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Baby

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,393 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
Larkin's family welcomes Sophie into their home, caring for her and teaching her games and new words. They come to love this baby as their own, all the while knowing that eventually Sophie's mother will return one day to take her from them.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1993)
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K.
Jun 22, 2012 K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K. by: JoDean (sort of!)
Another candidate for read aloud next year, although it's not going to make the cut, see why below.

1) Absolutely GORGEOUS writing. Sometimes almost painfully beautiful. MacLachlan is a very, very good writer.

2) A very well-crafted, poignant, uplifting yet agonizing at times, story.

3) Do you ever wonder why some books are marketed toward children that are perhaps not really for children? Of course I know that many children have to deal with unfortunate or difficult situations in their lives, a
...more
Kathryn
Jul 25, 2008 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely novella with surprising depth of characters and beautiful wording that can be read in about one sitting. The author is able to evoke vivid characters and much emotion with her uncomplicated but well-chosen words. I really love her style. I've left off a star for reasons that are not necessarily the book's fault, but because I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have thought as the jacket description was misleading--or, rather, left off what was the major theme of the book which was that, ...more
Rebecca McNutt
I had a copy of Baby back in junior high school, it was an excellent yet very sad story. Can you imagine being given something to love, only to constantly have the threat of loss looming in the background? Anyhow, I love Patricia MacLachlan's works, she's written some amazing stuff. :)
Melanie
Apr 26, 2012 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young readers
This book is really well written, thoughtful, and tender.

Why am I giving it a 2-star rating? Details. As a mother of a 2 year old little girl, there were just too many details here that bugged me. This book takes place from late summer to spring; the baby is between a year old and a year and a half old (or so) during the course of the story. Baby starts talking "in sentences", and refers to herself as "I". This seems extremely advanced (most children don't start speaking in sentences until clos
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Having loved Sarah, Plain and Tall, I was eager to read this book. Again, the author handles deep, life-changing issues in a masterly, compassionate way. The main theme in Baby is the need for communication: the power of words, and the deadly, stultifying power of silence and denial. It's hard to put into words your pain and loss; some people don't want to speak of traumatic events because it makes them more real. But not speaking of something terrible that has really happened only adds to the w ...more
Tara
Jan 28, 2014 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patricia MacLachlan is able to walk the fine line of appealing to both adults and children alike. This book is best suited for 10-year-olds and up, although I think I liked it even more than my 11-year-old son. Girls may connect more with the book since it is written from a girl's perspective. This book addresses issues of family, community, loss, and redemption. As usual, Machlachlan highlights the characters' connection with the land, in this case it is a New England island. The nuances of her ...more
Lola
Nov 14, 2016 Lola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so beautiful. It was one of my very favorites around age 12, and it still is to this day. I've read it many times, but I still weep every time and recognize how much the words of this book contributed to forming me. The writing is just beautiful. Patricia MacLachlan has a gift.
Ellinor
Sep 11, 2012 Ellinor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Jostein Gaarder
I just fell in love with this book. It's a precious little gem. The book is very poetic. I was hooked up by the language from the moment I started it and I could have read it again the moment I had finished it.
The style reminded me of Jostein Gaarder, who's one of my favourite authors.
Bea Elwood
Sep 27, 2016 Bea Elwood rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sixth-grade
*sniff. A bit of a tear jerker, not that I cried, but I almost did.
Kathryn
Oct 26, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sweetest story, to be read in just one or two sittings. It touched me on several levels and I think the most was the purity of the writing. A must read most everyone.
Melissa
Nice and well written quick read for when you don't have a lot of time for books.
cindy harty
Sweet little book about an abandoned baby.
Megan Cureton
Baby is a story about a family that receives a baby at their home one day. The mother left a note explaining that her name is Sophie, she is almost a year old and she is good. The family grew to love Sophie, even though the father and Larkin were hesitant to getting close with the baby, they did. Larkin was hesitant because Sophie reminded her of her baby brother that had passed. Sophie's mother eventually comes to get her and the family finally sees Sophie at Byrd's funeral 10 years later, and ...more
Yumi Learner
Feb 06, 2012 Yumi Learner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished reading "Baby" in English a couple of days ago. To tell you the truth, this is my second book in English this year. I guess some of my friends remember my New Year's resolution. This year I decided to read forty eight books in English. However, I am still reading my third book right now. I definitely have to push myself more.

This book "Baby" is written by my favorite American author for children books, Patricia Maclachlan. I read her five books already. This is my sixth book of her. I
...more
Runningflame
Jun 16, 2013 Runningflame rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This one's a tear-jerker. In the hands of a lesser author it would have been maudlin; but not with MacLachlan, always the master of spare elegance. A gesture, a choice of clothing, a silence: all tell much more about people than simply telling would. The emotions are real--sadness, fear, anger quickly followed by regret--joy and love that you try not to feel because you know it won't last, but in the end you can't help yourself--different people grieving differently and trying to live with ...more
Maggie
Dec 10, 2010 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Words cannot adequately express how good this book is. As Larkin, the narrator, says, "Sometimes, there are no words."

This book is perfect. It's masterfully written in a lean, yet beautifully descriptive style, which is my favorite kind. It's sad and funny. I literally cried and laughed out loud within the same chapter. The mostly melancholy tone is punctuated with moments of hope and hilarity and just plain cuteness, which comes in the form of Sophie, the baby someone leaves on the porch of La
...more
BlissfullyBlundering
Jan 10, 2008 BlissfullyBlundering rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
I picked this book up on a whim while subbing for a fourth grade class because I recognized the author of Sarah Plain and Tall and it looked short enough to finish in a couple of hours. It is about a family who comes home to a baby on their doorstep with a note from the mother asking them to care for her until she returns. I expected a light children's book, but what I got was a heart wrenching, emotional roller coaster ride. I had constant tears in my eyes from the first page until the last. I ...more
Peachy
What would you do if a baby was left at your doorstep with a note from her mother saying she would be back some day? Could you care for that baby, even come to love her, knowing she could be taken from you at any time? I don’t know that I could be that selfless, deal with that loss. In Baby we bear witness to the quirky, loving and ill-fated family that must deal with such sadness.



Patricia MacLachlan proves to be a master of the metaphor in this beautifully written story that, at its core, is a
...more
Anne Slater
Dec 19, 2011 Anne Slater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the advantages of volunteering in an elementary school library is the amazing stash of books there are to be discovered. Especially of one's children are in their late 40s and no longer bringing home stuff from the public library.

"Baby" (1993) is one of those on-two-levels stories, although not in the same way as Saint Exupéry's The Little Prince".

12 year old Larkin comes home from school early in the autumn to find a baby in a carry-basket, left in the driveway of her home. There is a no
...more
Jeni
May 21, 2012 Jeni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvie, 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
Jan 02, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the most gorgeously written children's books I've ever read--perhaps the most. The setting and writing are spare and lovely, the characters true in every sense. The focus is brought back to the sibling in the wake of an infant death, as opposed to the focus being on the parents. The thread of poetry woven through is beautiful.

That said, I would be circumspect in giving this to a child to read. Children who have been through a similar situation, or parents of those children, would probabl
...more
Deshun Head
Oct 09, 2012 Deshun Head marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
twelve-year-old Larkin returns home one day to discover a baby sitting in a basket in the driveway of her family's house. the only clue to the baby's appearence is a note from the child's mother. "This is," the note reads. "she is almost a year old and she is good I will come back for her one day. I love her."

Larkin had to take in a baby and the mother of the baby will come back and get her oneday. larkin probably would have gotten usest to her and she would want to keep her. but the mother will
...more
Amber
Apr 14, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chapter-book
This book made me cry! It was so sad and I was getting so frustrated with it as well because I didn't want the mom to come back. However, after learning that the mom gave up the baby to take care of her dying husband, i felt sympathetic because that had to be a tough decision to make. Also, I sympathized with the main character because she had never met her brother who died, but she wasn't supposed to love this new baby either. I think she was just really confused and didn't know what to do; the ...more
Rebecca
Apr 25, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alayna's Review:
This book was about a family whose son died when he was only a few hours old. They hadn't even named the child. Then, about a year passed when they found a baby on their front doorstep. There was a note with the baby. The family read it and made a decision to take care of the baby. The name of the baby was Sophie. The father told the children to never love the baby, but that request was difficult to follow even for him. He began to love the baby. Then one day, the mother of Soph
...more
Beckabooks
Feb 05, 2013 Beckabooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned

Larkin’s life has always moved in rhythm with the sea and the wind, the coming and going of the island’s summer people, the beat of her father’s tap-dancing on the tiles. Mama and Papa and Byrd and Lark are accustomed to their routine, to each other. There’s just that one thing they never talk about, the one with no name…

At summer’s end, one visitor remains behind after the last ferry has gone. Through taking Sophie into their home for the off-season, Lark and her family are enabled to relearn t
...more
Allanna
Mar 13, 2008 Allanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first learned of this book in my Children's Literacy class in college. I kept meaning to read it. (About five years later, I managed. Go me! I should have done this sooner! It's a good book!)

Life for a family on a little island is changed when, on the last day of tourist season and as the last ferry leaves, they find a little baby girl left for them to raise. A note tells them that her name is Sophie, she's a year old and good, and that her mother will come back for her when things get better.
...more
Rebekah Choat
Feb 01, 2013 Rebekah Choat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned

Larkin’s life has always moved in rhythm with the sea and the wind, the coming and going of the island’s summer people, the beat of her father’s tap-dancing on the tiles. Mama and Papa and Byrd and Lark are accustomed to their routine, to each other. There’s just that one thing they never talk about, the one with no name…

At summer’s end, one visitor remains behind after the last ferry has gone. Through taking Sophie into their home for the off-season, Lark and her family are enabled to relearn t
...more
Elaine
Jun 11, 2008 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Younger kids
Recommended to Elaine by: Read it for a book club
Review from 2005

I thought Baby was a very sad and touching book. I was fun and easy to read. I finished it in a day. I liked that Larkin's dad tap danced and her mom painted. It is one of those books that I like, but don't have much to say about it. It was really cute shen Sophie did the soft shoe to Me and My Shadow and when Larkin learns it. I also liked how Lalo gave Larkin his "I know what you're going to do" look. I thought it was cool how everyone taught Sophie a different thing and how So
...more
Madison
Jul 24, 2011 Madison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thing I love about Patricia MacLachlan is that she can tell a story with perfect emotion. This story is heart wrenching but told through the eyes of a child who doesn't understand the grief she and her parents are going through. Her confusion makes the story all the more touching.
On a personal note my grandparents bought this book for me when I was eight. My parents read it to me and I remember they cried at the end of every chapter. I didn't understand why as the story was overall happy. T
...more
Kristy
Jul 22, 2009 Kristy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, I DO judge books by their cover, and I was not impressed with the cover of this book or by the title Baby. Really? The basic storyline is this: a loving family with some unspoken hurt is left with a baby and a note, and they take it upon themselves to raise the child as their own... until, inevitably, the baby's mother returns. The plot is simple enough, but the author makes a strong point about the power of words -- written, spoken, and unspoken, and I (again) found myself really mo ...more
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review for baby 2 13 Mar 24, 2008 03:41PM  
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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 Massach ...more
More about Patricia MacLachlan...

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“...there are some things for which there are no answers, no matter how beautiful the words may be.” 10 likes
“Sometimes poetry--words--give us a small, lovely look at ourselves. And sometimes that is enough.” 9 likes
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