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R My Name Is Rachel
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R My Name Is Rachel

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  284 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Rachel, Cassie, and Joey live in the city with their Pop, until Pop's search for work lands the family on a run down farm. Dreamy Rachel loves to read, and doesn't know much about the country. Times are hard there, too—the school and library are closed. When Pop gets work near Canada, he has to leave the children on the farm alone. For two months! But Rachel's the oldest, ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Newbery 2012
116th out of 169 books — 698 voters
The Quill Pen by Michelle IsenhoffShot at Dawn by John WilsonCannons at Dawn by Kristiana GregoryUnsinkable by Gordon KormanCollision Course by Gordon Korman
New middle grade historical fiction in 2011
15th out of 17 books — 4 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 566)
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Kathy
I read this based on a recommendation from my 9 year old niece and her friend. Patricia Reilly Giff is under appreciated as an author for juvenile fiction. Although her Polk Street Kids series is silly, her historical fiction books are well done. R My Name is Rachel is the story of family barely surviving during the Depression. I think young readers will have a better understanding of how children their own age survived during difficult times and they will like Rachel and will relate to her.
Josiah
Sometimes I feel that Patricia Reilly Giff is overlooked in conversations about excellent authors of juvenile fiction. Maybe it's just that her first name belongs to so many other superb writers for young readers: Patricia MacLachlan, Patricia Polacco, Patricia Hermes, Patricia Lauber, Patricia McCormick, Patricia C. McKissack... and the list doesn't end there. It's my opinion, though, that Patricia Reilly Giff should be able to hold her own in comparison to any group of writers, even ones not ...more
Heidi
Jun 12, 2012 Heidi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grades 4th-6th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krista
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Wilson
As always, Giff understands the longings of a young girl who wants her family to be safe during a time of uncertainty. It's the depression and Rachel's father moves his children to a small farm in the hope of finding work. Rachel and her two siblings leave behind a city, with friends and a way of life they understand, for a lonely farmhouse, a goat and eventually, a chance to have a better life.
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile Level: 550

Pages: 166 p.

Summary:
It's beginning of the New Era. The Great Depression has created hard times for everyone, but with election of a new president, 12 year-old Rachel is hopeful that things will change for her family. Her father will get his job back at the bank, there will be plenty of food for everyone, and times will be easier. However, things usually have to get worse before they get better. There is word of a bank job up north and Pop decides that this could be his chance.
...more
Kim
Thank you Kathy for this recommendation! I loved it!
Brett
My 9- or 10-year-old self would have read this book literally to shreds, & loved every minute of it. I think the reason for this has to do with the fact that a good chunk of it reads like "The Boxcar Children," except that this book deals with history & a real situation that children of the era could have faced.
Rachel is a girl who loves nothing as much as reading & words, & loves going to her Brooklyn school to learn about both. She also shares this love with a special family f
...more
Books Kids Like
When Rachel’s father tells his children that they must move from the city to a farm up north, Rachel is broken-hearted at the thought of leaving behind Miss Mitzi, her special florist friend. The bank job for which they moved is given to another man when a snowstorm keeps Pop from getting to town in time. Instead, he works at a grocery store in exchange for food, but, because of the Depression, that job eventually ends. With no other options, Pop leaves to work on road construction far away from ...more
Judy Desetti
Jul 21, 2014 Judy Desetti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gr 3 as a read aloud, Gr 4-5 as independent reading
Gr 3-5; BL: 3.7

Historical fiction. Set in 1932 in the throes of the depression a family of three kids moves from the city out to the country to save money on rent. Rachel is the eldest and the story is told from her viewpoint. The father goes off in search of work with CCC; leaving the three kids to fend for themselves on the farm they just moved to. The three kids have different strengths and they work on getting along and making do while on their own. Of course there is a crisis but in the end
...more
Cynthia
It's 1936, and twelve year-old Rachel and her family are feeling the effects of the Great Depression. Having lost their mother, Rachel and her sister and brother must move to follow their father's leads for a job, but when they arrive, their hopes are dashed, and the depths of their hardships are revealed. Historical fiction with a character that modern readers will find endearing. Authentic language with a universal theme of hope in the midst of struggle.
Linda
Working part time at a library as a "page", being a voracious reader and having a 10 year old niece named Rachel who is also an accomplished reader can be bad for your back. As in, leaving the library loaded down with must reads.

I picked this up to share with my Rachel and polished it off in one setting. I hope she'll be as delighted with it. It is a quick read and takes you back to the time of the Depression in stark fashion. You feel the hunger of this family, the despair of the widowed father
...more
Angie
It is the Great Depression and lots of people are out of work, including Pop who has lost his job at the bank. He decides to move his three kids to the country in the hopes that there will be another job available. So Pop, Rachel, Joey and Cassie leave the city and Miss Mitzi and move to a farm in the middle of nowhere. But times are hard in the country too; the school and library are closed and there are no jobs for Pop. So he leaves the kids to take a job building a road far away. Rachel, Joey ...more
Becky
A gentle Depression story. Rachel's father loses his job and the family is forced to move from New York City to a derelict farm close to a job lead. When the job falls through, Rachel's father is forced to help build a railroad, taking him away from the family. Rachel and her siblings are left alone to fend for themselves, where they have to overcome their differences for their very survival. Rachel must deal with the fact that the school and library are closed, leaving her with no books to read ...more
Sammie
A coming of age story set during the Great Depression. Rachel and her family find the courage and strength to carry on despite many obstacles. Would recommend for grades 4-6th or for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I fell in love with the characters immediately. Patricia Reilly Giff is a very talented and award winning author.
Melinda
For a book that describes the realistic consequences of the Depression on the life of an average American family, this story fits the bill. It outlines the sacrifices that families had to make to simply survive - experienced and educated career professionals abandoned all pretense to get any paying job available. Children had no choice but to make do with what they had - cutting the toes off shoes so that they could wear them longer, adding inches of cloth to pants and skirts for the same reason ...more
Carol Royce Owen
I can see this book filling the need for a book about the depression for the 3rd through 5th grade (maybe 6th grade) age group, It portrays an adequate picture of life during the depression, with a picture of a family struggling to survive and the father having to go off and work on a road crew leaving his three children (ages 10, 12 and 13) to fend for themselves. I guess the book just isn't something I will ever consider memorable as I do Pictures of Hollis Woods, my favorite Patricia Reilly G ...more
Debbie Graham
I really would like to give this another half star. Giff pays a lot of attention to detail. Her books aren't lyrical but she does a great job creating setting and believable characters and she doesn't talk above her target audience. This book would be great as an ebook with hotlinks (so you can hear "happy days are here again" or pictures of "Hoovervilles" etc etc.....Dealing with the Great Depression it is of course very topical, if only to show how incredibly hard things were then (24 states c ...more
Jen
Rachel and her family have to move away from their city home during thhe Great Depression, because their Dad lost his job.

Her father is supposed to be getting a banking job far out into the country, but once he gets there, the job is taken.

"Pop" has to leave his family (Rachel and her 2 younger) siblings and go far away to find work on the Railroad.

Rachel and her siblings go through a lot of rough patches, and it is hard to believe they survived.

A good historical fiction book for those that want
...more
Linda Conn
I loved this book. It was such a great coming of age story, and it made me really appreciate what I have.
Carrieuoregon
Such a great children's author, and a good historical fiction survival story for middle grades.
Marla
Courtney gave this a 5 star. I gave it 4. Enjoyed this book and just fine for kids. Gives a tough picture of what it was like during the depression.
Karen
During the Depression, Rachel and her family move to a farmhouse in the country where her father is promised a job. When that job falls through, he must leave his children alone to work a construction job. Rachel and her two siblings must learn to work together to survive.
This was basically The Grapes of Wrath for grade-schoolers. One depressing thing after another fell on this poor family. But, this is probably pretty accurate for the time period. There is a postive ending and it can make any r
...more
Charlotte
I'm a big fan of families moving out into the country into rundown houses, and growing vegetables to make end meet. Especialy when, as is the case here, the children are left on their own for much of the book. And Giff's story of a family in the Great Depression hit all those notes, so I was predispossed in its favor. I just wish she had given us More--more actual work on the house, more time with the mysterious boy who lives nearby, more harvesting and housecleaning, more of the sibling releati ...more
Sheila
Precious story set during the depression. Rachel and her two siblings must survive in a dilapidated farm house while Pop leave to search for work to pay the rent. I love the vivid descriptions and the heartfelt letters between Rachel and the lovely Miss Mitzi! My favorite quote: "You can think at only one thing at a time. Choose wisely."
Susan P
Great historical fiction. Rachel's father is forced to move the family from the city to the country during the height of the Great Depression. Drawn by the promise of a job, they leave everything behind. The farm where they end up has no electricity or running water, and the nearby town has no school or library. Everyone must work hard to help cook, clean and survive. When the promised job falls through, Pop must leave the children behind to go find work. Can they make it on their own until he r ...more
Karen
A touching historical fiction piece that takes place during the Great Depression. The main character, Rachel, is being raised by a single dad. When her father decides to move to a remote town in order to support the family, their struggle becomes even harder. Rachel's main support is Miss Mitzi, a friend from her former town whom she writes letters to constantly. A wonderful novel that gives insight into how families dealt with the difficulties of the Depression.
Marge Keller
great book! love the relationships. nice introduction to farm life. Good excitement! Loved the letters. Brave children.
Linda
Giff is always a good read. This one has some great family dynamics and even some suspense. Set in the Great Depression, the setting becomes a major character. Rachel's dad is desperate for work to care for his motherless children. Rachel has to "grow up" a bit early to help with the family farm and finances while her dad is gone. It's well written and poignant. But too predictable to be called marvelous.
Shannon Blaschko
I thought this was a great book. It sites specific presidents during the great depression. Kids will get a great idea of how hard it was on everyone. Rachel's dad is a banker and is out of work. Explains the hardships Rachel and her family go through to provide a roof over their heads and food on the table. The whole family must help out to overcome this hardship. Great easy read.
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R my name is rachel 3 4 Jan 21, 2014 06:51PM  
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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan ...more
More about Patricia Reilly Giff...
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