Bo at Ballard Creek

by Kirkpatrick Hill and LeUyen Pham

"Bo had two fathers and no mothers, and after she got the fathers, she got a brother... read more

"Bo had two fathers and no mothers, and after she got the fathers, she got a brother too. But not in the usual way." Nothing about her family is unusual to Bo, and everything is wonderfully matter-of-fact, in Kirkpatrick Hill's sparkling chapter book set in an Alaska mining town in the 1920s. Five-year-old Bo is being raised by the two men who took her in after her mother, a "good-time girl," gave her up as a baby. Arvid, a Swede, and Jack, an African American, love Bo like she's their own, because she is. They are a tight-knit family and part of the tight-knit community of miners, Eskimos, and others in their small frontier town. Bo loves nothing more than having her fathers tell stories, especially when they're stories about her. But she also helps them cook for the miners, plays with her Eskimo friends, and goes visiting. Each chapter is a vignette with its own dramatic arc in this marvelous choice for reading aloud with a cast of memorable characters. Humor, adventure, and lots of love abound in a book that gives a sense of the challenges of living in such a remote place, and that affirms the essential idea that a family is defined first and foremost by love. (Ages 6-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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