Friday, June 19, 2009

A Gathering of Days

Author: Joan W. Blos
Originally published : 1979 (Prentice Hall)
Length: 144 pages
Awards: Newbery Medal 1980
Personal Enjoyment Rating: 3/5
Amazon Rating: 3/5 (40 Customer Reviews)
Goodreads: 253 ratings, 3.64 average rating

This Newbery winner is exactly what the title suggests--a gathering of journal entries throughout the course of over a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old New Hampshire girl named Catherine. Because it has the feel of an authentic diary of the time period, this would be great in an educational sense to give students a picture of life in the 1830's. Details about the food, traditions, household chores, etc. were interesting. As a story, however, it seemed rather flat. I kept expecting the story to take off in certain directions (like more about the "mysterious phantom" that Catherine leaves the quilt for) and then being disappointed when I realized that wasn't what the story was about! But I don't think that's what the author intended. From the author's note at the end I gather that she primarily wanted to provide a close-up view of life back then. And if the story is a little boring, well, so is life more often than not.


  1. I'm considering reading this one for the birth year category in the Take a Chance challenge.

  2. That challenge looks like so much fun! I have printed out a paper that I keep in my purse for when I go to the library with the list on it. I still haven't had a chance to pick any out yet.