First sentence: On the afternoon of New Year's Day, the long narrow valley where the Fairchilds lived lay gray and frozen and stilled.
Premise/plot: In this final book of the series, the Fairchild family homeschools. Althy, the oldest daughter, homeschools her siblings: Chris, Emma, Debby, and Bonnie. This school semester will last from January to mid April. Normally the children only have one semester per year: August to December. Miss Cora comes to teach the community children each year. But this year, the learning can continue each morning! No one is as excited as Bonnie!
My thoughts: I liked this one. Each month holds another treat. January is for memorizing great thoughts. February is a read aloud of Under the Lilacs. March is for telling 'scary' Indian stories. April is all about surprising their teacher with gifts.
The "Cherokee Joe" chapter was disappointing. Every offensive phrase/word from a checklist of words to avoid at all costs can be found. I am guessing "real live Indian" which is used at least twice is the worst. The family does meet a friendly Native selling baskets door to door. The children eventually come out from cowering under the bed or table. They do like him once they talk to him. This is disappointing but not surprising. At least it does not say the only good Indian is a dead Indian like Little House On the Prairie does.
Bonnie remains my favorite character. Her parents are lovely.
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews