Jam & Jelly by Holly and Nellie
Whelan, Gloria. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2002. 9781585361090
Quantitative Reading Level: Reading Level 3.7, Lexile 490
Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book would be Middle Low on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric for Literary Text”. The book has a single layer of complex meaning and a simple structure that follows Holly and Nellie through the spring, summer, and fall. There is a little bit of figurative language and imagery in the description of the seasons and the setting. Although the readers may not be familiar specifically with picking and making jam the story is told simply enough that the intended readers will be easily able to follow the story.
Holly needs a winter coat but her family is poor and her father says she won’t be able to go to school when the weather gets cold because they can’t afford to buy a coat. Holly’s mom, Nellie, worries that Holly will miss too much school and says that maybe they can find some things in the woods for free and make money that way. Through strawberry, Juneberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry season Holly and Nellie pick the various berries and make them into jams and jellies. The story also celebrates the relationship between Holly and her mom and the beautiful surroundings. After all the jams and jellies are made Holly’s father sets up a stand that he made and they sell their product to passersby. Come December Holly has a new coat and can go to school.
Author’s Website: http://gloriawhelan.com/index.html
Personal Thoughts: This was a very sweet story. It not only shows the ingenuity of Holly’s mom but it also portrays the beauty of their surroundings in both the pictures and the language.
Subjects/Themes: Beauty of Simplicity, Self-Reliance
High Interest Annotation: Holly needs a warm coat for the winter. Holly’s mom has an interesting way to get one.