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The Table Where Rich People Sit
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The Table Where Rich People Sit

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  451 ratings  ·  70 reviews
As her family attempts to calculate the value of the desert hills, the colors of blooming cactus, and the calls of eagles and great horned owls, a young girl—who has been led astray by the family's lack of material wealth—realizes what really matters. Color illustrations.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Aladdin (first published 1994)
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
I absolutely love this book, as soon as I finished reading it I went and purchased it. It is such an incredible reminder to value all of the things in our lives that we so often take for granted, and to look past material possessions when determining our wealth. It is from the perspective of a girl who lives with her mother, her father, and her younger brother. They have a rickety old truck, a scratched up homemade table, holes in their shoes, and patches on their clothes. For a large portion of ...more
June Pecchia
When reading books, the number that I normally seek out first is the copyright date. For an adult with some understanding of history, this number is a always valid and unbiased reference point.

Many numbers assigned to books, however, are evaluative and biased. My hackles are up just now because I found that on, the publisher of Byrd Baylor's The Table Where Rich People Sit assigned “Interest Level” Grades 3 – 5.

How can any of Byrd Baylor’s provocative texts accompanied by Peter
Kayla Davis
“Mountain Girl” is certain her family is poor although she cannot seem to convince her parents of the same truth. Fed up with the way they are living she begs her parents to get better jobs so they can all enjoy the finer things in life. However, after putting dollar values to their nature experiences, Mountain Girl comes to find that her, her brother, and her outlandish parents are rich in more ways than one and that you really can’t put a price on being able to enjoy the outdoors. I thought ...more
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I like to look through the recently-returned books to see what people in the community are borrowing, and this picture book in verse caught my eye. The illustrations are a bit dated, but the text is wonderful.

A young girl is frustrated by her parents’ apparent lack of ambition and their lack of material wealth. She is frustrated by the family’s hand-made dining room table, their beaten-up truck, their worn-out clothes. She doesn’t understand why her parents can’t be like everyone else, and she
Lara Thompson
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Money is by far not the most important thing.
Grace Willits
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Table Where Rich People Sit is one of the most unique picture books I have ever read. It is unlike any other because it doesn't feel as though its target audience is children. The main character is a girl who worries that her parents don’t care that they are not a rich family. The family gathers around their wooden dining table, because the girl has called a meeting to discuss the family finances. The daughter is taking on the more practical role, asking her parents to be realistic with her, ...more
Kyra Calnan
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
One Giant Leap, written by Burleigh, captures the joy that the world shared on July 20, 1969 that the first man set foot on the Moon. Using descriptive language and detailed illustration to describe the journey, Burleigh with illustrator Mike Wimmer, create an account of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they depart from two spaceships, Columbia and Eagle. Far below on Earth, hundreds of millions of people tune in to watch the TV camera attached to Eagle. As Aldrin salutes the American flag and ...more
Feb 11, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Julie by: Carol Hurst
Shelves: 2, 4, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
This story starts with a complaint. The girl narrator is convinced that her family, particularly her mother and father, does not understand how poor they are. She calls a family meeting, held around a dilapidated but treasured table, to show them that they need money and that they should get better paying jobs. As she points out they are not sitting at a table where rich people would sit. Her mother and father are shocked that she doesn't realize how rich they are and, with her keeping track ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educ542
Summary: The Table Where Rich People Sit is another interesting book by author, Byrd Baylor. Mountain Girl, as her family calls her, believes her family is poor because they have few material items of much value. Her family attempts to calculate the value of her life’s riches- the outdoors, the sunsets, the wildlife surrounding her small home. She learns what is truly important as she talks with her family at the table where rich people sit.
Teaching tool: After reading I’m in Charge of
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, kidlit
A girl calls a family meeting to discuss her family's financial situation. She's sure they could be doing better. Sitting at their handmade wooden table, she asks her parents how much money they have. They begin adding up all of their riches - their sunsets, the wildlife they've seen, the time they have to watch a cactus flower bloom - and assign each a monetary value in the thousands of dollars. Gradually the girl begins to understand that the world her parents have created for the family is ...more
Parents who have strong convictions about their lives confront a daughter who disagrees that they are 'rich'. She wants them to get better-paying jobs, ones inside, with no windows to look outside.

Yes, their table was hand crafted with love, but they can't be rich...

Patiently, and with devotion to their children, their way of live, their surroundings, and their values, her parents show the narrator how to value what you have.

Baylor's words are simple, sounding as if they COULD come out of the
Mary Raccuia
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mountain Girl, the name her family calls her ,is sure her parents don't have enough ambition to make the family rich. She doesn't want to be the girl with the old clothes at school anymore. She calls a family meeting to discuss the families finances to come up with a plan so they can get rich! What she discovers is that her family is rich in things that matter to them. They love nature and the sky and never ever want to work in a building where they would spend the day inside. Mountain Girl ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful story about finding the riches in your own life. Mountain Girl and her family start to realize that although they may be impoverished, they have different kinds of wealth. They begin to explore the nature and beautify around them. To me, this represents a family so full of love that they don't need material values. So many families today have lost the ability to view the world around them as beautiful. There are constant economic crises, difficulties finding jobs and ...more
Nancy Mosqueda
Nov 08, 2012 rated it liked it
When I began to read this story I thought it was about a self-absorbed brat of a girl who gave no thought to respect or the feelings of her parents. Throughout the book however, my admiration for her parents and their simplicity grew as every time she complained about them being poor and not having ambitions, she was brought down with the gentle reminder that they were indeed rich and providing her with proof of how rich they truely were with a list of the things around them that made them rich ...more
Lesly Bruner
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-2013
Mountain Girl cannot understand why so her parents won't just admit that they are poor. They are always talking about how rich they are, but she doesn't understand how they can have such little sense. Sitting at their handmade wood table that looks nothing like a table you would find in a furniture store says it all. Mountain Girl tries to encourage her parents to get different jobs and be more ambitious, so they can make more money. Through this conversation and the calculating of riches, ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
I love Peter Parnall's illustrations, and love the ones in this book. I also love the character of the little girl, who is so strong and funny. And I love the images of camping and wandering in the desert. The theme of counting wealth in things other than money is very good. My older child got this book from his godparents when he was little, and I just re-read it with the younger one and we enjoyed it again. My only criticism is that I find the parents just a little too over the top on the ...more
Jessica L.
The illustrations in the story are wonderful. This story is about a young lady who thinks her family is poor. Throughout the story, her parents try to convince her that material possessions and cash do not mean as much as other things in life do.

Themes: love, family, acceptance, nature

This could be used to talk about the ways and different places that families live. Students could make a list of what they feel they add to their family.
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I found this book in one of the best ways possible: I was at a favorite bookstore, with the vague mission of looking for another book entirely, when the cover of this book caught my eye, and reminded me that I'm In Charge of Celebrations was one of my favorite books when I was a girl...and so I sat down to read this one, and now it too is a favorite.
Dec 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Is about a story of a child who wants to be rich, have lots of money. She blames her parents for the poverty they are in. I dislike this book because I think it shows bad things for kids to learn. They shouldn’t blame the parents in the conditions they live in. parents try to do everything for their children.
Kylie Perrine
This is a story about a young girl whose family struggles with money. She envies the rich people and wants all the things they get. Through out the story she learns that it does not matter how much you have but who you have to share it with. THe story has very simple picture which adds meaning to the book that sometimes less is more.
Etta Mcquade
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is delightful, first of all, because of the very nice writing of Byrd Baylor. You can just imagine a teenage girl saying, "I'm the one who called the meeting, and the subject is money; and I say we don't have enough of it." The family goes on to evaluate just how much "money" they do have and realize (as does the reader) that money doesn't determine riches.
Amy Haus
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
If you don't look at the copyright, you might think that this book was written in the 1970s. The main character is "Mountain Girl," and her family lives a simple life in the desert. This is their choice, and they are not portrayed as victims of poverty. As a matter of fact, they are rich with intangibles. A good book to knock your kid down a peg!
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. Each time I read it, I visualize it a little differently and get more out of the creative story. Great lesson to discuss with elementary in this book: there are more important things in life than money that make people wealthy.
Sandy Brehl
Baylor's editors at first asked her to tone down the "attitude" of this young girl narrator, but that wasn't an option. Her probing challenge to her parents about why they don't "work" more and earn more money allows an exploration of her own evaluations of the life they live as a family.
Jun 29, 2014 added it
Shelves: social-justice
This book begins with the main character, a daughter, calling a family meeting to complain that the family is not rich and her parents need better jobs. It ends with the daughter (and the reader) understanding that non-material things can also make a family rich.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic Story for little readers, and adults, about how money is not the most important thing in life. Travel through the story with a Little girl who talks to her family about where they were born, and the world around them. Towards the end her family is truly rich.
Melanie Swider Wenz
Such a powerful message and lesson - you don't need to be rich to be happy. I love to read this book aloud each year during our short text unit and our social issues unit. It always amazes me to hear all of the lessons and thinking my students have after reading this book.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story about celebrating the riches we have that count far more than money. A young girl wants her parents to get better jobs and make more money. They hold a family meeting and talk about how "rich" they are in so many other ways.
Rosanna Shen
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's a children's book for age 4 to 8, but I love the concept of the book--how you can't put a price tag on some things in life (and if you do, you'll be the richest people in the world!!!).
Bindu Bhatt
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I feel I should just read these beautiful children's books! Excellent. Simply puts things in the right perspective.
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Byrd Baylor has always lived in the Southwest, mainly in Southern Arizona near the Mexican border. She is at home with the southwestern desert cliffs and mesas, rocks and open skies. She is comforted by desert storms. The Tohono O’odham people, previously known as the Papagos, are her neighbors and close friends. She has focused many of her writings on the region’s landscape, peoples, and values. ...more