Back of Book:
Eliza Wheeler’s gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of what happens when six-year-old Marvel, her seven siblings, and their mom must start all over again after their father has died. Deep in the woods of Wisconsin, they find a tar-paper shack. It doesn’t seem like much of a home, but they soon start seeing what it could be. During their first year, it’s a struggle to maintain the shack and make sure they have enough to eat. But each season also brings its own delights and blessings–and the children always find a way to have fun. Most importantly, the family finds immense joy in being together, surrounded by nature. And slowly, their little shack starts feeling like a true home–warm, bright and filled up with love.
I received a copy of this picture book from Nancy Paulsen Books in exchange for an honest review.
Every year I teach a unit on pioneers. When I read the description of Home in the Woods, I knew it would be an excellent addition to my lessons on how pioneers lived.
Eliza Wheeler tells the story of her grandmother’s childhood in the woods of Wisconsin. Marvel and her seven siblings and their mother no longer had a home and soon after, her father died of cancer. They trudged into the woods and found an abandoned tar paper home. The first year is difficult, but the family finds joy in small things. Through their courage and perseverance, the family makes their small house a home. The illustrations are nothing short of stunning. The blend of muted and bright colors allow readers to see the details on each page.
I loved that Eliza weaved in a message of the importance of family, and hard work. The back of the book has a note from Eliza where she shares more about her grandma.
This is a terrific book to share in the classroom for any pioneer unit. It is a beautiful look at how when family comes together, anything is possible.
Ages 5 and up