Book Review: Nettie Parker’s Backyard by C V Smith


Publisher: Avid Readers Publishing Group – June 2011

ISBN of e-book – 2940012200334

Genre: children’s/Fiction/Historical Fiction

Nettie Parker’s Backyard is a WWII historical-fiction novel for 4th-7th graders. The book tackles important lessons against bullying and intolerance toward race, religion, and the physically challenged. The title character has experienced prejudice as an African-American growing up in the 1920’s American South. Later, while studying nursing in London, a blitzkrieg bombing forces Nettie to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. But Nettie Parker is strong and never gives up. The values of dedication, commitment, and love come across clearly to the reader as she cares for eight Jewish refugee children. Nettie has inherited some special gifts, one of them supernatural signs which always lead her in the right direction toward helping others. To keep the audience captivated, the story’s values and ethics are woven into the plot with ribbons of mystery and mysticism. When statues suddenly begin appearing in Nettie’s backyard, she is driven to find the reason why, and in the process discovers that love truly is the greatest force of all in a surprise, twist ending.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a very good book for children exploring the subjects of discrimination, disability, racial prejudice, religious prejudice, realities of world war II, and refugees.
This is done in an easy to read style. A conversation between Aunt Nettie and Halley, a school girl who has lessons with Aunt Nettie.

It tells the story of Aunt Nettie’s move to England to study nursing, the war years, Nettie’s relationship with her husband, the care taken of 8 refugees with Constance Pemberton and Aunt Netties ‘gift’.

Children will enjoy the story

English: Refugee, Bristol Cathedral. This stat...

English: Refugee, Bristol Cathedral. This statue – Refugee was created by Naomi Blake, and is dedicated to the victims of racial prejudice. It is within the grounds of Bristol Cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and learn something about relationships, moral behaviour and history.

I really enjoyed this book but it was let down by one editing issue throughout the book. There is a lot of superfluous bold type, this doesn’t seem to serve a purpose and is distracting while you read.

For this reason alone I give the book 4/5 stars instead of 5.



~ by adelesymonds on August 15, 2012.

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