Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Susan Beth Pfeffer is the author of Nobody’s Daughter. Emily Lathrop Hasbrouck is an orphan. The middle readers book (ages: 8-12) centers around her. Her mother, a Lathrop dies in childbirth. Her father dies four years later. Great-aunt Mabel Lathrop takes in Emily.
Susan Beth Pfeffer writes of a lonely eleven-year-old girl. She is a one-step higher than a house servant. Great-aunt Mabel considers Emily’s mother foolish for marrying Hasbrouck. She calls the father a white trash drunk. All Emily has in her bleak world are the Methodist lesson instilled in her by Aunt Mabel and the piano lessons taught by Miss James.
Unfortunately, Emily loses her bleak, but familiar surroundings. Aunt Mabel dies and leaves her fortune to the Methodist church not Emily. It is 1905, in Mid-West America, the townspeople send her to the Austen Home for Orphans. There she meets two girls who soon become her friends. Life becomes bearable until a tragedy befalls one of them.
Nobody’s Daughter is a moving tale of a young woman who finds her place in society. She realizes she has worth and able to make a contribution to the world. She may not have family and wealth, but she has herself and inner strength. Every young person needs to connect with their inner strength.
The paperback edition of Nobody’s Daughter has hundred-fifty-three pages. The tween reader (ages 8-12) is the target age group. Nobody’s Daughter is A Yearling Book. Patricia Reilly Giff is a consultant to the series.
Remember Nobody’s Daughter’s target age is between eight and twelve-years-old. The subject matter is unfit for those with a sensitive nature. Many modern girls are unaware of the orphanage system and conditions at the turn of the twentieth century. Austen Home Orphanage directors throw out Emily. Her sister’s adopted father forbids her visiting her sister and runs her out of his town. The book does end on a happy note, but it is no fairy tale. Think of Jane Eyre's orphanage experience in the book of the same name. Younger tweens may find Susan Beth Pfeffer’s story disturbing. Therefore, children under thirteen-years-old may be too young to read Nobody's Daughter.
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