Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Boxes For Katje

Boxes For Katje

Written by Candace Fleming

Illustrated by Stacey Dressen-McQueen

Publisher: Melanie Kroupa Books, 2003

ISBN #: 978-0-374-30922-0

Summary:

Katje's hometown in Holland has been devastated by World War II. They have little to eat, their clothes are worn, and basic necessities such as soap are scarce. When a box arrives for Katje from the Children's Aid Society in America, it is as if Christmas has come early. Katje is grateful for the wonderful things inside--soap, chocolate, and socks. Katje sends a thank-you to Rosie, the American girl who sent the package. Inspired by Katje's thank-you, Rosie begins a campaign to get boxes of needed supplies to everyone in Katje's village. This touching story is based on a true story from the author's mother.

My Thoughts About This Book:

I am always intrigued by stories that involve actual events, and this story was one that I found very inspiring. I had no knowledge of the Children's Aid Society prior to reading this story. I was moved by the generosity of the group of people determined to help Katje and her village.
The illustrations conveyed the emotions and enhanced the mood of the story. I also enjoyed the author's notes at the end of the story where Fleming shared background information about how her own mother participated in the relief efforts by mailing a package to Europe. Her box was the one that reached Katje. Knowing the story behind this story made it even more real and enjoyable.

Review Excerpts:

From Publisher's Weekly: "Fleming 's engaging story of post-WWII Holland serves as a potent and merry lesson in generosity. . .Dressen-McQueen immerses readers in post-war Holland, crafting an entirely credible world of cobblestone streets, Dutch architecture and vintage clothing."

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