Lucky Beans

by Becky Birtha and Nicole Tadgell

Marshall Loman is tired of having beans for dinner night after night. But Marshall’s... read more

Marshall Loman is tired of having beans for dinner night after night. But Marshall’s father, like so many others during the Depression, is unemployed and beans are inexpensive. Although he’s starting to hate them, Marshall discovers having a lot of beans in the house can come in handy when it comes to winning a contest. “How many beans are in the jar? Win this brand new sewing machine!” If anyone knows beans, it’s Marshall and his family. Using estimation, Marshall and his family determine how many beans can fit in a quart jar and how many quart jars would fill a jar the size of the one in the contest, coming up with a number that wins them the sewing machine (in spite of one community member’s protest that they can’t enter because they are Black) and , to Marshall’s dismay, a year’s supply of beans. This heartwarming tale, based on the author’s grandmother, captures a caring African American family working together and having fun, despite economic hardship. (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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