audiobook, and the reader was great. Some people may feel that the stories were too spare or didn't explain enough about what happened to each character, but I loved the way each story answered some question about the last and hinted toward the next.
Merica
I purchased this book at a reading conference where Kimberly Willis Holt was a guest speaker. Her talk was entertaining and her stories of the bookmobile drew me right in. I found the first Rose's stories delightful--couldn't get enough of them. However, I found that the following accounts seemed like Holt was trying too hard to tie these generational characters together. Overall, a very good book but not one of my favorites.
Emily
A great concept of following four generations of a Louisiana family and how their lives are all connected through books, libraries, and a bookmobile.

Plus, the insights into the Bayou culture were very interesting to me as I know little to nothing about that region of our country.

I wouldn't have read this as a book, but as a listen-on-tape while doing the dishes, it was worthwhile.
Etta Mcquade
I was surprised at how much I liked this book and the way the author ties together four generations of a Louisiana family by the influence of books in their lives. The story starts with Rose in 1939, who, looking 16, gets a job driving a bookmobile at age 14, and develops a love of books. How her children and grandchildren react to books is intriguing. I think teenagers would enjoy this book.
Melinda
This book is an interesting illustration of the power of good books in the lives of several generations of a Louisiana family. I would have liked to discover more about the early lives of Rose, Merle Henry and Gordy. I thought that the end was a nice compilation of all of the characters' life experiences. A sweet story.
Bradley
Stories from several different generations of one Louisiana family. Librarianship and books have a central role in the stories, making this a very-library book. These are excerpts from the teen years of each family member, and this intergenerational-yet-consistantly-teen viewpoint is really interesting and well done.
Valerie Mabrey
Think it was okay but could have been great. Thought I missed out on the best part of each story. With trying to get all the generations in, the author missed the chance to let us fall in love with each time period. Would have rather seen this be a series with each book going deeper into the characters lives.
Ashley
I really liked it. This book kind of reminds me of the unit we did last year in Mr. Records class where we did the "I am" poems. It makes you think about your own family and where you come from, and who they are. It makes you think of how your family and it's past has an affect on you in the future.
Shenek
A book that spans four generations. First Rose. Then her son Merle Henry. His daughter Annabeth and finally Annabeth's son, Kyle. A snapshot of each of their lives in the eighth grade. Fascinating.
The only thing is that I wish it didn't portray people with such serious dilemmas.
Wendy
THe ending was a little weak, in my opinion. I also felt like I would've liked to read more about each of the characters in the story. Just when I was really getting into their story and interested in them, she would switch to another character. Overall, I enjoyed it.
Stephanie A.
I wish it had been more memorable, because I remember my initial impression being that it was a sweet generational story, but none of the details stayed with me. I do recall loving the way books are so central to each story. That's my kind of world.
Teresa
I read over some reviews first and since the main problem most people had with it was it was too short I figured it couldn't be too bad. I thought this was a cute, fast read and liked how the author tied it all together.
Katira
This is a really good book.Its about a a Louisiana family that didnt have much at first but they really learned how to survive.I suggest that you read it if you want to know more about this book.
Karen Bessin
Interesting perspective as the story spans four generations of the same Louisiana family. I liked how the theme of books was integrated into each story from a different perspective.
Heather Womersley
This collection of stories spanning from the 1920s to the year 2004 about a Louisiana family was touching and sweet. I will recommend this book to my kids as well as to their grandparents!
Tarah
I thought this book was great, as an adult. I think most kids would find it boring and a little too deep. But, like I said, I really liked it. Call me boring. ;)
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Kimberly Willis Holt is the author of the Piper Reed series, including Piper Reed, Navy Brat, Piper Reed, Clubhouse Queen, and Piper Reed, Rodeo Star. She has written many award-winning novels, including The Water Seeker and My Louisiana Sky, as well as the picture books Waiting for Gregory and Skinny Brown Dog. A former Navy brat herself, Holt was born in Pensacola, Florida, and lived all over th ...more
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