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Book Review: Holding Up the Earth by Dianne E. Gray

Hope, aged 14, became an orphan at age six when her mother died in a car crash.  The backpack they had bought just before the accident became Hope’s hope chest, housing artifacts from her past.  Her most prized possession was her sketchbook.  Hope’s current foster Mom, Sarah, took Hope with her to spend the summer at her childhood home on the prairie in Nebraska with her mother, Anna.  Against her wishes, Hope moved, vowing not to be pressured into adoption.

In Nebraska Anna, Hope’s fun-loving foster grandmother, introduced her to their farm’s history beginning in 1869 when it was first homesteaded. Through a series of diaries Hope learns how three young women, about her age, dealt with the difficulties that faced them across the centuries.  The obstacles in growing crops in first story reminded me of the last book I reviewed, The Worst Hard Times.  It seems that life on the prairie is difficult in any era.

Holding Earth1

Dianne E. Gray weaves 4 stories seamlessly into one novel.  Holding Up the Earth hints at the issues facing foster children, but more than that, it is historical fiction.  As such it is very appropriate particularly for 8th and 11th grade students who study American History.  Its readability level and subject matter would appeal primarily to girls aged 10-14.  Nonetheless, although I’m somewhat older than 14, I enjoyed it as well.

You can learn more about author Dianne E. Gray on her website Prairie Voices.

12 replies »

  1. Thanks for another great review, Marsha. Dianne has a ton of books out. I’m always surprised to read another review of another book by her that I hadn’t known about.

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    • This is a different Dianne Gray. I made the mistake of thinking it was my friend Dianne Gray, but it wasn’t, and she corrected me. It is still such an excellent book, that I had to review it. 🙂

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    • When I got it, I assumed it was you, of course, but wondered why you would be writing that particular setting. It was a great book – not as complicated a plot line, or intriguing, but well worth reading and doing a review. I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely a good read for a female student.

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  2. A book with the breath of the prairie flowing through it- just my thing. Wonderful review. I shall have to dip into this. Beautiful, thank you, cheers,

    AJ Toad

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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