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Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932

(Dear America)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,846 ratings  ·  179 reviews
At the age of twelve, Minnie Swift is living through one of the toughest times in America's history, The Great Depression. She keeps a detailed diary over the span of one Christmas month. Reflecting the sadness but also the optimism that characterized the time, this is an intimate portrait of a Midwestern family's days and nights, ups and downs, triumphs and losses. It's t ...more
Hardcover, 185 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Scholastic Inc. (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  2,846 ratings  ·  179 reviews


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Start your review of Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932 (Dear America)
Jenn
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This diary of Minnie Swift at Christmastime during the great depression was amazing. This book took place in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1932. To stretch food the mother would add flour and cheese, they closed alot of the rooms in the house to save money. The girls made their own clothes and special Christmas gifts. With not having alot of money they went to see movies, ice skated, sled rides and listened to Buck Rogers and Charlie Chan on the radio for entertainment. Times were hard back then but ...more
Kathy
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Christmas After All based on the great review from my smart and talented niece. She really enjoyed this book and I can understand why. This is the story of Minnie Swift who is an 11 year old girl living in Indianapolis during the Depression. Minnie's diary details the development of Shantytowns in the parks, how her cousin Willie Faye came to live with them, the effect of unemployment on her family and the community. Since these horrific events are told through a child's eye, suicide and ...more
Beverly
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hoover became President in 1929. Industry and the Stock Market were booming. October 29, 1929, Like Humpty Dumpty, the Walls Came Crashing Down!!! On "Black Tuesday", stockholders lost $40,000,000,000 and the Great Depression was in full swing. By 1932, banks were closing daily and lines at the soup kitchens grew. People blamed Hoover, when in fact, the panic was caused by Wall Street. Shantytowns were called Hoovervilles, newspapers used as blankets were Hoover Blankets, empty pockets turned in ...more
Lily
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Robertson
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A girlhood favorite. My mom gave me this book for Christmas when I was 13 and I’ve read it every Christmas since. I can’t wait to share it with my own daughter. ❤️
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Christmas After All (The Great Depression) / 0-439-21943-4

"Christmas After All" brings us both the best and worst views of the American Great Depression, showing us the kindness and strength of the people who lived through this difficult period, but never holding back the despair and troubles of the homeless, the suicidal, and the starving.

There's a great deal of good to be had here. Minnie's rather large family is hit badly by the Depression and the layouts and business closures. They are furth
...more
**♥bEcCa♥**
Dec 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like history or like reading about personal experiences and about life.
The book "Christmas After All," was a very good book. I felt that the book deserved a five star rating. This book is about an eleven year old girl named Minnie Swift who tells about her life in 1932 during the Great Depression. The Swifts invite a young girl named Willie Faye to stay with them. This story is mainly about Willie Faye helping the Swift family through some tough times, while the Swift family helps Willie Faye as well. I personally love the plot of this book. I felt like the author ...more
Kelsey Hanson
This is a good story to read around Christmas. The Depression was one of the worst economic times in American history, but it is still a story that many can relate to today. While no where near as bad as the depression, many people are still struggling financially and this book shows that no matter how bad things can get, you have to keep believing that they will get better. This book is more than just a Christmas book and does have a lot of great info about The Great Depression and the Dust Bow ...more
Betty Jones
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Well, it wasn't Appalachia, but is was Depression Era, so I checked it our of Oakland's Library (Thanks, Marge for displaying it!) It's a children's/young teen book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Guess I like reading about how folks coped during that terrible time. Maybe get pointers for our current economic condition!! ...more
Anne
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best in the Dear America series. The writing is witty and crispy, the story is rich and wonderful, and heartwarming for year round. It's especially marvelous that Minnie Swift is based on the author's own aunt. What an exciting pleasure to write about one's own family! ...more
Angie Fehl
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a holiday edition to the Dear America epistolary series of books, Christmas After All tells the story of Minnie Swift, who shares her experiences of The Great Depression starting the day after Thanksgiving 1932. How does one still have a merry holiday season while the country at large shoulders unbelievable financial strain? It's not easy, but Minnie's family has their ways.

Within the Swift family, we (through these diary entries) get to know Minnie's siblings: Gwendolyn, 20; Clementine, 17;
...more
Lauren Ellington
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift by Kathryn Lasky follows the life of twelve year-old, Minnie Swift and her family through the Great Depression during the month of Christmas. Minnie will immediately capture your heart and take you into the mind of a growing young woman that just wants to have a normal life despite all of the hardships her family is facing. However, her life takes a spin when a distant relative, Willie Faye joins her family and begins to show the tr ...more
kaotickitten
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another book in the Dear America series.

This is written in a journal style like all the other Dear America’s.

I love historical fiction, and diary style makes you feel like your reading a personal account.

This on has a young girl at the age of eleven dealing with the depression. It is from the stand point of a upper middle class. You hear all the stories of the poorest all the time not the middle class. Which makes this one insightful.

You can see and feel that there was hope. Yet when hope gets
...more
Kelly
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie
A sweet and heartwarming book about Christmas during the depression of the 1930s. I loved the information about the author at the end of the book, and that she based the characters on her relatives who lived through the depression. Willie Faye was so sweet. I loved her optimism. I also like how inventive the family was with Christmas gifts for each other.
Cate
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book, like all the others in the series, was great! It's near impossible NOT to like these! ...more
Chelsea
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 STARS

I can’t believe this is the first “Dear America” book I’ve ever read, but I can foresee reading many more in the near future!

Minnie’s story was set during the Great Depression in Indianapolis, IN. I learned some interesting facts about Indiana’s state history as well as what the times were like for those trying to survive during the 1930s.

For those of you who have children who are interested in reading this book, (view spoiler)
...more
Priscilla Herrington
Christmas After All is a bit different from the usual format of the books in the Dear America series: Instead of covering a full year, it covers only a month - the month before Christmas, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Author Kathryn Lasky explains that the story and characters are based on her own family, in the time before she was born when her grandparents and their children lived in a large home in Indianapolis and - yes, they kept chickens, just as the fictitious Swift family did.

This story is p
...more
Luis Gonzalez
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Christmas After All is the diary of 12 year old Minnie Swift detailing her families experiences during the Great Depression. Everyone in America was affected, poor and rich alike. The Swift family was more fortunate than others because the father maintained his job longer than most but after a while lost it. In her diary Minnie Swift retells her daily struggles leading up to Christmas, 1932. Willie Faye, an orphan moves in with the Swifts after her parents die. She and Minnie become the best of ...more
Patricia Holland
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Response: Even though the times are tough this is a very humorous and heartwarming book. I read several books from this series when I was in middle school and absolutely loved them. I was afraid that I would not like them as much now that I am older, but that was not the case. This is a great book for young girls. While looking for this book I found this series for boys as well. Instead of diaries written from a girl’s perspective they are journals written from a boy’s perspective. Even though t ...more
Lauren
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Whitney
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was ok

When I was in elementary school I loved the Dear America series. I mainly read ones that were centered around civil/WWWs and as this was one of the happier ones in the series, and I have always preferred dark not-so-happy-ever-after endings, Christmas After All never made it to my bedside table. This installment was a cute Christmas read I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was still in elementary school. It felt like the author was aiming for a Little Women Christmas and didn't quite succe
...more
Abby Hagan
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read the book Christmas After All, I thought if was a pretty good book. It is about a girl name Minnie Swift, and her family going through the Great Depression. In the beginning, a girl named Willie Faye arrives at the train station, she is Minnie's mom's cousin. They let her stay at their house, during the Great Depression. The Swift family, thankfully still has a job in the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a time when everybody is not doing too great, and a lot of people lost ther ...more
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Minnie, a young girl growing up in the midst of the Great Depression, a time when about a third of the population was out of work, banks closed and people lost their money, and the stock market crashed.

The story describes what's going on where Minnie lives and how things are affecting her family and friends. What complicates matters immediately is the presence of Willie Faye comes to live with them. Things get worse when one of the neighbor's father commits suicide and more
...more
Nuvia Ramirez
This little family that lives at Indianapolis, Indiana was going through the Great Depression in 1932. The Swift family adopted a little girl Willie Faye which was from Heart's Bend, Texas, was left alone at her house because both her parents died. Willie Faye had no idea what certain things were at first, she had trouble with things but then she got use to it. Well as I was saying the Swift family was having trouble because of The Great Depression banks and jobs were being closed. A few days be ...more
Rebecca
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It's late November, 1932, and the entire nation is feeling the effects of the Great Depression. Christmas is nearing, but for many families, it will be a joyless holiday. Eleven-year-old Minnie Swift fears that will be the case for her family. Although her father still has a job, he hasn't been making much money. Life changes for the whole family, however, when Minnie's orphaned cousin, Willie Faye, comes to live with the family. Eleven-year-old Willie Faye is the same age as Minnie, but she is ...more
Brynhd96
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Great depression was the worst period of american history, from Hovervilles to Soup Kitchens, Hoboes to Lack of money. Minnie Swift is a 12-year old girl from Indianapolis, Indiana. She explains much of the month of december from Thanksgiving to Christmas. She Describes things from the Auto Company closing, to papa leaving their house, and delivering things to the Hooverville (They Called it Curtisville Bottom after the vice president)

I think this book is very great, because it is about a 1
...more
H
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This book took place in the Great Depression in America. There is a young girl, Minnie Swift and her family who are all trying their best to get through the hard times. They all do their daily jobs and go to school and one day they received a letter from their cousin who was coming to live with them! This was a great surprise to the family as they could barley pay for their own children. I thought that this book was just ok; I really liked some parts of the book because a lot of action was happe ...more
Sarah
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
9yo and I enjoyed this as read-aloud. There were several LOL moments for my daughter. But, there were sad parts for sure. I appreciated the historical details that really brought this 1932 story to life. We had already studied the Depression and Dust Bowl, so there were points of reference for her. I liked each of the main characters and their various personalities. Mom and Dad were a bit flat, but the five kids were the central characters and they were fleshed enough for us. It's not a whole-pi ...more
Amer Ibric
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 8th-grade-ir-log
This book was about a famil that lived in the time of the great deppresion. People were very poor and had no money. as a matter of fact the whole country of america didn't have any money! This was very bad for our nation and this was very bad for our nation because we had no money for anything. This book explained why it was bad for the depression.

I would connect this book to the people that suffered alot just like Minnie Swift and her family. The great depresstion toke many lives and was very
...more
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1,847 followers
Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.

She was born June 24, 1944, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is married to Christopher Knight, with whom she lives in Massachusetts.

Book 15, The War of t
...more

Other books in the series

Dear America (1 - 10 of 45 books)
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  • The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777 (Dear America)
  • When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864 (Dear America)
  • A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859 (Dear America)
  • Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell (Dear America)
  • So Far From Home: the Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America)
  • I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 (Dear America)
  • West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi (Dear America)
  • Dreams In The Golden Country: the Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 (Dear America)
  • Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 (Dear America)

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