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A stitch in time
2018
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Summary

NPR's Best Book of 2018

An orphan grapples with her unpleasant aunt and the even more unpleasant idea of moving to Boston in this poignant middle-grade debut that handles loss and renewal.

"Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, Donut's story is gritty, hopeful and ultimately all about the various ways that love shows up. I loved it."--Kathi Appelt, author of the Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist novel The Underneath

" Taxidermy? What better journey to uncover the true stuff of character! A classic, indelible debut."--Rita Williams-Garcia, author of the Newbery Honor novel One Crazy Summer

Donut is an eleven-year old geography buff who keeps her taxidermied mice hidden in her late mother's hope chest. Her pops passed away, leaving her an orphan. Aunt Agnes has moved in, bringing along her lumpy oatmeal, knitting, and a plan to drag Donut off to Boston forever.

Donut stands to lose everything: her friends, her village, her home, the woods, and walks where the memories of her pops are stored up.

While Donut dodges the ache of missing her pops, she and her best friend Tiny plan how to keep her where she belongs.

A Stitch in Time by Daphne Kalmar is shot through with gorgeous, evocative language, and gets right to Donut's heart.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-Eleven-year-old Donut's world is turned upside-down when her father is tragically killed in an automobile accident. Just as suddenly as her father disappeared, Aunt Agnes appears from Boston, her rigid personality an unwelcome presence in Donut's quiet Vermont town. When Agnes resolves to bring Donut back to the big city with her, the young girl can't imagine her future anywhere not layered with reminders of her father. When her godfather, Sam, fails to convince Agnes to allow Donut to stay with him, she sets out to live at Chanticleer, an abandoned cabin in the woods on the edge of Dog Pond. As Donut hunkers down, she wills Aunt Agnes to leave for Boston without her, gathering support from friends in her village. Kalmar transports readers into the woods of Vermont with her vivid descriptions. Readers will empathize with Donut's heartache over the loss of her father and her fierce desire to resist change at all costs. A superb read-aloud, educators and readers will find much to discuss. -VERDICT A solid piece of historical fiction, this novel is a recommended purchase for most libraries.-Amy McInerney, Falmouth Elementary School, ME © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* It's been a difficult few weeks for 11-year-old Donut, née Dorothy, since her Pops passed in an accident and her stick-in-the-mud Aunt Agnes moved into their house. Donut wishes she'd just go home and leave her to her taxidermy, Pops' inventions, and her beloved Rand McNally World Atlas. Then the horrible truth is revealed: Aunt Agnes is planning to go back to Boston, but she's taking Donut with her and enrolling her in a stuffy girls school. Rage and desperation surge in Donut, who can't fathom leaving her Vermont town, friends, or memories of her parents behind. When reason, refusal, and a visit from her godfather Sam all fail to persuade Aunt Agnes to let Donut stay, she runs away to an old hunting cabin across the lake, prepared to stay there until her aunt gives up on her for being too much trouble. Written in the third person limited to Donut's perspective, Kalmar's debut has an authentic voice that brings her protagonist vividly to life and lends her struggles with grief an immediacy that belies the 1927 setting. Donut is brassy and flawed but easy to love, especially in light of how much she values friendships and her growing self-awareness. Kalmar doesn't break ground here, but she writes so well that this familiar story feels new.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2018 Booklist
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