Cover image for Hannah's fancy notions
Hannah's fancy notions
Ross, Pat.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking Kestrel, 1988.
When Hannah sets out to make something special for her sister, who works to support the family, she doesn't suspect the far-reaching consequences of her gift.
General Note:
"Ages 8-11"--Jacket.
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When Hannah sets out to make something special for her sister, who works to support the family, she doesn't suspect the far-reaching consequences of her gift.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. Folk art is a great part of America's heritage. Objects made for utilitarian rather than artistic purposes are admired today for their naive sculptural quality. Ross' fascination with nineteenth-century band and fancy boxes, now seen in museums, was the impetus for this story, in which a real craftswoman named Hannah inspired the heroine's name. The setting is industrialized Massachusetts. Young Hannah is left in charge of her lively siblings while her older sister Rebecca goes to work in the grim textile mills at Lowell. Their father, depressed over his wife's death, relies heavily on capable Hannah, who must deal with the pain of loss and Rebecca's long absences. There's certainly no time left for having fun. But Hannah has a stubbornly resourceful streak, and with Rebecca's birthday coming she enlists Papa's aid to make a bandbox for Rebecca to take to work. The beautiful sturdy carryalls are such a hit with the other factory girls that orders start pouring in, and soon a cottage industry is launched. Utilizing a simple storyline and brief chapters, Ross highlights a lesser-known period in American history with warm and insightful characterization. To be illustrated with 10 black- and-white drawings. PW.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hannah, 10, longs to see her older sister Rebecca return from her mill job in Lowell, Mass. Since their mother's death, their father has gradually stopped supporting the family, and Hannah is left to look after the three younger children. One day, Hannah makes a birthday gift for Rebeccaa bandbox devised out of wallpaper scraps and cardboard. Her father helps her perfect the design, and much to their delight, they drift into business, selling the boxes to working girls who travel home on weekends. Although her father's skillfulness helps, it is Hannah's creative ideas``fancy notions''harnessed with effort and thrift that save the family, giving them something to share. This is a pleasant, consoling story containing several charming vignettes, but it is thinly developed. The action builds slowly and comes to a rather sudden close. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 8-11. (August) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5 Since her mother's death and her older sister's departure to work in the mills at Lowell, Mass., ten-year-old Hannah finds herself in charge of the house and her three younger sisters. She is discouraged by the drudgery and by her father's inability to pull himself from his grief and make a life for the family. Gifted with energy and a lively imagination, Hannah creates a birthday gift for her sister from a pile of wallpaper. In the process, she awakens her father's interest, develops a business, and brings the whole family together again. This inspiring spare tale evokes a clear picture of family life among the working folks of Massachusetts at the turn of the century. It has qualities that are somewhat reminiscent of MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall (Harper, 1985) and joins that book in adding to a strong literature for in-between readers. The pen-and-ink wash drawings convey exactly the right warm family feeling. Sally T. Margolis, The Newport Schools, Kensington, Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.