Ginger Pye
Eleanor Estes
1951
Newbery Medal

Ginger Pye is about a dog (named Ginger) and his family, the Pye family. Jerry (age 10) and Rachel (age 9) are the two children in the family. Along with their father and mother, they also have a cat. Jerry desperately wants a dog, earns enough money in an unexpected way, buys the exact dog he wants (the smartest dog in the world!), trains him, loves him, goes everywhere with him, and… loses him! (Well, Ginger Pye is actually stolen by an Unsavory Character…).

Ginger Pye is one of those rather timeless stories set somewhere during the first half of the 20th century in some middle-America mid-sized town. It’s a little Leave-it-to-Beaverish in tone, plot, and setting. It makes a nice pleasant read in a heart warming sort of way.

I doubt that 9 and 10 year olds today who are widely read will enjoy this book as much as former generations because it’s such a calm book. That being said, for the right children and in the right setting, it can provide much the same warm fuzzies as the Penderwick children might. The characters are lovable and it will make you wish for the same unfettered childhood that seems to have been the norm back then, but which certainly isn’t the norm now!

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