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Kindred Souls

Kindred Souls

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Kindred Souls

4/5 (17 avaliações)
72 página
1 hora
Lançado em:
Jun 25, 2013


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.

Lançado em:
Jun 25, 2013

Sobre o autor

Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many timeless novels for young readers, including Newbery Medal winner Sarah, Plain and Tall; Word After Word After Word; Kindred Souls; The Truth of Me; The Poet’s Dog; and My Father’s Words. She is also the author of countless beloved picture books, a number of which she cowrote with her daughter, Emily. She lives in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.

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Kindred Souls - Patricia MacLachlan



The Talk of Birds

My grandfather, Billy, hears the talk of birds. He leans out the open bedroom window with his head tilted to listen in the warm prairie morning.

He tells me the hummingbirds outside speak to him in short, brisk sentences when they fly quickly up and down and around the hanging feeders of sugar water.

Red-tailed hawk, too, announces Billy at the open window of his room. Billy lives with us on the farm that used to be his.

I hear a high whistle outside.

You can’t see that hawk, I say.

Billy smiles. This is our daily joke.

He’s talking to me. Don’t need to see him, says Billy.

What’s he saying?

‘Good day, old man,’ he says. ‘Still alive, I see.’

Billy is eighty-eight years old, and I don’t worry about him dying. He will live forever. I know that.

That redtail isn’t eighty-eight years old, I tell him. "You can’t have been talking to him all these years."

Nope. Talked to his father and mother before him, and all his ancestors way back to the first bird of time, says Billy.

I look at Billy’s large gnarled hands and his wrinkled face and his bush of white hair. I believe him when he says he talked to the first bird of time.

He lives in a sunny room that looks up to the slough that is empty in the summer and filled with water and ducks in the fall. It is a small piece of his old life, like the big prairie that spreads out around is a big piece of his old life.

The day is sunny, and Papa is cutting hay in the far field. His tractor goes around and around, birds flying behind him as he sends up insects and seeds. After the hay dries, my older brother, Jesse, and my sister, Lida, will gather it into windrows for baling. Sometimes I see Lida working by the barn, her corn-colored hair catching the light as she moves.

Funny sound, that tractor, says Billy. We used to plow with horses.

Named …, I prompt him.

Wendell and Jack and Juno and … Billy stops.

Jake! I say, laughing, because that is my name.

Ah yes, Jake, says Billy, pretending he has forgotten.

Mama comes into the room with folded laundry.

Want a cup of tea, Billy? she asks, opening and closing drawers.

Everyone has always called Grandfather Billy, even Mama. Lida and Jesse, too. Jesse calls him Billy the Kid when Billy isn’t listening. Except for my grandmother. When Grandmother Lou was alive, she called him Lamb Chop.

Tea! You know how I feel about tea, Lottie. I smell that coffee in the kitchen, says Billy.

Mama smiles at me.

How many cups of coffee have you had this morning?

Seventeen, says Billy quickly.

Mama laughs.

You know that’s not true. I guess one more cup won’t hurt you. Mama goes to the kitchen for a cup of coffee for Billy.

What are you doing home instead of at school? asks Billy.

It’s summer, Billy.

Oh … so it is. We used to get off school to work in the fields.

Well, now I get off school in the summer to spend time with you.

Billy turns to look at me, his eyes sharp blue. He smiles. Yes, there’s that, he says softly, putting his hard old hand over mine. There’s that.

We are quiet. I love the feel of his hand.

Outside, the hummingbirds flash silently in the sunlight.

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O que as pessoas pensam sobre Kindred Souls

17 avaliações / 16 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (3/5)
    A gentle book about the endearing relationship of 10 yr old Jake and his granfather, Billy. Prairie farm, sod house, family connections
  • (3/5)
    I'm not really sure why this book is listed in the Sarah, Plain and Tall series. It doesn't have any of the same characters, and while it might be the same setting, it's not in the same time period.Young Jake is concerned because his grandfather, Billy, is old and getting sick. Billy wants Jake to build him a sod house like he had in his childhood. Also, a random dog named Lucy shows up and adopts the family. This was a very quick read, and I read it more quickly than I usually do because I was waiting for something to tie back to the Witten family. It deals with the same themes as Grandfather's Dance, but other than that, there's no connection. I was kind of disappointed by that, and am probably not rating this one as I would if I didn't think it was supposed to be part of that series.
  • (5/5)
    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?
  • (4/5)
    As usual, this author is the queen of poignancy. The story of an extended family living on the prairie together, as the eldest mentors the youngest, is tender and sweet.And, in today's world, as this morning I read the local newspaper of a girlfriend harming the three year old child, leaving scars, and, when the father simply said to the judge "It isn't THAT bad!", I couldn't help but wonder just what happen to this society of ours.Feeling old and disheartened, it was good to read a sappy book of a little boy who loves his grandfather, a grandfather who cherishes his grandson, and a family that respects young and old alike.As Jake's grandfather nears 90, he looks back to days of his youth. When a spirited, spunky dog walks into their lives, a dog, a grandfather and a boy spend golden days walking in the fields. While Jake believes his grandfather will live forever, intuitively, the dog, named Lucy, knows days are numbered and stays close to grandfather's side.Grandfather Billy longs for a sodded house, like the one he lived in so long ago. Despite the hard work, when Billy is hospitalized, the family finds a machine that will help cut sod and together they work day and night to build a home for Billy to cherish when he returns.Soft images are painted of an elder man, tears of joy when he embraces his family and their lovely gift, and smiles at a yellow quilt, white-washed walls, a multi-colored carpet, his long ago mother's rocking chair, and a loving dog on the bed.This is a tale of the things we do for those we cherish and the strongest bond -- that of love -- that remains long after the beloved one passes on.
  • (5/5)
    Up there with just a few other books by MacLachlan and some of her friends as profoundly insightful and reassuring and wonderfully exceptional writing for kids. That MacLachlan can do in 119 double-spaced pages what most other writers never accomplish in any of their numerous, burdensome 500 page tomes demonstrates the skill that she possesses. Book and author, two marvels that we might never see surpassed.
  • (3/5)
    This book confused me. The premise is BUILDING A SOD HOUSE. What kind of person does not become breathy and excited at a prospect of a book in which a kid builds a sod house?Okay, that's not really what's supposed to be the premise, which is coming to terms with a grandparent aging, and well, you know, the end result of that. There's also a dog. (But they are also building a sod house.)It's lovely, it's sweet, it's evocative of a rural way of living that is (mostly) in the past ... it also feels very short. Not all books have to be long to be intense, but this is seriously short, like I think there are New Yorker short stories that are longer than this. It's so short I had a hard time feeling any context at all for most of the characters and how they come together as a family. And is any family this lyrical all the time as they go about their daily life?As a kid, I suspect I would have been very uncertain about this, and I don't know if I would have made it far enough to get to the great cozy descriptions of the finished sod house and the grandfather's delight in it. I would have been perpetually thrown by the kids calling their grandfather by his first name. I think my conclusion is that this is a really nice book that didn't click for me.
  • (4/5)
    A simply beautiful story of a boy and his grandfather, and the special dog who comes to them. Set on the prairie where the family has lived for generations, Jake, the youngest and Billy, the eldest, are fast companions. They take daily walks, often to the remains of the old sod house that Billy grew up in and still misses. One evening, a black and white dog comes to the farm. Billy names her Lucy and she becomes his dog. I knew a very sweet Border Collie named Lucy. She would run up and leap into your arms if you let her. Billy asks Jake to build a sod house for him. Jake is unsure, but with the help of his family, they build it while Billy is in the hospital.
  • (3/5)
    Kindred Souls simply and beautifully expresses the process of appreciating the life and coming to terms with the death of a close loved one. The reader feels the struggle of the boy who wants to believe his grandfather will always be around. The ending, however, is disappointing and seems to lack an expected comfort.
  • (4/5)
    Another timeless story from MacLachlan. It tells the story of a child's love for his grandfather. It was a good book and a nice change from the modern adventure stories that are common right now. I would caution that it has some pretty "heavy" themes for younger readers so should probably have a bit of adult guidance.
  • (4/5)
    This book was heart wrenching. Overall I liked it and I think it has good lessons and lots of peace in it for those who might be faced with death. As I started reading it I thought it would make a good early reader but due to subject matter would put it in the 3rd grade and up category.My 3rd grader enjoyed this book and really didn't have much to say about Billy but was more interested in the building of the sod house.
  • (4/5)
    I love the beautifully simple way Patricia MacLachlan tells her stories and this book is no exception. Kindred Souls tells of the special relationship a young boy has with his grandfather and an extraordinary project he undertakes to make his grandfather happy in his last days. This would be a wonderful book to read aloud in a classroom or family reading time. There are good opportunities for discussion throughout. I highly recommend this book.
  • (4/5)
    Patricia MacLachlan has created another story with meaningful characters and finely-drawn relationships. I enjoyed this middle-grade book a great deal, and felt that this represented a sincere and authentic human experience, rather than a simple work of fiction. I have been a fan of her writing for many years, and this book confirmed that admiration.
  • (4/5)
    As a long-time fan of Patricia Maclachlan particularly "Sarah Plain and Tall", I was looking forward to reading "Kindred Souls". The story revolves a young boy, his grandfather, and a stray dog. It's a perfect combination of characters for primary age children. I enjoyed the journey of building the sod house, but wished the author had included illustrations to help young readers visualize the story.Like many of her other works, the book provided an inspirational story without going to the "sappy side." With many books about urban and suburban life, it's nice to read a book with a rural setting for a change.Although I enjoyed the story, I didn't feel like the book was particularly unique or special. However, it was well-written and a nice choice for younger readers that want to get out of the trendy series and pop topics.Like other Maclachlan books, it's a "skinny" books so children who are looking for something short will enjoy it.
  • (3/5)
    88-year-old Billy, the grandfather of 10-year-old Jake, wants a sod house rebuilt. He explains to Jake that they are "kindred souls." With the help of an old book on sod houses, the family sets out to build Billy a sod house while he is recuperating in the hospital. There's a dog that is important to the story as well. If you are looking for something with the same spark of the author's Sarah, Plain and Tall, this book will not meet your expectations. If you want a nice story about his boy and his grandfather, this would work well for young readers. My biggest criticism is that the book really needed some line illustrations to truly appeal to the target reader age. This book was received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with the expectation that a review would be written.
  • (5/5)
    Ages 7 and up 1 or 2cd grade.Very well done story of a boy's relationship with his grandfather near the end of his life. Billy, is 88 and has lived his enitre life on the farm. He shares those memories of his early life in a sod house with his grandson Jake. Things begin to change when Lucy a stray dog appears and adopts Billy. She doesn't disappoint, Print is large enough for first graders.
  • (5/5)
    Kindred Souls by Patricia MacLachlan is the 6th book inthe Sarah plain and Tall series. Grandpa "Billy" is 80 years old and Jake is his youngest grand son, and daily companion.Billy wants Jake to build a soddy, like the one he was born in. Grandpa gets sick and goes to the hospital. While he's there the whole family helps Jake build the sod house.