That Scatterbrain Booky is simply wonderful, and much of the wonder, the pleasure (even if it is sometimes also painful and sad) comes from the fact that the novel (just like the rest of the trilogy) strives to be realistic, often even brutally realistic, presenting a real and utterly believable mirror of what life was often like during the Great Depression, especially for working-class families like the Thomsons (not being able to pay the rent, being dependent on social welfare, not having enough food for the family, actually arguing about and debating wether it might not be better to put an expected baby up for adoption). However, because of the rather heavy themes (the poverty, the family arguments, and especially the fact that there are instances of physical abuse as well as physical discipline described in That Scatterbrain Booky), the novel might be better suited for slightly older children (say above the age of ten or eleven).
I loved this book about ten-year-old Beatrice and her family during the Great Depression in Toronto, Canada in 1932-33. After Booky is Jakey, whom Booky at first resented (she having been the baby of the family for six years) but then came to love. Booky's extended family also populates the book, just as they populate Toronto and the surrounding area. I thought how jolly it must be to have so many aunts and uncles working all over the city, seeing them as you go shopping or ride the streetcar (and, best of all, when they work at the fair and get you onto rides for free!) but I think my favorite of the extended family were Grandpa Thompson, for his quiet wisdom and abounding love, and Aunt Milly with her warm, cheerful and giving nature--as Booky said, Aunt Milly was one of those people who could joyously shout "I love you!" as you headed off down the street, not caring who heard ;-) The sense of place in this story is just wonderful. Booky's own family was also such a connundrum--on the one hand, her father never liked to accept hand-outs and felt better getting the "pogey" (social welfare) pay when he did some work for it, yet her mother would take a trial rn of a washing machine from the department store, knowing full well she wouldn't keep it, then return it for her money back at the end of the trial. I gather that this is a fairly autobiographical book, and I think it's easy to see why it's dedicated "To Mum and Dad, who loved me." Highly recommended.
I read this book in this omnibus edition: Booky: A Trilogy. Ill bet if the events in the book took place in the U.S. and not in Canada, our near neighbor, my library would have the book. The photographs of people and places and things and events from the time, including some of the author when young, really added to my pleasure of reading the story. Its ridiculous that just because this books events take place in Canada and its by a Canadian author, that it so difficult to obtain in the U.S. My library should have this edition (it has no Booky books) and I think Ill recommend they purchase it for lending out. If Id read this when I was 9, 10, 11 it would have been one of my favorite books.
I LOVE reading about Toronto in the 1930s.
I enjoyed this book for its honest depiction of the trials of family life during the depression.
I've read all the books in the Booky series, but obviously, the first one is the best.
The "new house" was on Cornell Avenue and she went to Birchcliff Public School, but most of her childhood and teens were spent on Lavinia, which is why Swansea claims her for their own. Montgomery said, "A writer must have higher education -- it is imperative that you go to University." The young hopeful went away dejected. When her own children were small, Bernice wrote for them an ongoing story about their lives in Millbrook, Ontario with themselves as heroines. (Her first manuscript, Kimberley of Millpond, has been published 55 years later in 2010 by her daughter.) Her stories were written in longhand because Bernice didn't own a typewriter. After that she wrote and published numerous stories for children in magazines and anthologies and then went on to publish 17 novels. Bernice's novels, especially the "Booky" trilogy, are autobiographical in nature. Because the setting and tone of her novels accurately capture the past, she was acknowledged by the Toronto Historical Society and her books are used in history as well as language programs in schools.