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The Nickel-Plated Beauty
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The Nickel-Plated Beauty


4.12  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  18 reviews
There it sits, shiny and brand-spanking new, in the storeroom of Mr. Willard's general store. It's a Nickel-Plated Beauty, the most expensive cookstove money can buy. And the Kimball kids have ordered one for their mother for Christmas. Earning the money to pay for it will take all the energy, ingenuity, and sacrificing the Kimballs can muster.
Paperback, 259 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Beech Tree Paperback Book (first published 1964)
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4.12  · 
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 ·  114 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Now this - this is a book about living out west, and it's funny and warm. Patricia Beatty is good at kids interrelating within their families and with their friends, and the result is quite the set of circumstances as they scramble to scrounge the $25 needed to pay for a stove for their mother.

Mr. Willard, as the storekeeper who won't extend the family the credit for a new store, is just shy of mustache-twirling evil, and he makes a great antagonist. And then there's Aunt Rose, who's a terror,
Michael Fitzgerald
A very nice historical fiction, set in 1886 Washington, just before it became a state. It is based somewhat on the author's family history. It will be appreciated by those who enjoy Those Miller Girls! and other books from around the turn-of-the-century period. There are also some similarities to Maggie Rose: Her Birthday Christmas, which I happened to have read shortly before reading this.

Like the Constant books, this includes a bit of overt feminism. I'm not sure whether it is anachronistic or
Katie Fitzgerald
In 1886, in Washington Territory, Hester Kimball's mother is in need of a new stove. Hester's brother, Whitney, who works for the storekeeper, Mr. Willard, orders her one (the "Nickel-Plated Beauty") from the Montgomery Ward catalog without consulting his boss, but is bewildered when the item arrives and it turns out that "C.O.D." means he and his siblings will need to pay Mr. Willard for the stove, and for storage, too, before they can bring it home. Aiming to be able to afford the stove by Chr ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional is the book that evokes genuine laughter from the entire family. If you're on the hunt for an authentic, humorous, and touching family read-aloud, look no further than The Nickel-Plated Beauty not once, not twice, but at least four times my mom read this book to us. Set in Washington State in 1886, it tells the story of the Kimbal kids, who order their mother a new, shiny, nickel-plated cookstove for Christmas, keep it a secret, and spend their summer and fall working hard to try to ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-fic-historical
This is a sweet tale with interesting twists and a varied cast of characters. A large family (7 kids!), small town life, working to earn pennies, taking care of each other, entertainment without electronics, and a finale that ends on Christmas.

Apparently I read this when I was in sixth grade, but I didn't remember anything about it. Now that I've read it again, I suspect that it was too similar to many of the other stories I was reading at that time.

This earns 3.5 stars from me. I think it would
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is a fun Pacific Northwest book with lots of big-family shenanigans. My mom got it out of the library when I was about ten and told me I would love it; I resisted reading it on principle but ended up really liking it.

My favorite bit is when the new stove is delivered COD and the kids realize they'll have to pay for it, and Whit admits that he'd been thinking of it as sort of a free gift from Montgomery Ward.
Mary Beth
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book in elementary school, read it many times. I remembered it the other day and found a copy on Alibris for $1 - shipping was 3x that. It was well worth it to re-read. Especially interested in how many phrases have stayed with me verbatim. I must have been in a very impressionable place when I read this initially!
Mark Schlatter
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, own
This was a childhood favorite of mine that I picked up decades ago as a discard from the Houston Public Library. It's very much in the vein of the Little House or Great Brain series --- rural historical Americana with a strong focus on the particulars of daily life. In this case, we read about the Kimball children living on the Washington State coast as they work hard to pay off a stove (the "nickel-plated beauty") that got put on the family's account at the general store. The seven kids, led by ...more
When 13-year-old Whit, the oldest of the Kimball family children, mistakenly orders a new woodstove for his mother, he doesn't realize the C.O.D. order means cash on delivery. It is 1886 and he has no money to pay for it. So, with an an agreement with Mr. Willard, the general store owner, the Kimball children, all seven of them work to earn the money to pay for it. All $27 of it! And, while they are earning money, they keep it a secret from their parents.

With hard work and ingenuity, they reach
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
1886 in Washington Territory. The Kimball family--seven kids plus parents--live on the Long Beach peninsula in the southwestern part of the state. Life isn't easy for a big family without a steady income, and when rust gets into their stove, they know it's the beginning of the end for it. A new stove costs $25, though, a vast sum in those days, and there's no way they can afford it. The oldest boy, Whit, works at the general store, run by the mean-spirited Mr. Willard. When Whit, not understandi ...more
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The "Nickel-Plated Beauty" is one of three companion books by Patricia Beatty set on the Pacific coast of southwest Washington State at the turn of the 20th century. The other titles are "O the Red-Rose Tree," and "Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea." When recommending them to students in our elementary school library (in Washington State), I compare them "The Little House on the Prairie" series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In my opinion they are written as well.

After reading these books years
Sarah TheAromaofBooks
In this historical fiction set along the northwest coast, the Kimball family is poor but happy. When the oldest Kimball child orders a brand-new (and very expensive) cookstove C.O.D., he has no idea that he will be expected to pay for it when it arrives. Through a series of events, the children arrange for the storekeeper to hold the stove until Christmas, giving them all summer and fall to try and earn the money. The rest of the story follows their ingenuity and persistence as they work hard to ...more
Oct 25, 2007 rated it liked it
This is a real romp of a book. Take a large family of kids, confusion over what a Wish Book can do, and a problem solvable by working together and sucking up some discomfort, mix together with some mistakes and stumbles and you get a lot of fun between two covers.

Historical details are well-researched, characters are multi-dimensional, and the storyline is engaging.
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not the best book in the world, but just opened it and in my childish scrawl, I had written my name and that it was given to me by my deceased younger sister. So, I have to give it high marks just for sheer sentimentality.
Aug 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Delightful read--takes place on the Oregon coast.
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Re-read 10/5/13: re-read again 11/13/15
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a fun read about a group of siblings who work hard to earn money to buy their mother a brand new stove.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My mother read this to me when I was a child and it was thrilling to me. I found it again a few years ago and it is still a great story.
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From Contemporary Authors Online: "Patricia Beatty's historical children's fiction invites readers to share in her fascination with the past. Reflecting her interest in meticulous research, which she likened to detective work, her stories recreate past times for modern readers. Critics cite her strong sense of humor, as well as a sharp sense of place, as strong points of her fiction. A committed f ...more

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