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Jonica's Island

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  46 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Historical novel of a young girl in Nieuw Amersterdaam in the 1600s. Jonica's father is the town drunk, and when he is banished for theft, Jonica is saved from being sent to the almshouse when 14-year old Gerrit, one of seven sons of a leading citizen, pleads with his parents to take her in. She's endentured to the Van der Voorts, and works from dawn to dusk for the family ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published 1945 by Julian Messner
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Lisa Vegan
I just found this again in the What’s the Name of That Book? group, first posting there 2- years ago, and a member finally helped me find it. I have a library copy right now; I needed to see it to make sure it was the book I was remembering.

All I can say is that I was obsessed with this book when I was 11 and 12 years old. (We’re talking 1964-1965.) There was one particular library I went to about once a week and I’d spend time there and also borrow books. During those two years every visit ther
Delighted to have finally secured a copy of this book via Interlibrary Loan. Thank you to Lisa Vegan for reminding me of Gladys Malvern, whose books I loved as a preteen. This is one I had never come across. Here is a link to my review:
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was the book that got me hooked on reading. I first read it when I was about 10 or 11 yrs old (mid-1950s) and adored everything about it... strong female character, historical time period, setting, etc. It was also the first (but not the last) book I ever "stayed up past my bedtime" to finish.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What a great story! I didn't want it to end. The story is set in the 1660's on Manhattan Island, back when the Dutch inhabited it and it was called Nieuw Amsterdam. Jonica Kleiger's father has been banished from the town for various acts of misbehavior, but Jonica is spared the poorhouse by being indentured to the wealthy Van der Voort family. She soon grows to love the family and their home, but with the Indians marauding and the English looming on the horizon, her life doesn't stay calm and pe ...more
Jeni Hill
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an old, old book -written I believe in 1948 (or published then maybe) but anyway, it is out of print. A copy of it I saw listed a good while back on E-bay with an asking price of $175, I think it was. Way above my checkbook at any rate.

However, this book is actually my favorite book of all time. I read it first when I was probably 4th or 5th grade, possibly as late as 6th grade. Back then, there was a bookmobile that came around to the village every so many weeks during the summer months
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young girls
I bought this book from the Discard rack at the Watsonville Public Library for ten cents.

I have read this book at least a dozen times and I still love it, no matter how old I get. It is the story of a young Dutch girl, who is orphaned by her father who can't help being drunk in public, which was a punishable offense during the settlement of the colonies.
She goes to live as an indentured servant for a family of all boys. She grows to love the family and is happy for a place to live where, even th
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved all books by Gladys Malvern and this is the one that started it all!.
Susan MacDonald
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of my favorites in my younger days -- this YA book tells the story of Jonica, who lives in New Amsterdam before it became New York. Plenty of historical detail about life in the 1600s, excitement, romance, sorrow.
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Gladys Malvern wrote almost four dozen books in her prolific career as a writer of historical and biographical Young Adult fiction. She was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 17, 1897. Her family roots were in Virginia and her ancestors include such historic American names as Lee, Rolfe, Randolph, and Custis.
More about Gladys Malvern...