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Kindred Souls Hardcover – Jan 20 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen (Jan. 20 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060522976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060522971
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #943,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“An intense, rewarding read.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“It’s rare to find a children’s book that deals so well with death as part of life, offering kids an effective approach to coping with sadness that incorporates humor, love and joy.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“MacLachlan handles a familiar theme with grace, providing a lens into an uncanny intergenerational bond, as well as the kindness and generosity of love.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“These are time-sculpted themes-the bond between a child and a grandparent, a child’s first experience of death, the comfort of continuity and connection to the natural world—and MacLachlan gives them her particular stamp of plain speaking and poetry.” (The Horn Book)

“The quiet rhythms of the story and the gentle banter of the dialogue make this an ideal group read aloud, but plenty of young readers will simply find it the perfect book to curl up with on their own.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))

From the Back Cover

Jake’s grandfather, Billy, hears the talk of birds, is eighty-eight years old, and is going to live forever. Even when Billy gets sick, Jake knows that everything will go on as always. But there’s one thing Billy wants: to rebuild the sod house where he grew up. Can Jake give him this one special thing?

From beloved author Patricia MacLachlan comes a poignant story about what we do for the ones we love, and how the bonds that hold us together also allow us to let each other go.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
MacLachlan helps readers understand life's cycles March 22 2012
By Elisabeth - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a fan of "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and the many others in this genre that Patricia has written, I eagerly put my name on the HOLD list at our public library. Since I am a private school librarian, I carefully screen all books before ordering them, and this sometimes means I "shop" in the public library.

As quickly as I could after I finished reading the story (and wiping a tear or two away, and thinking about the story), I ordered a copy for our school. Not only does MacLachlan handle death in a gentle, understanding way, but she has given us a story of relationships: family, community, intergenerational, even inter-species (Lucy, the dog).

Thank you, author!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
sweet story Feb. 16 2012
By Melissa Sack - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Jake's grandfather is getting old. He ends up getting really sick. Jake knows that a dream his grandfather has is to rebuild his childhood sod house. Jake decides that he will do his best to make that dream come true. He is able to do this with the help of his family.

My favorite part of this book was when the family dog was allowed to stay with the grandfather at the hospital. The dog visits with the other patients and makes them feel better too. The only thing that I did not like about it was that it had a sad ending.

I would recommend this book to others. The story was really good.

Evamarie age 8
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Circle of Life July 16 2013
By Litterarum Studiosus - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Jake and his eighty-eight-year-old grandfather, Billy, are kindred souls. They share a special bond, and Billy always tells Jake about the sod house in which he grew up, the foundation of which still rests in the prairie around the family's farm. So when Billy asks Jake to build him a new sod house, Jake knows that he will--with Billy's "Angel Dog" Lucy at his side--even though Billy becomes ill.

Beloved children's author Patricia MacLachlan crafts a poignant and tender story with "Kindred Souls." The subject matter is nostalgic and deep, and the language contains farming terminology such as "slough" and "windrow." The story itself exudes sadness and follows a basic plotline in which little occurs but which is nevertheless touching. Children who have enjoyed a close relationship with a grandparent or other adult will understand "Kindred Souls" and will likely develop a greater appreciation of memories, dreams, and time spent with loved ones. Be prepared, however, because despite its short length, this book will leave a lasting impression and a sense of melancholy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful story Feb. 27 2013
By Good Books Only! - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved McLachlan's story. Her setting and characters are heart-warming, as always. And her spare style is at times refreshing, albeit a bit too truncated in parts. She has a way of bringing the reader back to simpler times, wholesome times, times when simplicity and integrity counted as merit, and the tradition of American family and values was honored.
Beautiful and Powerful July 14 2013
By CC Thomas - Published on
Format: Hardcover
MacLachlan has quickly risen to the top of my favorite author list. Her prose is like the finest poetry, no less powerful for its brevity. Indeed, I marvel that she is able to pack such emotion and meaning into such few words, like a little packet of word dynamite.

Jake and Billy are kindred souls, more than just grandson and grandfather. They're always together and always know just what to say to each other. But, on a walk around their farm one day, Billy starts reminiscing about the old sod house where he grew up. He tells Jake he would love to see the old sod house again, rebuilt on the same spot. Jake is resistant to the idea and doesn't quite know why. Jake, and his brother and sister, resist Billy's request until Billy is taken to the hospital and they realize they don't have much time left with him, that the sod house might be his last request of them ever.

I'm not sure why this has not yet been nominated for 1000 awards yet; it surely deserves to! I did have some students confused by the way the story is narrated. They couldn't figure out that 'Billy' was the grandfather. "Why not just call him 'grandfather', then?" they wanted to know. Other than that, they all said they loved the story, too. The ending was so sad and so beautiful. It is a story that can sensitively teach about the loss of a grandparent, the importance of family connections and how multi-generational families work.