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A Stitch in Time

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  62 reviews
An orphan grapples with her unpleasant aunt and the even more unpleasant idea of moving to Boston in this poignant middle-grade debut that handles loss and renewal.
Donut is an eleven-year old geography buff who keeps her taxidermied mice hidden in her late mother’s hope chest. Her pops passed away, leaving her an orphan. Aunt Agnes has moved in, bringing along her lumpy oa
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
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Jaksen I think it's a product of the time it's set in, early twentieth-century, and the way people - New Englanders in particular - regarded animals.…moreI think it's a product of the time it's set in, early twentieth-century, and the way people - New Englanders in particular - regarded animals. Seriously. My loving grandfather, born 1904, once told me how his father got rid of 'unwanted' puppies or kittens. Stomach-curdling time. Yes, he knew how wrong it was, but yes people did it 'back then.' I also had a small toy mouse, given to me as a gift. One day I looked at it and realized it was a stuffed mouse, a real one, and I threw it out in shock. I mean who does that? But the aunt who gave it to me was a lovely, gentle soul. I don't know if that answers anything, just trying to set a mood or explanation here. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  190 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Jun 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: middle-grade
By all accounts, a rocky debut set in 1920's Vermont. A Stitch in Time intends to be the story of a girl grieving her father's death, but eleven-year-old Donut is more bratty and petulant than grief-stricken and tender. She's rude to her Aunt Agnes, who temporary leaves her job in the city to help her niece through this difficult time. And when she flees from Agnes, Donut revels in the idea that she could "light a pipe, drink a bottle of hooch, do any darn thing she pleased." When Donut's misgui ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I loved most about Kalmar’s A Stitch in Time was the quiet yet fierce friendship between 11 year old Donut and Tiny (who is huge). When Donut’s father dies, her only relative left is Aunt Agnes who wants to take her to Boston. What helps Donut work through her pain and grief is the understated but steadfast support from her friendship with Tiny, her godfather Sam (a taxidermist), and the members of her Vermont village. The village is her family. I felt that this beautifully wri ...more
Jenn Bishop
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored this beautiful, timeless story about Donut and the challenge of having to leave home. Donut's connection to the only place she knows, her tiny town in Vermont, is palpable, which makes the forced wrenching of her from that place, after her father's accidental death, so painful. This slight historical novel holds equal appeal to adults and children, in my opinion. There's so much to savor in the language and setting. A gorgeous debut.
Farmer Georg
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Donut's whole village is so alive that that one feels like Donut’s traveling ultra-ego. Beautiful language and images give fullness to this novel loved by my grandkids. A great read aloud to boot.
Lisa Sammet
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The main character of Kalmar's wonderful story is Donut (she prefers her nickname to her real name) and she is a feisty little girl, though grief-stricken, as her father has just died. Her mother had died much earlier and that has left Donut an orphan. Her aunt comes up to stay with her but ultimately, take her back to Boston. This young girl is used to the woods, and enjoys the friendship of a taxidermist who has taught her that art, and with her other friends adventures in the woods all around ...more
lucky little cat
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: <b>Fans of <i>[book:Hatchet|50] </i> and <i>[book:My Side of the Mountain|41667]</i></b>
Recommended to lucky little cat by: NPR Best Books of 2018
Remember being ten years old and wanting adults out of your business?

And the field mice watch her back

In Stitch,set in 1927, orphan-girl Donut Sedgewick runs away and lives successfully in the woods (view spoiler) in Walden-esque communion with nature. She's rebelling against the inevitability of being taken from her Vermont farm-village home after her father's death. First-time author Daphne Kalmar captures Donut's love of nature and her capability in it.
Dorothy Pensky
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Donut is a vivid character and I was enthralled with her adventures. The setting was terrific, too!
Ms. Yingling
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Donut (born Dorothy) lives in a small village in the early part of the twentieth century. Her mother died when she was born, and her father was recently killed in a car accident. Her Aunt Agnes from Boston has come to stay, but wants to take her back to the city because both she and Donut's Aunt Jo work in a girls' school, and they want Donut to benefit from a good education. Donut doesn't want to leave Sam, a neighbor who has taught her taxidermy, or her friend Tiny. Ev
Kati Polodna
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved Donut—what a fun and bright child she is. Plus a little adventure, drama and a whole lot of love. Got a bit choked up at the end. Received at ALA Midwinter 2018.
1920's Vermont and eleven yr. old Dorothy is struggling to deal with the death of her father. Now an orphan, she must remain in the care of her Auntie Agnes. Donut, what she insists on being called, is asked to leave her town and move to Boston, with her Aunt, but in doing so, she would have to say goodbye to her friends, her taxidermy hobby, and her frequent poker games. Donut wants nothing to do with it, so she takes her dad's boat runs away. This charming, poignant, and coming of age story fo ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleven-year-old Dorothy “Donut” Sedgewick has recently lost her father. (Her mother died long before the start of the story) Now her Aunt Agnes has moved in to look after her, and has plans to move the two of them to Boston where Donut can attend the school Agnes and her sister, Jo, run.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that Aunt Agnes serves lumpy oatmeal for breakfast and disapproves of Donut’s taxidermy hobby, now she wants to take Donut away from everything she’s ever known. And even Sam, the loca
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was excited and surprised by the depth of this story and the creative way it was told by Daphne Kalmar. It deserves another star but I don't want to give the author the feeling that she is amazing and has achieved the best and can now relax.

She needs to carry on with the craft that she seems to really understand....writing for the young and young at heart. In Kalman's debut novel, A Stitch in Time, (not a wrinkle), Dorthy, aka Donut is an eleven year old you will want to follow. Or maybe a to
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A great short read which deals with some tough emotional issues, I'd recommend this book to the middle school crowd looking for adventures, or for realistic fiction. Because the story is set in the 1920s in rural Vermont it could also appeal to historical fiction fans! I liked how the story portrayed Donut's difficulties in coming to terms with her father's death, along with her dislike of her aunt's arrival and insistence on her moving to Boston. Emotionally weighty stuff, but worth a read!
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Evocative and poignant! Set in 1920's Vermont, Donut is dealing with the loss of her father, the intrusion into her life by her strict Auntie and an impending move to Boston, away from her beloved village, friend and memories of her father. Impetuous and head-strong, Donut first tries several schemes before finally running away - but not too far.

Beautifully written, both the setting and the characters truly shine in this charming short book. Donut's growth is crafted wonderfully here as are her
Jessica Brown
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A quick, sad read about a 12 year old girl struggling with loss and the prospect of more loss as she is set to be taken from her rural home in Vermont to an all-girls school in Boston with her aunt. It's a sad read in a way that the book fills you with her pain, her longing for things to be the way they once her, her countless losses in such a short lifetime. The sadness is deepest in her desperate clinging at hope in the boat her father built and the bear that cries out each night over the pond ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Donut’s pops has passed away in an automobile accident and now her Aunt Agnes has come to stay in their small house in rural Vermont. Donut has grown up there, surrounded by the woods and all of the people she considers friends. There is Tiny, a huge boy with a big heart, who is her best friend. There is Sam, the man who taught her to do taxidermy and who creates displays for museums. It’s the place that Donut belongs, one where she can see her father in every part of their home and also her mot ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-mid-grade
Charming characters, a beautiful cover, and a gentle story of loss in 1920’s Vermont. Kalmar’s writing is smart and advanced in style without being advanced in content. Would be a great book choice for a younger advanced reader.
Erin Moulton
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Donut is still struggling with the grief of losing her father when her Aunt Agnes decides it's time to uproot her and bring her to Boston. Strongwilled and tied to her community, Donut decides she just isn't going, so she attempts to convince Aunt Agnes to stay. When it doesn't work, she decides to run away, holing up in a nearby cabin called Chanticleer. The hideout works for a while, but soon most of her friends know where she is and one night everything goes wrong, sending her back out of the ...more
Aimee Bissonette
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eleven year old Donut has had more than her share of loss and bad luck. She's got good friends, though, and a very firm resolve. When it looks like Donut stands to lose it all, she heads for the woods - literally! The whole town is rooting for her, and you will, too. "A Stitch in Time" is beautifully written. It's the perfect summer time read for your favorite young reader.
Sharon Van Zandt
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Wonderful writing. Vivid setting. And Donut is such a passionate, often prickly, and yes, also tenderhearted character. A story with a classic feel.
Anna Lewis
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-challenge, mg
Loved the main character and her name. Opening really pulled me in - I wanted to hear more about Donut and her taxidermy skills.
Loved the cover.
Had a nice cry at one point.
Not a fan of the title of the book.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Gorgeous book cover. 11 year old orphan in Vermont in 1927. Dorothy, known as Donut, has just lost her pops. She's fond of taxidermy and poker, nehi and geography. Loves her best friend Tiny (who is very large, of course) and her godfather and taxidermy instructor Sam. Always up for a paddle in the folding boat her father left behind, and absolutely opposed to leaving her idyllic village life for school in Boston with her educated aunts.

It's a charming read, although the combination of quirky tr
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous language!! I love the descriptions of place and time. My problems are personally I found the idea of taxidermy by a young child kind of creepy. I am sure it happens, but as a city girl, it just seemed strange.
Heather Layne
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
This little book was almost like a poem, inside Donut’s head a lot. The review inside the front cover is accurate: heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.
Angie Quantrell
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapter-books
Loved reading this book about loss, change, and history. Donut (what a wonderful name) is being forced to move to Boston with her aunt after her father dies. Donut plans all sorts of things to avoid having to move, but her ultimate attempt is nearly her undoing. I loved the setting of the little town, the impact of nature and being outside, the history of relationships and place. Nice book!
Alexa Hamilton
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a perfectly set slim book about Donut, an 11 year old who has never had a mother and whose father died four days ago. She's lived a life of freedom with her father, learning to taxidermy from her godfather, playing poker with her dad on Friday nights and getting nice and muddy. What will she do now that Aunt Agnes wants to take her to Boston and make her go to a fancy school? Well, run away, of course.

This is a beautiful slice of time in a young girl's life a long time ago in a place in Ve
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Donut is adjusting to the recent death of her father when her maternal aunt announces that she is taking Donut home with her to Boston. Donut (a.k.a. Dorothy and now an orphan) will have none of it. When her more conventional methods fail to persuade Aunt Agnes that Donut belongs in the only home that she has ever known, Donut determines to run away. A friendly neighbor has a somewhat abandoned cabin at the other end of a nearby pond and Donut sets up house keeping with the mice and a midnight b ...more
Mima Tipper
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this sparkling, middle-grade debut, Kalmar gives the reader Dorothy “Donut” Sedgewick, a feisty 11-year-old Vermonter who this reader rooted for from page one. In the wake of her father’s tragic death, freshly orphaned and grieving Donut’s life tumbles even more upside-down with the arrival of her proper Aunt Agnes from Boston. Matters go quickly from bad to worse when Aunt Agnes informs Donut that in two weeks’ time she will be taking Donut back with her to Boston to live. Facing the loss of ...more
Joan Anderson
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting children's historical fiction with a strong female character who is obsessed with geography and knows how to do taxidermy. In 1927 rural Vermont, 11-year-old Donut, recently orphaned after the death of her beloved father, stands to lose everything when she learns her Aunt Agnes plans to move her to Boston, but little does her aunt know that Donut has no intentions of leaving her friends or her home. She runs away from home.
Maybe even 3.5 (I don't read a lot of JUV, but did enjoy this)
Captures the post WW1 New England vibe quite well... and Auntie isn't really grumpy/bad/mean, just a product of a different environment.
Coming of age, dealing with loss, knowing oneself.
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