Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Joshua's Song!

Joshua’s Song by Joan Hiatt Harlow takes place in Boston in 1919. There is an influenza epidemic and many are dying. Sadly, one of those to die of the flu is Josh’s dad. This leaves thirteen year old Josh and his mom to fend for themselves. Left with a lot of debt and many bills they can no longer continue to live the life that they are accustomed to. Josh has to give up going to school and start working and his mom has to take in borders to help pay the bills. To make matters worse, his mom doesn’t want any of their friends to find out Josh is working. When Josh has an encounter with Charlestown Charlie, a paperboy, he becomes involved with the newspaper business. Selling papers on the street is something that Josh has a talent for, but it is hard when he has to give half of his pay to Charlie at the end of each day. Suddenly, tragedy strikes and lives are changed all over Boston. I don’t want to give away the ending, but it is about a part of history I had never heard of!

I would definitely recommend this book to fourth- seventh graders. This book was a quick and interesting read. I like the historical aspects to it and I learned about things I didn’t know about before. Josh is easy to relate to and you can’t help but hope for the best for him. I especially like the fact that the book ends with historical notes. It explains all the parts of the book that are facts and how they were woven into fiction. This book really makes history come to life!

Has anyone else read Joshua’s Song? Or another book by Joan Hiatt Harlow?

*Stop by for our interview with Joan Hiatt Harlow on Friday, July 12th

Happy Reading! ~L

15 comments:

  1. Now you have my curiosity totally piqued and I want to find out the bit of not well know Boston history that so changed people's lives including Josh's. This sounds like a nice work of historical fiction and I will be on the lookout for it at the library. Thanks for reviewing it.

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    1. Alex- You know so much about history that you might already know what happened in Boston- but it was new to me! I hope you find a copy and enjoy it. :) ~L

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  2. Sounds as interesting as it is educational, thanks for recommending it.

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  3. I love a good historical--haven't read this one, but sounds like something I'd love!

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    1. Meradeth- It is a great read! Lots of interesting historical elements. :) ~L

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  4. Loved finding this today. Historical fiction is one of my favorite reads. I really liked that the MC in this book was a 13 year old boy.

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    1. Lee- The MC is great and the story is excellent. A great book for anyone who enjoys HF. :) ~L

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  5. Sounds an interesting read. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Nas

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    1. Nas- You are welcome! Enjoy! :) ~L

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  6. I don't know why but this reminds me a lot of Jackie French's "Nothing to Fear" It feels like it's a lot alike it. It's during the depression era so it's pretty historical too. You girls might like it. I don't think I've ever read a book that has anything to do with the newspaper or even journalism... sounds like it could be a good read for me (:

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    1. Adriana- Joshua's Song is fast and interesting. It definitely made me think. I have never read Nothing to Fear- but I have just added it to my list. Thanks for sharing! :) ~L

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    2. This is Joan Hiatt Harlow, author of Joshua's Song. I will read NOTHING TO FEAR. I believe Jackie French is from Groton, Mass.

      FYI Joshua's Song is often used in Massachusetts Schools. Tufts University donated hundreds OF THIS BOOK to Medford School system. Coincidentally, I graduated from Medford Schools. Nice to know kids there who may be children of my old classmates are reading this story. Very nice of Tufts University, too. :)

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  7. I've never heard of the author or this book, but it sure sounds like a book worth reading.

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    1. Donna- Glad we could introduce you to a new book and author. Joan Hiatt Harlow will be joining us tomorrow. :) ~L

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