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The hundred-year barn
2019
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Summary

Newbery Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachlan's poignant text and award-winning artist Kenard Pak's gentle and rustic illustrations paint the picture of a beautiful red barn and the people who call it home.

One hundred years ago, a little boy watched his family and community come together to build a grand red barn. This barn become his refuge and home--a place to play with friends and farm animals alike.

As seasons passed, the barn weathered many storms. The boy left and returned a young man, to help on the farm and to care for the barn again. The barn has stood for one hundred years, and it will stand for a hundred more: a symbol of peace, stability, caring and community.

In this joyful celebration generations of family and their tender connection to the barn, Newbery Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Kenard Pak spin a tender and timeless story about the simple moments that make up a lifetime.

This beautiful picture book is perfect for young children who are curious about history and farm life.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 2--MacLachlan's gift for portraying bucolic bliss returns in this account of a 1919 barn raising and the narrator's experiences with the building as years pass. When Jack is five, his community gathers for the framing, building, raising, and painting of what his father dubs the Hundred-Year Barn. Meanwhile, youngsters play in a stream, chow down at celebration feasts, and share scary story at sleepovers in the barn. The narrator ages, assuming tasks of responsibility for the structure and its residents. Sweeping the barn as an adult, Jack discovers a fallen nest containing the wedding ring his father lost during the barn build. Pak applies gouache, pencil, ink, and digital media for folksy illustrations that offer warm gold overtones, and complement the narrator's ever-red cap. Fox, possum, cat, dog, and mouse each meander into the story with winsome expressions, adding to the serene mood. VERDICT This story's poetry and pace are mellow, ideal for a quiet time.--Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Booklist Review
MacLachlan pays tribute to a symbol of the American farm as she relates changes and growth in a family over the last century. The narrator, who was five years old in 1919, reminisces about the building of his family's barn from the foundation to its finishing touch of bright red paint. The barn is central to the lives of the farm family: it houses livestock, equipment, and harvested crops, but also offers shelter to owls, swallows, mice, and cats. It is the setting for weddings and generations of children's hayloft slumber parties as well as the birth of farm animals. Time passes and the storyteller always wearing a red cap that makes him easy to spot in the illustrations leaves home to attend school but returns to take over the farm. Watercolor, gouache, pencil, ink, and digital media in browns, tans, and cinnamon, enable the red of the cap and the barn to stand out. The solid building at the heart of the farm offers comfort and continuity in the life of a family.--Maryann Owen Copyright 2010 Booklist
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