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A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832
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A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  7,246 ratings  ·  407 reviews
The journal of a 14-year-old girl, kept the last year she lived on the family farm, records daily events in her small New Hampshire town, her father's remarriage, and the death of her best friend.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 1st 1979 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1979)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) It's about time you took the trouble to read the blurb up there under the title. Oh, and do you own homework.
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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I'm a sentimentalist, especially when it comes to literature, especially children's literature. I love Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, and Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie. This book is of the same ilk, especially The Little House stories.

This is a simple little book, written as a journal by 14 year old Catherine Hall in 1830-32, spanning just 15 months. Written by Joan Blos and published in 1979, she goes back 150 years and
As an older adult who has come to very much enjoy journal-like (as well as epistolary) novels, I very much have loved Joan W. Bos' Newbery Award winning A Gathering of Days (and in particular, the minute details of early 19th century New England farm life, information both happy and indeed also at times sad and painful). Catherine's voice shines naturally and realistically (and I for one also always do feel as though I am reading the words of a typical thirteen year old 19th century New ...more
Josh Girard
This book to me was boring because the format it was written in and how she told us mainly everything that happened in her day. I didn't like that because she didn't tell just the important stuff she told the every day events.
April Helms
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults (11+) and adults
Catherine, a young lady growing up in New Hampshire, writes in a journal of her days, her routines, her friends and her struggles. This is very well-told. The reader feels they are going back in time, with the descriptions of the area, food, mannerisms, thoughts and the words and phrases. The book focuses a lot on the routine of the era, but the details don’t drag the story down. As well as the everyday, there are undercurrents of the debate on slavery, illness, her father’s remarriage and the ...more
Harper Averitt
This book is written as a diary in the 1830's, and sometimes I enjoy diaries, but this book was all over the place. Each day didn't correlate with each other. Now some parts were formatted well and did make me want to read more, but other parts were super boing and made me want to fall asleep. I do not recommend this book. I did, though, learn a little bit more about the 1830' which is a bit of a plus.
My competitive nature draws me to book lists. I challenge myself to read as many of the listed books as possible. I even keep a list on my computer of the 1001 books to read before you die (as decided by some dude, who wrote a book about it), because even if I don't read them all (and I won't, because I've tried some of them and hated them with a hatred that was more than hate), I still get good ideas for more obscure books, especially when it comes to pre-19th century literature. That's how I ...more
Grace Stinson
This book had a great ending but a super boring beginning and middle.
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the author's lovely, honest and sincere voice.
It is the journal of a fourteen year old girl, living in New Hampshire in 1831.
She writes of her family life, her father and sister. She writes of her mother and baby brother's passing years before. She writes of daily life on the farm. She tells of her friends and their adventures.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book was it's believability. Sometimes sad things happen in life. Things that we can't explain or
I just thought this was sort of "meh". I'm trying to read all the Newbery Medal winning books, and I just didn't find much to distinguish this from the other slow-paced accounts of unhappy children who find quiet, inner strength that litter the Newbery pantheon. The journal format is unique and refreshing, and there are some intriguing conflicts to care about, but there just wasn't much to be thrilled about. The language of the time and historical accuracy are portrayed right on the money, and ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know, I really loved this book. One of the reviews on the back of the book says "Her characters are truly of their times, not 1970's sensibilities masquerading in 1830's homespun, and old-fashioned in teh best sense of the word--principled." True--it seemed very authentic. I could totally believe it was a real journal. I just loved how it seemed so real and I of course love the setting. I love it like I love the Little House on the Prairie books, but I might like this one even more. I only ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a very confusing book to me. I feel like this book could use a better transition after each diary entry. This book was also not a very exciting book either. This book felt very boring to me and some of the people that I read it with thought the same.
Read with my fourteen year old daughter Meredith. She wouldn’t have read it on her own but reading together always makes it special and interesting. Excellent and gentle historical epistolary novel.
Tiffanie Kelly
Jun 20, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Diary of a 13-year-old in 1830 New Hampshire. No conflict or character development. Best friend's death is foretold on page 1. I don't know how this one won the Newbery.
It seems I've been reading a lot of books that detail the lives of girls from different cultures and time periods lately.

This one, in particular, tells the story of young Catherine and what it was like to live a farm life in New Hampshire in the 1830s. It was a good book, by all means, but I have to say that I didn't love it like I was expecting to after seeing that it is a Newbery Award winner.

I liked that it offered a glimpse into the ways of life during a much simpler time. Sometimes, I
For my "car book" I gave up on Mistress Pat by LM Montgomery, I've not read the first one, and it is not capturing my interest and am going to start this one, which I remember so fondly from my childhood.
Since I now have a Smart Phone with a Kindle App, I decided to bring this in and finish it up. I love it, it was interesting that only a couple of things stayed with me, one of which was the cover. It was a delightful re-read, historically accurate, and gave a good picture of life in 1800s
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it okay, to be honest. I didn't love it. There wasn't really a strong plot to the book, which is probably why it took me like two months to finish. I did appreciate all the historical details about daily life, people's attitudes toward issues like slavery, and so on.
This book was a somewhat boring account of a girl's childhood in New England written in diary form.

The best part was the use of the word abecedarian.
This book is the 1980 Newbery Medal winner, and I have all of the winners on my TBR list (I have already read quite a few). I almost gave up on this one, but in the end, I'm so glad I didn't. The reason that I almost gave up on it is because it's written as if it were actually a journal written in the 1800's and sometimes the flow of the language was hard for me to follow. The reason that I'm glad I didn't give up on it is because it made me think of simpler times and what life was like.

Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
55 1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (Scribner)

7/14/13 144 pages

I wonder to myself why so many of the Newbery Medal winners are sad or at least bittersweet. Is it not possible to gain meaning without sadness.

The story starts with a letter from Catherine Hall Onesti to her great-granddaughter and namesake as she turns 14. In the letter, she explains that she is giving the girl the journal that she kept when she was a girl of 13 and 14. She
Sophia Cha
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is very much like anne franks diary in a way but it tells about how a girls life had put with so many hardships and lived a pioneer life without her birth mother. it was like little house in the big woods series where they lived a pioneer life and dealt with hardships. also like how anne frank dealt with fear and having to stay quiet.
Robin Green
Jan 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would not recommend this book to anyone who values their sanity. I started this book for a school reading group, it being the only book left on our shelf I hadn't read yet. Turns out, there was a reason for that. Dear Joan Blos, Misspelling teased to "teazed" and abbreviating three letter names like Asa doesn't make you book good. It makes readers want to tear out every page of the novel in frustration. There is no action in this book. I don't even know what the plot was about. I think that it ...more
Another book that is fairly well-written but has no kid appeal at all. It didn't have any appeal for me, that's for sure. The droning and entirely lackluster narrator of the audio version I was listening to certainly didn't help matters much, but I don't think I would have been terribly engaged with the book even without that added impediment.

The setting here is masterfully done, I will certainly give the book that much. The period details are artfully included so that they never bog down the
Linda Lipko
Continuing on my quest to read all Newbery medal and honor books, I randomly selected this one from the green cabinet where I specifically store all the Newbery books I own.

It is just what my weary spirit needed. This is a simple tale told from the perspective of 13 year old Catherine Hall, set in pioneer days of New Hampshire during the dates of 1830-1832. With a feel similar to the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, this book has a lyrical rolling quality while depicting the joys and hardships of
Andrew Cumming
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
When you decide to read all the Newbery Medal winning books, you discover some truly great stories. It doesn't matter if you like mysteries, science fiction, historical fiction or just a regular old fiction, there's something for everyone. Unfortunately, A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832, just wasn't a great story.

Credit must be given to Ms. Blos, she did find a unique voice in her narrator and she really did evoke the feel of what I imagine a small 1830's New
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet little book, appropriate for children learning about American history.

Blos based her story on extensive research about a small settlement of houses, incorporating some anecdotes and other tidbits from primary sources but fictionalizing the majority of the content.

The narrator recounts her household duties, recipes, her strivings with her schoolwork, her friendships, her experiences with loss, her dubious welcome of her new step-mother from far-away Boston, and her maturing
May 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This was a rare occurrence--a Newbery winner that I hadn't read! Shocking!

A Gathering of Days is set in 1831-1832, and follows young Catherine as she comes of age in the wilderness of a new nation. Her mother has recently died, and she chronicles taking over household life, going to school, and the morality of slavery in the short diary entries that comprise the novel.

The story starts out slow, as most diary-based books do, but it picks up speed by the end. I can understand why it won the
Jo Fetsco
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written as a New Hampshire girl’s journal from 1830-1832, Catherine Hall is a 13-year-old who is keeping house for her father and sister due to her mother’s death during childbirth. This short time journal tells of one of her most memorable time periods in her life during which her father remarries, she gets a stepmother and a stepbrother, her best friend dies, and she leaves her father’s farm, never to return again. It received the Newbery, I believe, because the novel captures early American ...more
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a girl from england who is being followed by a man in a black suit and black hat the girl is always going to church on sunday now she doesn't now what to do she is scared that the man is going to d something bad to her this is really bad because now the man is chasing her down the street into corners this is really bad. this book made me realize that when your In trouble you need to tell someone.
tis is one of those books that get you by the tail with a twist of events now i
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if 2 stars is the best rating for this book, maybe 2.5 maybe 3, none feel very right. It's a bit hard because I feel like I enjoyed it and yet I was still sort of feel detached from it. It is not bad book at all but there was so much that I felt if it wasn't for the fact of what I know, as an adult, it may not transfer well with a younger audience.
It was ok. It never really picked up for me. It was kind of interesting to know what they're daily life was like back in the 1830's and what they had to go through but like I said it never really picked up.
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Joan Winsor Blos was an American writer, teacher and advocate for children's literacy. Her 1979 historical novel A Gathering of Days won the U.S. National Book Award in the category of Children's Books and the Newbery Medal for the year's most distinguished contribution to American children's literature. She lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan
“She lived among us for a while
And brought joy where she went.
We thought she was a gift of God
But learned she was but lent.”
“Kindness must be the highest virtue--don't let me forget that ever. Were I to strive for one thing only 'twould be to be kind to others, as you are, Catherine.” 6 likes
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