Grandma's Attic Series by Arleta Richardson
Publisher: David C Cook
Publication Date: originally published in the eighties. These editions are re-published Aug. 2011 with new illustrations by Patrice Barton.
Acquired: Received review copies from the books' publicist.
Reason for Reading: next in the series
Canada) - (US) 1980. 2011. 159 pgs. - Continuing along in the same format as the first two books, Arleta is living with her Grandmother and Uncle Roy. Each chapter is an individual story which starts off with Arleta in the present and her grandmother ends up telling her a tale of when she was a little girl in the 1880's. The time frame has moved ahead a little bit from the previous two books though Mabel (Grandma) does go back as far as being six years old; she is mostly 12/13 and the majority of the stories involve her and her best friend Sarah Jane and their life in rural Michigan on a farm. Mabel and Sarah Jane are good girls but they always manage to get themselves into trouble with their fancies and mischief. This time their adventures include a home-made wrinkle cream, trying to get by without wearing their long underwear under their stockings, a week's trip to the city, a surprise birthday party where no one invites the birthday celebrant and eating windfalls (apples) from a neighbours orchard. Wonderful, wholesome stories that will appeal to fans of the Little House or Betsy-Tacy books. These are wonderful examples of Christian fiction, but no religion is no more excessive than that being the way of life for the folks back then. Some stories have no indication they could be classified as Christian while others may have the parents teaching their children a behaviour lesson through scripture. It is all very low key. Think of the Christian element used in the LHOTP TV show. Rating: 4/5
Canada) - (US) 1984. 2011. 159 pgs. - With book four comes a change in format. The book no longer has Arleta listening to stories from Grandma but rather is a story told in the voice of Grandma (Mabel) herself. Each chapter is still an individual vignette unrelated to the others, though mention is occasionally made of past events not only from previous chapters but from previous books. In this book, Mabel talks about the year she and Sarah Jane were in Grade 8 and now that they are growing up, they still manage to get themselves into scrapes from mischievousness but they are more apt to have done something wrong that sits badly on their conscience and their Christian values. This book is a little deeper in the Christian aspect as many of the stories (though certainly not all) the girls are learning where the Gospel and scripture fit into their own lives. I still think these books are laid back enough that non-Christians will accept the characters' religion as part of the story rather than feel as if it is being preached to the reader, as they are not preachy at all, simply wholesome. I really quite enjoyed this one, especially with the new format of a straight story of Mabel reminiscing about her childhood, rather than the back and forth of present to past as in the first 3 books. Rating 5/5
So far I can't find any information on the rest of the series, but I certainly do hope the publisher continues with all ten volumes in the series. Next up from the publishers seems to be a boxed set of these first four books due out in Feb. 2012.