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Grandfather's Dance

Review

Grandfather's Dance

GRANDFATHER'S DANCE begins with excitement as everyone is preparing for the marriage of Anna, the narrator of SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL. Sarah's sisters are on their way, Caleb is returning home, and friends and future relatives soon will arrive for the festivities. The house and barn will be brimming with people, life and joy. A new narrator, Sarah's youngest daughter Cassie, interprets the events.

We find Cassie, a fourth grader, and her five classmates struggling to stay in the one-room school. Prairie smells experienced only on perfect spring days were drifting through the window, and even the teacher was fighting spring fever. With family due to arrive and wedding plans underway, Cassie is more eager than usual to break away from the classroom.

Through her eyes, we watch the changes unfold. Over the next few days her Papa complains about Sarah's three sisters coming, yet rides his horse Zeke into town to buy a car. Grandfather jokingly grumbles about having to sleep in young Jack's room. Jack is Cassie's younger brother, and she chronicles the special relationship between him and their grandfather.

GRANDFATHER'S DANCE conveys the heartwarming relationships among each of the family members. As the wedding preparations are underway, a quiet little story within the story helps readers appreciate the bond between Jack and Grandfather. Author Patricia MacLachlan also carefully prepares young readers for the death of a loved one.

A few sentimental moments offer insight into the relationship Grandfather shares with others, not just Jack. Grandfather provides a wedding for Cassie, explaining that he will never see it, and finds a heartwarming way to apologize for losing his temper and knocking over a chair in front of Jack.

Laughter, love and familiarity found only in a close family highlight the days leading to the wedding. As Cassie observes playful moments through her eyes, we are drawn closer to her special family. On the day of the perfect prairie wedding, MacLachlan's series comes to a nearly perfect conclusion filled with memorable moments, and the loss is beautifully written and woven into the fabric of the family members' lives.

Those who read GRANDFATHER'S DANCE will fondly say thank you and farewell to the Witting family's saga and their true celebration of life.

Reviewed by Patsy Side on September 1, 2006

Grandfather's Dance
by Patricia MacLachlan

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2006
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 006027560X
  • ISBN-13: 9780060275600