Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

Works of Kate Douglas Wiggin
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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS > Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

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message 1: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeffreyweiss) | 19 comments Hi all -

A while back, I wrote a piece about an archeological excavation in downtown San Francisco. They uncovered remnants from the a 19th Century Kindergarten, run by Kate Douglas, who would go on to write the classic, "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm." She was an educational reformer before becoming an author. The Kindergarten was the first free kindergarten west of the Mississippi.

Here's the link:

message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1664 comments Mod

I got teased about "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" as a kid (a Jr. High teacher even called me "Sunnybrook"). I eventually read the book, and was surprised to find it...kind of dull :D

message 3: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1357 comments Mod
I confess I mix up Anne of Green Gables and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. They were well-known in the UK when I was a girl (!) but not particularly popular. We got through Little Women and Katy with more enjoyment. I remember both Rebecca and Anne as TV series, but didn't watch them. Maybe homework got in the way!

message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1664 comments Mod
Jemima, I think Anne is much more readable than Rebecca :) Loved Little Women and all the rest of Alcott's books, too.

message 5: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeffreyweiss) | 19 comments I gotta admit that I've never read "Rebecca" nor "Anne of Green Gables," but please don't kick me out of the group. I just found that bit of history very interesting. Also, Kate Douglas Wiggins became good friends with Mark Twain, not because both were authors who once lived in San Francisco, but because Kate's second husband and Mark Twain were longtime friends, even before he married Kate.

message 6: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1357 comments Mod
We wouldn't kick you out for not reading, them, Jeff! We'd not have many members if we did things like that! I only read Mark Twain last year because of the Classic Kids books Challenge.

That makes me think: maybe we should have a list of best Australian books, best African books, best UK books, etc to widen the cultural diversity a bit :)

What do other think?

message 7: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeffreyweiss) | 19 comments I like that idea. For example, my friend who is Austrailian wrote book about some kids that were street urchins in England who were arrested for stealing. (Very Oliver Twist) They were shipped to Australia to serve their sentence. That was the great part of the book. Not that they were shipped to Austrailia, but the narrative of Austrailian life. The culture was very different - and very interesting. (They had a lot of contact with the Aborigines).

So yes, a list of foreign books would be a lot of fun. A different perspective.

message 8: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1664 comments Mod
I like that idea a lot, Jemima! We could have a focus on what everyone loved in their childhoods, as well as on what's out now.

message 9: by Jemima (last edited Sep 15, 2015 11:33AM) (new)

Jemima Pett | 1357 comments Mod
'A list of foreign books...'

Careful! Who are you calling foreign? You've got one Aussie, one Brit and one American in your Mod team here :D

But I have hijacked your thread, and for that I apologise.

message 10: by Jeff (last edited Sep 16, 2015 02:59PM) (new)

Jeff (jeffreyweiss) | 19 comments How right you are! Foreign is not the right word. You are from Britain. As far as Austrailia is concerned: I was justing thinking today that I hear the phrase "No worries" so often here in San Francisco that I think I'm in Austrailia....then the foghorn goes off....brings me back.

....and about hijacking my thread? "No worries!" ;-)

message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1664 comments Mod
So I started a new thread in the Library for sharing our childhood favorites, complete with a note about our region.

message 12: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1357 comments Mod
Maybe we ought to use the Listopia options too?

message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1664 comments Mod
Jemima wrote: "Maybe we ought to use the Listopia options too?"

Possibly, if I weren't totally clueless about them :)

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