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R My Name Is Rachel
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R My Name Is Rachel

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  357 Ratings  ·  77 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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The novel's realism and that the pressures and the socioeconomic consequences of the Depression are presented with pathos and a sense of understated humanity are R My Name is Rachel's strongest points. Patricia Reilly Griff paints a subtle portrait, presenting the harshness of Rachel and her family's existence whilst also not exaggerating, whilst also tempering negativity with hope and optimism (that Rachel and her siblings are home alone because the father must somehow find work and the only wo ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Josiah rated it liked it
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
Jun 12, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Grades 4th-6th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 23, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it
"No library? That idea is too big for tears."

Mr. Roosevelt took office in March. Rachel and Miss Mitzi even danced and sang Happy Days are Here Again. So why aren't things getting better. Why isn't President Roosevelt ending this depression?

Rachel can't understand why things keep getting worse. Now Papa is telling her they have to move to the country to live on a farm. How can she leave her school? And her best friend, Miss Mitzi, who she secretly hopes to hook up with her widowed father. But mo
Aug 29, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story. It's a quick read, though I could fit in only a few chapters at a time in order to read it this week.

A depression era read from the viewpoint of 12 yr old Rachel, the eldest of 3 children. The family, father and 3 children, leave the city and move to a far away farm in hopes of finding work for the father. Work eventually comes in the form of him leaving the children on their own with a meager ration of food and just enough money to get by.

Children of this era were
Judy Desetti
Jul 14, 2014 Judy Desetti rated it really liked it
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
Julia Wilson
Jun 14, 2011 Julia Wilson rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 23, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: student-books
Thank you Kathy for this recommendation! I loved it!
Jul 13, 2017 AMY rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grades 3-5
166 pages. Great realistic historical fiction set in the depression. A family moves from the city to rural area due to dad losing his bank job. There are many hardships and dad ends up going to build roads. The kids don't know when he will return of if they will have enough money to keep renting the run-down place they are trying to live in. It shows a great view of how people survived during the depression era. Also, it shows how determinate and a strong family can get you through anything. Hig ...more
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile Level: 550

Pages: 166 p.

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.
May 11, 2017 Faith rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I was introduced to this author when I read Pictures of Hollis Woods about ten years ago, when I was still teaching (hmm, that makes it more like 12 years ago). It was a captivating book.

This falls into the classification of Young Adult fiction. It's set during the Depression, so I could see it fitting in during such a unit in school. It wasn't as gripping as Pictures of Hollis Woods, but students especially could connect with the characters and it would make that time period more alive to them.
Jun 09, 2013 Brett rated it really liked it
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
Books Kids Like
Oct 09, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 26, 2016 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. I'm pretty sure that listening to the audio book brought the rating down for me. Cynthia Holloway's voice was not pleasant to listen to, especially when she did Cassie, the younger sister. No matter what Cassie said, she sounded like a crabby old woman with a nasal voice.

Another thing that made the audio version difficult is that Rachel narrates the story, plus she writes letters to two different characters, and often talks or thinks to herself. It was sometimes hard to keep track of what s
Sep 04, 2014 Krista rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-library, kids
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
Aug 20, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it
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
Sep 23, 2011 Melinda rated it liked it
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
Jan 15, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
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
Debbie Graham
Feb 21, 2012 Debbie Graham rated it liked it
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
Carol Royce Owen
Jul 27, 2012 Carol Royce Owen rated it liked it
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
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
Feb 03, 2012 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
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
Susan  Dunn
May 30, 2012 Susan Dunn rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
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
Jan 31, 2012 Linda rated it liked it
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.
Apr 02, 2014 Cynthia rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 22, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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.
Jun 24, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
LOVED THIS! Patricia Reilly Giff never disappoints, and I love how her MANY main characters ALL have their own unique voices. This is a great snapshot of life during the depression, and Rachel is a sympathetic, admirable protagonist. I would certainly recommend this book for 4th - 8th graders, and of course for adult readers of YA fiction who enjoy YA fiction as much as I do.
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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
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