Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Born and Bred in the Great Depression” as Want to Read:
Born and Bred in the Great Depression
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Born and Bred in the Great Depression

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  109 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
East Texas, the 1930s—the Great Depression. Award-winning author Jonah Winter's father grew up with seven siblings in a tiny house on the edge of town. In this picture book, Winter shares his family history in a lyrical text that is clear, honest, and utterly accessible to young readers, accompanied by Kimberly Bulcken Root's rich, gorgeous illustrations. Here is a celebra ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Born and Bred in the Great Depression, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Born and Bred in the Great Depression

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Katie Lebkuecher
Opening: This is a nonfiction book. What is nonfiction? (Wait for responses). Yes, nonfiction means that it is a true story. This story is told by the author, Jonah Winter, about his father and his father’s family during the Great Depression. Remember, the Great Depression was a time when many people were out of work and struggled to find ways to feed, clothe and house their families. The author is retelling his father’s experiences as a child during this time. He tells about his grandfather’s t ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll-539
Born and Bred in the Great Depression is a picture book written by Jonah Winter. Jonah Winter retells the story of his father’s life during the Great Depression. Jonah does a wonderful job helping the reader live the life of his father through his writing. He uses simple yet detailed descriptions of the characters and their experiences. You can really visualize what the time was like and empathize with Jonah’s father. It is so wonderful to hear a story of a struggling and hardworking man through ...more
Karanam Karthika lakshmi
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Worth the read. Very inspiring to write one's own journal.
I love the power of a good picture book to capture our imagination and our hearts -- whether we are adult readers sneaking a glimpse at a new picture book or children first learning about the outside world. Born and Bred in the Great Depression is historical fiction in the form of a picture book. It is also a realistic and intimate look of one important moment in our country's history, from the perspective of a child. Each page focuses on a different aspect of living in the Texas countryside dur ...more
I can't say enough good things about this book. Here, Jonah Winter tells the story of his father's childhood, which was relatively run-of-the-mill for rural America during the Great Depression. What makes the book such a stand-out isn't the events (which are few) or people or places described in the narrative, but the voice and structure of the narrative, which is written in the SECOND person. This essentially puts you, the reader, in Rodgers Lee Winter's shoes, where you listen as your son repe ...more
Winter tells this true story about his father’s childhood in East Texas during the 1930’s. With vintage snapshots on the endpapers, and colored pencil, ink and watercolor illustrations throughout the book, students will get a glimpse of childhood in the depression era. The story is of two parents and eight children sharing two beds in a four-room house without indoor plumbing. Not being able to afford electricity, they use kerosene, and while times were tough, they had plenty of beans, vegetable ...more
Haley Potts
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For my historical fiction book I chose Born and Bred in the Great Depression authored by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root. When first glancing at this cover, it looks like a calm, rural setting at a cabin where the family grows crops. It looks like a peaceful colors from the way it is drawn and by the warm colors in the picture. From the knowledge I know of the Great Depression, this does not seem to match up, but possibly they were going to give us another view of people’s ...more
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Winter, J., & Root, K. B. (2011). Born and bred in the Great Depression. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.

Summary: The author paints readers a picture of what life was like during the Great Depression for his father. Work was difficult to come by, comforts of life were not always present, but his father found a way to find hope in something dismal. His contentment and joy resided in things that did not cost money.

Review: Booklist (November 15, 2011 (Vol. 108, No. 6))
Grades 2-4. In this u
Winter, J. & Root, K. B. (2011). Born and bred in the Great Depression. New York, NY: Schwartz and Wade Books.

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 5– 9, Grades K–4)

Narrated by the author, the story of Jonah Winter’s dad is shared through gentle and lyrical text. Growing up in the Great Depression, Jonah’s dad and family might have had to make do with whatever they could grow and make, but deprived? Oh no…they had plenty of that which money cannot buy.

Awards/Reviewing Sources:
Booklist (November 15,
Nov 22, 2011 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Winter tells the story of his father’s childhood during the Great Depression in this historical picture book. Through the life of his father, he shows the poverty of the time. Grandpa Winter searched for work in the area, often unable to find any, which meant that there was no money to help support the family of 8 children. When he did find work, it was dirty and back-breaking labor. This is contrasted with the simple joys of childhood as Winter’s father spent time outside exploring the woods an ...more
April Voss
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Born and Bred in the Great Depression is a powerful picture book. This book is told through a young boy's perspective about his dad's experiences during the Great Depression. The hardships are addressed and the value of hard work is taught throughout the entire book. The moral to the story is that the most important things in life don't cost anything at all. This is a true story of survival during the Great Depression.
The artistic media used by the illustrator is watercolor washes, pen and ink
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Born and Bred In The Great Depression by Jonah Winter is a story about a major event in American history: the Great Depression. In this historical fiction picture book, Jonah Winter writes about his father's childhood. His father grew up with seven siblings in a tiny house, and the story shows the poverty of the time. I found this story very engaging, especially because I connected with the subject. My grandparents have told me many stories, including what life was like during the Great Depressi ...more
Bracelle Trujillo
Intermediate (4-6)

Parents' Choice Gold Award 2012

This story is told from the perspective of a child recalling stories his father had told him about the child's grandparents and the difficulties they endured during the Great Depression. Not all of the memories recalled in the story are sad, some are quite cheerful, all are true.

The three AASL standards I thought were the most appropriate for this story are 2.1.3(Use strategies to draw conclusions from information and apply knowledgee to curricula
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Drawing on his father's memories of growing up in East Texas during the Great Depression, Winter relates the story as though he is speaking to his father, using "you" as he writes. There aren't that many stories for children about the Great Depression as it is, but this one certainly is among the better ones. The voice is simple, clear, and pure, without artifice or over-dramatization. Winter states things as they were: Times were hard. Folks had to work hard when work was to be found. They mana ...more
A boy tells the true story of his father growing up in East Texas during the Great Depression. He describes the family of 10, squeezes into a tiny white frame house with no electricity or indoor plumbing. Finding work was difficult for his father's father, sometimes having to win a race to get to work on the railroad that day. No matter how hard it got, though, the family never went hungry and never took a hand out. Simple things like a ride in the Model T made life enjoyable, and finally, times ...more
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
A good starter book for young children beginning to learn about the Great Depression. I've always been fascinated about the tales I heard from my grandmother and great aunts growing up, about hobos who knew their house was friendly, about their own relatives who went off for years to "ride the rails," and about how they made do with so little. I remember fingering the pictures (scant as they were) of my family from this time and wondering at what life must have been like for them. This book capt ...more
Michele Farmer
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story of hardship and perseverance with a wonderful message of making the most of what you have and "learning to love things that didn't cost a single penny." The illustrations are soft but detailed and pair perfectly with the text. I found that, being written in second person, the book was not only easily relatable, but very engaging. How sweet that the young boy tells the story of his father's childhood during the Great Depression. As I read, I was reminded of stories that my g ...more
Ms. B
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, picture, 2013
Wow, this book about growing up during the 1930s in East Texas surprised me. Boring title, boring front cover; I wasn't expecting much. I was wrong; this story had me as soon as I opened it and saw the old photos of the author's family on the endpapers. Of course, I wanted to learn more about these folks.
I should not have been surprised by how much I liked this book. When I read about the author at the end of the book, I discovered that Jonah Winter is the author of Here Comes the Garbage Barge
Melissa Gordon
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This picture book is wonderful. Not only does this book entertain with a delightful story, but it takes you on a journey through history. This is great to read-aloud to children because it teaches about a very important part of history and it can be used as a supplement to history curriculum. This book can show children what it was like in that time, it definitely lets you walk in the shoes of someone living through such a rough time. There are so many great things children can learn from this b ...more
Karen Arendt
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An honest and hopeful look at a boy's father as he grew up during the Great Depression. The family of 8 children and 2 adults did not have much, never took government assistance, yet survived all the same. Some good lessons to be learned in this story about what truly is necessary to survive. The illustrations are detailed and beautiful, from six children sleeping in one bed, to the trains the speed past the house during the night. An accessible picture book to introduce the Great Depression and ...more
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-02-ncss
This book made me feel like I was there personaly while they were telling the story. I could not imagine living in a house with ten people and only two beds. The family deserves a lot of credit because having to go through that with no jobs, no running water, no electricity. I could never imagine! I know my grandparents survived the great depression, and i think it makes the familys closer together. it makes you apricaiate what you have.
Nan Dixon
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A child's viewpoint based on the ebb and flow of perishable items vs nonperishable items.

it is a story about the harsh trials of everyday living. At times you live life as though the drudgery was endless. Your future was never going to change and get better. The absence of hope was impacting our very lives. Would it ever end? Children asked their parents for food, shoes, clothing. Would it ever get better?
Judy Desetti
This one tells the story of someone's dad who lived through the depression as a small boy and what family life was like. I think it could give students a feeling of what the depression was like and how people learned to scrape by.

Could be used with a unit on the depression.

Good secondary purchase.
Is it a picture book (fictionalized memoir of a dad's life during the depression) or a nonfiction history book? I'd go with fiction myself -- will get lost in nonfiction. Winter makes the depression and what it meant come alive by showing how it affected a young boy -- a contrast to poverty today... Roots pictures are always warm and detailed.
I used this book for one of my lessons about The Great Depression. The book is not the most exciting and I think the information can be dry for students. We read this book as an introduction for our lessons about The Great Depression and used it more as an information builder than for fun.
Jon Sanders
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful book will be added to my school library and will likely be a gift for my wife's dad for his birthday. It is a wonderful tie-in for linking fiction and non-fiction texts on the depression.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The author shares the story of his father's life growing up during the depression. Touching, sad but hopeful story of how money isn't necessary for love and happiness. Kindness toward others in need is something everyone can do.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved both the story and the illustrations in this this perfectly-put-together picture book. It made me re-realize I need to talk to my grandpa soon and make a point of recording his stories of growing up in the Great Depression. This is a "must-have" for my 5th graders!
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Written in prose this picture book gives an everyday view of life during the great depression. The pictures by root go perfectly with Winter's touching prose. A great read for christmas storytime to help kids understand the meaning of enjoying the little things in life no matter how hard it gets.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated story about the author's father growing up during the Great Depression.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »