Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Chair for My Mother” as Want to Read:
A Chair for My Mother
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Chair for My Mother

(The Rosa Books #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  24,801 ratings  ·  985 reviews
After their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy.
Paperback, 25th Anniversary Edition; Reading Rainbow Book, 32 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1982)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Chair for My Mother, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Cassedy Burns Book jacket says Rosa, but I never see any place in the book where they use her name.…moreBook jacket says Rosa, but I never see any place in the book where they use her name. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,801 ratings  ·  985 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of A Chair for My Mother
Calista
The artwork looks like watercolors. I loved the colored backgrounds and the flower covered armchair. This is a sweet story of a family saving up to buy a new chair after they lost their stuff in a house fire. The mother is a waitress. It’s a sweet story of hard work paying off.

The niece loved the chair and she thought the story was good. She gave this 3 stars. The nephew didn’t care much for the story. He doesn’t really save money. He gets a little and spends it, so he didn’t notice how long
...more
Manybooks
Vera B. William's A Chair for my Mother is simply, utterly beautiful, both ascetically and morally, philosophically. Engagingly, with an ever-present but still delightfully understated emotionality, and thus, without too much exaggeration and pathos, it features both struggle/pain and joy. Rosa's family is poor (and I think that Rosa's mother might also be also a single parent), and has suffered a terrible loss due to a destructive fire that has basically left them without material possessions ...more
Katie Carson
Oct 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Author Vera B. Williams does a wonderful job telling the tale of a young girl and her mother and their dedication to restoring their lives back to normal following a fire that burned all their possessions in their home. The idea of having your home and catch on fire and losing all your possessions is a fear that many of us have. It's a terrible circumstance that everyone can consider how they would handle and begin to rebuild their life after. This common fear and questioning make this book a ...more
Malbadeen
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people that detest the phrase "begining, middle
A book about a chair!
It's about a chair!
A house has burnt down and people have jobs and etc, etc, but the book is about a chair and the people that sit in it.
I LOVE this book!
I also love this book because it flies in the face of the ever present argument that we force the "beginning, middle, end" and "first, next, then, finally" format on students.
"HA! SEE, SEE what i mean"?!?! I want to say when i read this book. I want to say it to everyone everywhere. See, even in kids books. It's there,
...more
Fjóla
Apr 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 6 - 8 year olds, learning about altruism
Maybe this is a necessary read, but it is not a very enjoyable one. I would actually save it until ready to tackle a plethora of social issues with your child. I would have thought the story was more dated, but no, it's only from 1982 (although you could say 30 years is a long, long time) and I suppose we should presume the issues presented in the story are still to date. It is a bit hard to picture though, in this age of everybody buying all their heart's desires in a whim - on credit(!) The ...more
Kristen
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Chair for My Mother
Reading Level: Easy Reader, Ages 4-8
Genre: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Illustrator:

This is a sweet story intended for elementary age students. The story touches on themes such as family life, saving, hard work, and hardship to an extent. The story is told from the perspective of a little girl who lives with her mother. The mom appears to be a single mother with close extended family that lives close by, with the grandmother being one of the three main characters. The story
...more
Kelly
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddies
This is another one of my favorites. For years I dreamed of saving a great big jar of coins. Only now am I actually doing it (with the Staffer of course). Anyway, there's a little girl, and there's a fire, and she lives with her mom and grandma, and her mom is so tired after work and has to sit in a kitchen chair to rest, so they save up all their coins and...
Shari
Reread this favorite to go along with our virtue study of honor. Sweet story of how a little girl honors her hard working mother.
Cortnee Hill
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading Level: Early Reader; Ages 3-8; 1st-3rd Grade

This book is filled with images of family and love, accompanied by pages of vivid color and detailed illustrations that truly captivate the eyes of young readers. In short, this book is about a mother, daughter, and grandmother who experience the loss of items due to a fire and how they work together as a family and community to pull the pieces of their lives back together. While this is a simple tale of love between
...more
Paige Scott
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-summaries
1) This book is about a little girl that has been through a lot in her life so far. The house that her, her mother, and her grandmother lived in burnt up, and they lost everything. All of the neighbors were kind enough to bring them everything they could for their new apartment, however they still had no chair. Therefore, the mother and daughter collected a big jar and would fill it with coins everytime they got some, and everytime the mother would come home from work with money. The jar finally ...more
Tavia
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams, is a story about a little girl, her mother, and her grandmother. The story is told in the little girls point of view. She begins by informing the reader how hard her mother and her work to save money, and grandma often chips in. The narrator continues to explain why they are saving their money in a giant jar for a special chair. She begins to tell the story of how her family home burned down. She reveals that after the unfortunate fire several people ...more
Sherrie Gallagher
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurie
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I believe this is a great diversity/realistic story to read to young children. It talks about a family that home caught fire and they lost everything inside. Although neighbors and friends were donating things for them the family decided to come together and save to buy themselves a big comfortable chair. They really wanted it for the mother because she works all day in a diner standing and the grandmother and daughter really wanted her too come home and relax on something very comfortable. So ...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
A Chair for My Mother is for kindergarten-third grade students and is a Caldecott Honor book (1983). This book is about a girl named Rosa, her mother, and grandmother who live together and live from paycheck to paycheck after their home and possessions were destroyed by a fire. They decide to save any extra money in a big jar until they can afford to buy one big comfortable chair that all three of them can enjoy.

This story is heartwarming and tender and has themes of love, family, strength, and
...more
Christi Dukette
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
After a devastating fire in their last apartment destroyed many of their belongings, leaving nothing but piles of ashes, a single mother and her daughter begin to rebuild. Friends and neighbors have helped them by bringing them the basic furniture and things they need to their new apartment. Because her mother works so hard, on her feet all day, the little girl wants her mother to be able to rest in a soft, comfortable chair after long days at the Blue Tile Diner. Grandmother collects the change ...more
Dolly
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fantastic story. It's a heartwarming story with a lot of depth for a children's book.

It teaches about saving without being too preachy and it also is a great example about giving generously to those who need it. Our girls enjoyed this story and I loved it.

This book was selected as one of the books for the May 2016- Caldecott Honors discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.

This book was also selected as one of the books for the May 2018 -
...more
Toree Howe
Nov 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
•This story is about a tragedy and how the family is coping with the aftermath. It is about saving for something special and the importance of friends and family.
•Many children don’t have everything they need. I like how this story gives an example of one little girl but focuses on the important things in her life.
•This can be used with children to start a discussion of the important things in their lives and how it is important to do things for others.

Read aloud for 1st through 3rd. Used to
...more
Jinya Situ
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this book because we can teach young children how to care about their mother. This book is telling about Rosa ,her mother and grandmother save money for buying a comfortable chair after their house burned in a fire. I think children will say things like this my mommy will lay on our comfortable chair after she finished her job.i would ask children question like this do you love your mother,how you make your mother feel happy.
Hayley DeRoche
There are so many things to love about this classic: the portrayal of a house fire and its aftermath and the way neighbors ought to help each other; a family that experiences routine financial tightness; a multigenerational family living together...the list goes on. The story being told from the point-of-view of a child is still compelling and rich, and the payoff at the end is sweet and satisfying. It's a classic for a reason.
Jessica
This is such a beautiful story! This has so many different topics like family, hardships,hardwork, love and generosity.
This family faced a tragedy as they lost their belongings in a fire. Rosa, her mother and grandmother save a their loose change to purchase a comfy chair they can all use. They are so dedicated in restoring their lives after such a tragic event.
Sheila
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud, childrens
My daughter received this book for Christmas and we read it aloud together. A lovely story about hardship, tragedy, yet about love, hard work, savings, with an eventual happy ending. We both enjoyed this one.
Shiela Escamilla
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story of a girl who had lost her home and how the family had worked together to save money to buy this new furniture, a soft chair!

This book is a caldecott winning book as it reflects the lives/ experiences of different children from various socio- economic.

The character is relatable to young children that she narrates her experience with so much details of what they were doing previous to the fire, what had happened during the fire and the family plan to buy the chair. Rosa describes how her
...more
Lauren Johnson
Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother is a beautiful story of the three strong women. The story of hardship and struggle is told by a young girl. The young girl describes to the readers how her mother, grandmother, and herself have been saying money to purchase a chair. We learn that the family lost everything they had in an apartment fire. The family is able to save and finally have “A Chair for My Mother” at the end of the story. This realistic fiction text is so much more than a story of a ...more
Esther Soberanis
Text-to Teaching Connection

A Chair For Your Mother by Vera Williams is a great book to teach 3rd-grade Cause and Effect and to discuss need verse wants. It can also utilize as a guided reading book or a read aloud. You can also integrate Math lessons, where students each get a jar with some coins. Students will then sorts the coins by value. Students will then given a worksheet to show how many ways can you make $1.00 from the coins they have. Then students will be asked to total up all the
...more
Carolyn Cirasole
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it

REALISIC FICTION
Vera B. Williams set the tone of love and comfort in this descriptive children's book about a mother and daughter who experience the loss of matericalistic things. She vividly describes how the character, the little girl, remembers that particular day her house went ablaze. She remembers the order of events leading up to the fire and she remembers her feelings and concerns for her Grandmother's whereabouts during this chaotic time. What I especially enjoyed about this story was
...more
Kendall Hagerty
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams is a story about a family whose house burned down in a fire which forced the daughter and her mother to move in with their family members. Because of the fire, the small family does not have many valuables. The mother and the daughter decide to save their coins for a brand new comfortable chair. The girl has the exact chair in mind of what she wants and the color it will be.

I think this story relates to realism because of the event that happened. This
...more
Jenny
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
A heartwarming story of a young girl, her mother and grandmother. They have lost nearly everything in a fire and so they begin saving all their extra change to buy a chair. It takes a long time (and a lot of dedication and, I'm certain, a lot of self control) to save enough money to buy the perfect chair.

This has colorful illustrations that complement the story perfectly. I love that it shows a warm, loving relationship between the girl, her mother and grandmother. It also shows a caring
...more
Jorge
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
“A Chair for my Mother” a beautifully written and illustrated realistic fiction picture book by Vera B. Williams. It was awarded the Caldecott Honor by the American Library Association. It is a story about family who experienced an unfortunate event where they lost everything in their home due to a fire. A mother works as a waitress doing all she can to make ends meet. She brings home the tips to place into a jar in hopes to one day buy a big comfy chair for the family. What makes this book ...more
L12_luisespinoza Espinoza
This is a heartwarming story about a little girl, her mother, and grandmother that live together in an apartment. A fire destroys their apartment along with all their possessions and when they are able to move into a new apartment, their neighbors bring them furniture, food, and kitchenware. After all the donations are given, they decide to save coins from her mother's tips from working at the Blue Tile Diner to purchase "A wonderful, beautiful, fat, soft armchair". The little girl also ...more
Matthew Ciccarone
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A chair for my mother is about a girl who works with her mom and saves their tips up in a jar. They are saving for a chair, because mother gets tired and wants a good chair. They lost most of what they had in a fire but were assisted in relocating. Finally, they save up enough to buy the chair they were dreaming of. The story takes place mostly in the girl’s home, and the idea of saving up for something new is very realistic and relatable. They find significance and purpose through their hard ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Ferial Pearson Mu...: Narva-A Chair For My Mother-Latino & Low Income Families 1 6 Jun 06, 2018 09:29PM  
Goodreads Review 1 3 Nov 15, 2016 07:19PM  
Realistic Fiction 1 2 Jun 03, 2016 08:40PM  
MCC Children's Li...: A Chair for My Mother 1 1 Apr 04, 2012 06:48PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Flotsam
  • The Relatives Came
  • Amazing Grace
  • The Lion and the Mouse
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Tar Beach
  • Owen
  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo
  • Ben's Trumpet
  • Strega Nona (Strega Nona, #1)
  • Swimmy
  • Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges
  • The Wednesday Surprise
  • My Friend Rabbit
  • Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
See similar books…
30 followers
Graduate of Black Mountain College, North Carolina, where she majored in graphic art. In her own words, she has "done graphic art, school teaching, children-raising [she has two daughters and a son], has run a bakery and been a cook in schools and restaurants." (from back flap of book)

Vera B. Williams is the winner of the 2009 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.

You can read much more
...more

Other books in the series

The Rosa Books (4 books)
  • Something Special for Me
  • Music, Music for Everyone
  • A Chair for Always