Children's Book of the Week: Taking Charge

by | Sep 22, 2008 | Children's Book of the Week | 0 comments

Taking Charge by Sonia Levitin, illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith

This is one of those children’s books where the author clearly understands kids (and sort of makes me feel like I don’t). I like the book ok, and I think it’s a nice story, but there’s something about it which seems to resonate deeply with my boys and their friends. It’s the story of Amanda and her family who live about a hundred years ago or so (more? I’m not good at that kind of thing). Their grandmother has an accident and the mother goes to take care of her, leaving Amanda in charge of chores and of her littlest brother, Baby Nathan. Baby Nathan continually gets into good-natured trouble, and Amanda is exhausted trying to deal with him. Finally she makes him a boy doll and a horse doll, and those keep him occupied so that she can get things done. Throughout, there’s also the thread of Amanda not wanting to ask for help, of proving she’s responsible enough to handle it all, until finally she’s faced with a situation where she has to ask for help. I don’t know if it’s the kid-in-charge aspect which speaks to the boys, or Baby Nathan’s misadventures, but they want to hear it again and again and again.


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