Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
seems young Elspet Mary has known nothing but loss. First her mother died, then her father, leaving her in the care if her aunt and uncle. With them, she has moved from one lonely Scottish village to another, and now, just as she is beginning to feel at home, she is being torn away again, to move to rugged Upper Canada. What awaits her in the strange new land? What will become of her grandmother, left behind in Scotland, and her beloved cat? Will she finally find a place to call home, a place where she belongs? Told in Jean Little's inimitable voice, this moving coming-of-age story explores loss, loneliness and love-and the universal search for a place to belong.
About the author
Jean Little was born in Taiwan in 1932. Her parents were both doctors. Jean grew up in Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto. She was born with a severe eye problem and is severely visually impaired. A special "talking" computer assists her with her writing. She has a retired seeing-eye dog named Ritz and a new one named Pippa, with whom she travels. The author focuses on her experiences from the time she was a child through young adulthood in her autobiography, Little by Little, and continues her story in Stars Come Out Within. The books, which will appeal to children 10 and older, are both humorous and poignant as Jean describes living with a disability and the ridicule she sometimes experienced as a result, as well as her love for the world of reading and books. Jean's books include From Anna, Listen for the Singing, Stand In The Wind, Mama's Going To Buy You a Mockingbird, Hey World, Here I Am!, Look through My Window, Emma's Yucky Brother, The Belonging Place, and Mine For Keeps. Listen for the Singing was the Canada Council Children's Literature Award winner in 1977. Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird was the CLA Book of the Year in 1985.
Jean Little's first book, Mine for Keeps, won the Little, Brown Children's Book Award in 1962 and was republished by Viking Penguin in 1995. It tells the story of Sally Copeland, a 10 year old with cerebral palsy, and her adjustment to being home after spending several years in a special school. You'll find that several of the themes in this book appear in a number of the author's other books: dealing with a handicap and the responses of others, fitting in, and adjusting to new situations and surroundings.