Cover image for R my name is Rachel
R my name is Rachel
Giff, Patricia Reilly.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Wendy Lamb Books, [2011]

Physical Description:
166 pages ; 22 cm
Three city siblings, now living on a farm during the Great Depression, must survive on their own when their father takes a construction job miles away.
Reading Level:
550 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.7 4.0 145482.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.2 9 Quiz: 55281.



Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Rachel, Cassie, and Joey live in the city with their Pop, until Pop's search for work lands the family on a run down farm. Dreamy Rachel loves to read, and doesn't know much about the country. Times are hard there, too--the school and library are closed.  When Pop gets work near Canada, he has to leave the children on the farm alone. For two months! But Rachel's the oldest, and she'll make sure they're all right. Somehow.

Author Notes

Patricia Reilly Giff was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 26, 1935. She knew she wanted to be a writer, even as a little girl. She received a Bachelor's of Arts in Education from Marymount College, a Master's of Arts from St. John's University, and a Professional Diploma in Reading and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hofstra University.

After she graduated from college, she taught in the public schools in New York City until 1960 and then in the public schools in Elmont, New York from 1964 until 1971. She then became a reading consultant before finally, at the age of 40, deciding to write a book. She also worked as an educational consultant for Dell Yearling and Young Yearling Books and as an advisor and instructor to aspiring writers. She is the author of more than 60 children's books, as well as a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers.

Together with her husband, Giff opened "The Dinosaur's Paw," a children's bookstore named after one of her own stories. She is the author of the Polk Street School books. Lily's Crossing, about the homefront during World War II, was named a Newberry Honor Book by the American Library Association as well as an ALA Notable Book for Children. The novel also won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor. Pictures of Hollis Woods was also named a Newberry Honor Book and Nory Ryan's Song was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The Depression has hit Rachel and her family hard. With her father desperate to find work, he decides to move Rachel and her brother and sister to a town where he has the possibility of a job. Their new home, a farm, is a disaster: the house is falling down, there's no electricity, and the bathroom is just an outhouse. On top of that, their cat has run away, the school and library have shut down for lack of funds, and her dear friend, the florist Miss Mitzi, has been left behind in their old town. (If only Pop had asked her to come with.) Worst of all, Pop's job is given to someone else. Then, when it seems like things couldn't get any worse, they do. Pop decides he must leave to take a public works job, leaving the children to get by alone. Simply written, this novel doesn't have the emotional resonance of some recent Depression-era stories like Clare Vanderpool's Moon over Manifest (2010), but readers will root for the kids who seem to face overwhelming odds. The upbeat ending satisfies.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Giff's (Storyteller) plaintive yet heartening historical novel introduces a close-knit family devastated by the Depression. After losing his job in the city, Rachel's widower father moves his children to the country, where, to Rachel's sorrow, the school and library are closed for lack of funds ("I can't even cry. No library: the idea is too big for tears"). Meanwhile, Rachel's father finds work that keeps him away from home for months. Left in charge of her younger siblings-bossy, organized Cassie and reckless, optimistic Joey-12-year-old Rachel struggles to scrape together food and rent money, insisting that they will not ask for help: "I have to do this myself. No, not myself. Ourselves." The children transform their dilapidated farmhouse into a home, plant a garden, and turn for help to the bighearted woman who was Rachel's mentor in the city. Rachel's searing, present-tense narrative exposes her fears, determination, and hopefulness in the face of wrenching challenges. Recurring motifs-color, flowers, and drawings by a neighbor that Rachel discovers in unlikely places-add lyricism to this story of family solidarity. Ages 9-12. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-The 1930s Depression is chipping away more and more at the average American family, and 12-year-old Rachel's is no different from the others. Her father, a single parent, loses his job at the bank and relocates the family from the city to a dilapidated farmhouse in upstate New York. A snowstorm prevents Pop from getting to a bank interview in their town. Rachel and her younger siblings, Cassie and Joey, must fend for themselves when he leaves them for a time to take work building roads farther north. Rachel is extremely disappointed that the school and library are closed because of hard times, and the farm is isolated. Still, the siblings are determined to make a go of it. Rachel's correspondence with her friend Miss Mitzi, who owns the flower shop on her old city block, gives her strength and encouragement. When Cassie loses the money Pop had left for them to buy food and pay rent, she runs away, giving rise to the well-calculated suspense and pathos of the story. Giff's depiction of the children's living conditions, daily activities, and fears and triumphs create a realistic, discussable, thoroughly enjoyable read. The ending is almost too perfectly "happy ever after" yet that is easy to overlook, given this gift to readers, even reluctant ones.-D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.