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The short version: Reading this made me happy. The more analytical version: I’m adding the book to my list of “stories that demonstrate parenting norms in different times and places,” because nothing teaches perspective like seeing how others successfully did things differently than we do today. I find it interesting that it happens to illustrate both strengths and weaknesses of the WWII-era tendency to give children tremendous freedom. On the one hand, a neighbor boy “gets away” with bullying b...
AHHH! I used to LOVE these books. I need to track them down and read them again, but I am afraid that my older eyes and world-ravaged soul will not love them as much as I used to. Dramatic? Maybe a little. But this is the first book in three about the cutest little family. I think these even might be out of print...my mom somehow scored them for us and I will be forever grateful that she read them to us when we were little.
It is July, 1943 and John Mitchell, father of the five Mitchell children and an electrical engineer, has just left from Union Station in Washington, D.C. to join his ship.Back home, the three older Mitchell children, Joan, 10 1/2, Patsy, 8, Peter, 6, along with two friends decide to form the Five for Victory Club to help with the war effort. The purpose of the club is to help people who need it, to collect scrap and bottles, to help in their mother's victory garden, and even to do some babysitti...
A Piece of Salted CaramelI was in the middle of reading Swallowdale (the sequel to Swallows and Amazons, written by Arthur Ransome) when we left for Croatia. My mother most (un)graciously told me that no, I couldn’t bring Swallowdale along because I would finish it in one night, so I picked The Mitchells off the shelf and stuffed it in a bag.The Mitchells, by Hilda Van Stockum, is a story about five children, Joan, Patsy, Peter, Angela, and Timmy, who live during WWII. When their father goes to
The kids loved this one and can't wait to go on to the next story in the series. I liked it a lot, but a few coincidences stretched credulity for me as an adult. Van Stockum is great at identifying the little things that matter so much to kids, but I admit this one didn't captivate me as much as my beloved childhood favorite, The Winged Watchman.
Precious story about five children growing up during WWII. Humorous, touching, and sweet. The kids & I looked forward to reading it every day!
This book is very cute! It's a fun look at civilian life during World War 2, when so much literature focuses on the Holocaust, soldiers, and female flight nurses - and we know there were more people than that! We appreciate that it was written by someone who actually lived in that time, which means you get the real story. Plus, it features a family of very realistic children, and Hilda is so good at giving personalities to little ones.What we loved: The family. The children get along well, in a
My mom read this book to us growing up, and I still love it. Coming from a family much like the Mitchells, I can relate to a lot of what happens. However, it takes the author's deft and unassuming style to bring it all to life. The writing sparkles with realism, wit, and genuine insight into the lives of children. Absolutely delightful! This is practically the definition of comfort reading for me.I can still relate so well to Joan and Patsy, and I just love happy-go-lucky Peter. This time readin...
The Mitchell Family is a true delight! A true story based on Hilda van Stockum's own life during WWII. She does as wonderful a job sharing the hardships of war on a family as Laura Ingalls Wilder does sharing the hardships of pioneer life in Little House on the Prairie. The children are whimsical, the troubles are conquered with brave hearts and the war is seen through children’s eyes only in the manner in which it affects them personally with food rations, father and uncle abroad, victory garde...
This is a story about a family living in Washington DC during WWII. The five children are determined to support the war effort while Daddy and Uncle Jim are away fighting in Europe. Their V for Victory club takes on a range of patriotic duties, from saving soap (though Mother had views on that one), to painting the lodger's room, to cleaning the neighbour's yard - meeting a mysterious orphan princess in the process. This isn't a war story in the usual sense, but the impact of the war on the fami...
My mom read this book to my siblings and me when I was a child. Now that I have a son, I've been re-visiting books from my childhood and was delighted to find this novel to be full of sympathetic characters with zest for the goings-on in their lives on the homefront while their father is away at war. The children are quite realistic; flawed, and not at all sentimentalized (well, with the exception of the war refugee "Una," who has an air of a fairy tale character, but with good reason as the Mit...
Such a fun kids' book. It was laugh out loud funny in places. I found the ending to be a bit predictable, but I think that's coming from me as an adult. I'm sure that as a kid I'd have been shocked by the turn of events. While I read this on my Kindle, the book is still in print and available in hard copy. My only complaint to that end is the cover. It's just ghastly. I know you're not "supposed" to judge a book by its cover, but we all do it, and certainly kids do. I think I'd have a hard time
Good, ole' Bethlehem Books! That publisher supplied many good books to my childhood reading days. I had forgotten about this series! While the author's Bantry Bay series will be my favorite, the Mitchells series is still a fun read. Set in World War II and based on the author's family, the story is full of lessons on family and filled with humorous events. The Mitchells is great for family read aloud or kids who love to read fun, uplifting books.
This was probably my favorite series from childhood! I have re-read all of the books multiple times (there are two more after this one). I think they are out of print but I don't know why because they are so cute. It also is a great book for teaching about the home front during WWII. If you want to read a good book that teaches great values with your family, this is an awesome bet.
I first read this book when I was 9 years old. Years later my brother and I read it aloud to our family.Follow the lively and entertaining Mitchell children (all of 5 of them) in their exciting adventures, in the house, outside, in the neighbors yard, etc. This lovely book has two sequels Canadian Summer, and Friendly Gables that I recommend as well.
Reviewed for the Logos Library. The children in this story are somewhat undisciplined due to the fact their father is gone to fight in WWII. Parents should take this into account as well as the date it was written: 1945; children today cannot run around the whole town and play in other people's yards, etc. It did remind me of my own childhood and the freedom we had!
It was okay. I can see 10-year-old Ellie loving this book if I'd had it when I was 10, but now, all I can see are the extremely sexist overtones of the story, which wasn't cool. It was just written in 1945 and you can tell. Good for the family who loves old quaint books. Maybe a good read-aloud for Grandma?
This is a really fun book for children, and an easy way to introduce history into their reading. For adults though, it is a frustrating example of the mass idiocy of our own society, and an example of the fact that asinine behavior and sheep-like gullibility is hardly limited to our own generation. Your typical world war two fiction, essentially.
This is primarily just a fun book to read, and all ages can enjoy it. I would have to say that just about everyone can find someone in the story that is very similar to, or dead on one of the characters in the book.
This was my second time reading it aloud. First time I read it to Paul, and this time to both Paul and Lila now that Lila is in first grade. We love the Mitchells. They are a wonderful family to emulate and very entertaining.
We read this book when the girls were in early elementary school and it has a special place in our hearts!
This book never gets old, even after the 4th time through!! Love it every time
Fun. Captures a slice of life of early 1940s US.
10YO girl liked a lot.
Great fun! I especially related to this book since my family is from the Washington, D.C. area.
Hilda van Stockum does it again. Great read-aloud. My kids and I loved the “Cottage at Bantry Bay” series and this one did not disappoint. We are all looking forward to the rest in the series.
A story of 5 children at home during WWII. Realities without overemphasis."Joan wondered why it was that Uncles and Fathers were so noticeable when they were home and Mothers and Grannies when they were away. Perhaps it was because uncles and fathers were more exciting and mothers and grannies more necessary.""The trouble with mothers is, that they never give you a chance to be nice to them, they're too unselfish"
Fun for the whole family. I highly recommend as a read aloud. Or for independent readers.
Really cozy book, I used to love it as a kid. Just re-read it to escape the COVID times :)
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.The Mitchells (also called The Mitchells: Five for Victory) is the first of three family stories about fictionalized versions of author Hilda Van Stockum, her husband, their children, and the children's grandmother. The story begins with Father going off to fight in World War II, and the family being left behind in their Washington, D.C. home with very specific instructions not to get a dog. The five Mitchell children - Joan, Patsy, Peter, An...