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Elsie Mae Has Something to Say

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Elsie Mae is determined to save her beloved Okefenokee Swamp, but is she willing to accept the unexpected?

Elsie Mae has long treasured summers with her grandparents in the Okefenokee Swamp, so she is devastated to hear that a shipping company plans to build a canal right through it. What will that mean for the people and animals that call the swamp home?

So she writes a let
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  128 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Mel (Epic Reading)
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an adorable, 7-11 kids read. It's got dogs, bandits, a swamp, boats, simple politics and a loving Grandma and Grandpa in it. Very perfect for little girls or boys. I would recommend it as a read to them story, in case they have questions, but it's mostly fun with a good morale at the end.

It is however, due to the setting at the Okefenokee Swamp and the 'swamp people' lifestyle, filled with a fair bit of religion. Interestingly however the lead gal isn't convinced by God at first; but wi
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 rating.

Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Jabberwocky and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

"Elsie Mae Has Something to Say" is about a little girl who spends her summers at her grandparents house who live on a swamp that is in the process of being sold to a shipping company. Elsie Mae takes it upon herself to write a letter to the President to save her family home.

This book was really enjoyable. I really liked the two main characters especially Henry James; he was adorab
Suze Lavender
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elsie Mae loves spending summers with her grandparents at the Okefenokee Swamp. She's a city girl from a large family and here she has complete freedom and she can be herself. Because hardly anyone notices Elsie Mae at home she wants to do something brave, she'd like to be a hero for once. When the swamp is in trouble, because someone wants to destroy it for financial gain she writes a letter to the president, hoping this will make a difference for both the swampers and herself. Is it enough for ...more
Aryana Parmar
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good book! I loved it so much! It has a really good lesson, about changing your ways, and not being selfish/prideful, caring for and loving others, and many many others/more. I really loved this book and I definitely recommend it to everyone-it's for all ages!
Clare O'Beara
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I definitely enjoyed the summer in the Okefenokee swamp with young Elsie Mae and her grandparents, also her friend, a preacher's son, who aids and abets her as she tries to catch pig-stealers. A smart tracking dog is a big help too. In the background, a letter the girl has sent to President Roosevelt relates to the fact that a shipping - canal firm wants to drain the swamp and lumber firms aim to cut down trees. What good can an eleven-year-old be against such vested interests?

Read, enjoy and le
Twelve-year-old Elsie Mae lives for the summers she spends with her grandparents who live in the Okefenokee Swamp. When she learns of plans for new shipping canal that will upset the ecosystem of the swamp, Essie takes it upon herself to write to President Roosevelt. Sure he has a lot to think about what with the Depression but if he reads Essie's letter and saves the swap, Essie would sure be grateful. She'd be thrilled to have her picture in the paper and become famous for something other than ...more
Victoria Spicer-Stuart
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ya
*Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.* 'Elsie Mae Has Something to Say' is a sweet story about a young girl growing up in the 1930s in Georgia, United States. As another reviewer commented, it is somewhat reminiscent of the children's novel 'Because of Winn-Dixie,' though in my opinion the storyline of 'Elsie Ma' has more meat to it. The plot revolves around our young hero, Elsie Mae who spends each summer staying with her grand ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the title and the cover and the message. The story was great. I wish Gramma had been given more of a life than being a good cook. I’m sure she had other hobbies and the ladies at the frolic asked her how long she kneaded her biscuits? with all that was going on I’m sure they had other things to discuss. But I realize the children were the focus. I’m not a good judge of children’s literature so maybe I need dunked in the swamp.
~ Althea ~  ☾
// Received an advance readers copy in exchange for a fair review //

"Now that I had experience being a hero, as good as it felt, it didn't seem all that important to be one anymore."


I am amazed at this book.

First of all, the theme and the moral of this book is my favorite thing here. It's mostly about being yourself and fitting in, in a world that pushes you to do otherwise. It's about finding yourself, finding a place (or a person) to call home, hope and friendship.

The plot m
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Charming and heartwarming tale of standing up for what's right, being truly brave, and adapting to changes even when they throw you off course. Loved the 1923 swamp setting!

Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Elsie Mae takes us on a journey into the swamp lands of the south. She and a pal, along with her new dog Huck, set off to solve the mystified the hog stealer.
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another piece of historical fiction well done. I appreciate what Nancy Cavanaugh is exposing us to in Elsie Mae Has Something To Say. America is so rich in its diversity and people's that it's not until we read about it that we truly see its scope.
Okefenoke Swamp, although still a National Wildlife Sanctuary as declared by President Roosevelt is a way of life that belongs to our past.
Elsie Mae's story is wonderful for showing us what that life was like. Told in the jargon of the region we have a
Bonita Slovinski
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a Nancy Cavanaugh fan. I very much enjoyed this venture into historical fiction she has created. Set in the 1930's in the Okefenokee Swamp, the main character, Elsie Mae, wants to be a local hometown hero. She writes a letter to President Roosevelt and asks him to save her beloved swamp from being developed. Elsie Mae spends her summers there with her grandparents and uncles away from her house full of older siblings. This summer's visit is not the usual carefree summer she usually enjoys, ...more
Tiger Oma
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of Elsie Mae Has Something To Say from SOURCEBOOKS Jabberwocky through NetGalley.

Elsie Mae Has Something To Say is a book that touches the heart of all its readers. It is packed with adventure, family, love, friendship, and a little mystery. It reminds me of A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago.

This book will be a favorite of middle school readers because it is a story about a little girl in a setting that few middle schoolers have ever visited and are
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a great historical fiction book that I think middle grade kids would enjoy. I really loved learning about the Okefenokee Swamp and the vivid and descriptive language that allowed me to be transported to that location. I took several breaks to research and explore more history about the swamp.

The protagonist, Elsie Mae, is a firecracker who treasures the summers she gets to spend with her Grandparents at the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. This summer is a little different. There are hog ba
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-52-books
This was a really wonderful story about Elsie Mae and Henry James. They became fast friends when they got stuck together for a summer and end up having a great adventure and a great time.

I think that this story has all of the marks of a good story. Good characters, conflicting thoughts about things, and a clear moral to it. It is something that will teach people a lot and will also let them see something that would not be a part of their lives at all.

This was a wonderful story and I really enjoy
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elsie Mae loves spending the summers with her grandparents in the Okefenokee Swamp. When she hears that a company wants to build a canal through the swamp and ruin the swamp, Elsie Mae writes a letter to president Franklin Roosevelt asking him to save the swamp. She has many adventures this summer at the swamp with several unexpected surprises. There are hog thieves, dogs, gators and boats and her son of a preacher cousin, Henry James. Can they catch the hog thieves and save the swamp? This is a ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it

It is 1933 and Elsie Mae is hoping that what she has to say will make her a hero and bring her some notoriety. Everything she thinks and does is in that pursuit because she is sure that only then will she finally be noticed by her family.

Elsie is a girl who loves and respects the Okefenokee Swamp, and her grandparents and uncles who call it home. The descriptions of life in The Swamp are pure magic and if you close your eyes you can see and hear the sounds and calls inherent in nature. She want
Note: I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

This little book was absolutely phenomenal! Set in the 1930s, this book explores a place that we rarely see in kidlit, as well as a group of people we also rarely read about. For some folks the swamp was, and is, a way of life. It was wonderful to see that culture brought to life through Ellie Mae, who is spending the summer with her grandparents in the Okefenokee Swamp that straddles the Florida-Georgia line.
Lorie Barber
Elsie Mae Has Something to Say shines a light on an interesting time and place in our country's history. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp in in early 1930s, protagonist Elsie Maw spends the summer there with her grandparents. Elsie wants to save the swamp, solve a mystery, and figure out how to deal with an unexpected guest.

The story is really informative about a time & place not many people know about. I liked how the dialect sunk you into the swamper culture - a definite window book for lots o
Ms. Yingling
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Very quirky Southern. Now I'm curious-- did that many children really write letters to the president back in the 1930s and 40s? Must have, judging by the number of books in which this figures!
Kelsey Buckley
I liked it, but I like historical fiction with unique stories, characters, and settings. Now my middle grade readers? Sadly they aren't always a huge fan of those type of books. It'll take the right reader for this book.

Elsie is from a large family, so she is thrilled that she gets to spend every summer at her grandparents' home in the Okefenokee Swamp where she can explore, eat her grandma's great food, and have some space and attention of her own. There is talk that a canal might be built thro
Maureen Lubitz
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on You Have Your Hands Full

Elsie Mae Has Something to Say is a middle grade novel written by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because we’ve read Cavanaugh’s last book- Just Like Me.

This book takes us back to the 1930s, and we are immediately introduced to Elsie Mae, a young girl living near the Okefenokee Swamp. The swamp is very dear to her heart; not only do her grandparents and uncles live there, but Elsie has spent the last several
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nice, strong female character! I like Elsie Mae she's a real go-getter kind of girl. She sees a wrong and doesn't wait for others to fix it, she tackles it herself. And none of the clueless or uncaring folks at the bottom either- she goes straight to the top- The President of the US! grade school kids are going to be cheering this young lady on and maybe even being inspired to do something themselves. Good story!
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved this story of Elsie mae's summer in the swamp staying with her grandparents and solving a mystery with her cousin. Absolutely charming. Recommend for your 8-12 year old
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
As the youngest of seven kids, Elsie Mae loves spending summers with her grandparents in Okenfenokee Swamp. She gets lots of time to herself and she loves the swamp. That is why she wrote a letter to President Roosevelt to save the swamp from a canal project. A big company wants to build a canal through Okenfenokee Swamp and destroy what makes it so special to the people who live there.

This summer is a bit different from other summers on the swamp. The best thing is that Uncle Owen gets Elsie M
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full of quirky, wonderful, southern characters with a good plot set in 1940's when FDR is president. Excellent read.
Linda Owen
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A fun book about pride going before a fall and learning to accept others…. Reminiscent of the vibe of Because of Winn-Dixie (but no dog). Southern, set in the 30’s, about family and the Okefenokee Swamp. A bit of mystery, a lot of humor, and a fair amount of information about the swamp.
Angela Doyle
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A heartwarming story of a girl and her family and how she changes over the course of a summer - it made me cry a little at the end - always a sign of a good book
Feb 28, 2018 added it
Have you ever wanted to have the best summer of your life and it doesn’t quite turn out the way you thought it would? Well, that is what happens to Elsie Mae, the main character in Elsie Mae Has Something to Say written by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. In this historical fiction novel written about life during the Depression, Elsie Mae was so excited that this summer she will again get to visit her grandparents at Okefenokee Swamp like she has for the past five years and explore nature. Elsie is devastate ...more
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Nancy J. Cavanaugh spends her winters in Florida enjoying the Gulf Coast and her summers eating pizza in her former hometown of Chicago. She loves reading middle grade novels. Her secret? She hasn't read an adult book in years.

Like her main character, Ratchet, Nancy is pretty handy with a ratchet and is able to take apart a small engine and put it back together.

Like her main character, Abigail,