Thursday, September 24, 2020

Stealing Mt Rushmore by Daphne Kalmar

Stealing Mt Rushmore by Daphne Kalmar is out now! Thanks to @kidlitexchange, @daphnekalmar, and #feiwelandfriends for the ARC.

Nell's dad is fascinated by Mt Rushmore; he even wanted to name his children George, Thomas, Teddy, and Abe. But after Tom came a girl, who was named after Susan B. Anthony, called Nell for short. So her dad never got his Abe, but he's determined to take the whole family to see Mt Rushmore in person. When he goes to find his stash of vacation cash, he realizes it has been stolen... kinda. Nell's mom took it when she left the family that spring. Nell has been struggling with how her family seems to be falling apart, but having the trip taken from them is the straw that broke the camel's back. Nell is determined to earn money so the family can go on the trip, even if she can't track down her mom.

I loved reading about Nell as she adjusted to everyone around her changing. Her friend Maya is becoming interested in boys, which makes Nell think of her as an alien. The family dynamics in this book are so powerful, especially with the historical context of being set in 1974. Many chapters begin with actual headlines from a Boston newspaper in July 1974, so I love that this can be paired with history/social studies/political lessons in the classroom or library.

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