Title: Gravedigger’s Daughter: Growing Up Rural by Debra Raye King
Date Published: November 1, 2022 Publisher: WWA Press
Reviewed byKathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel
Gravedigger’s Daughter: Growing Up Rural is a beautifully written story of life in rural Wisconsin. The author, Debra Raye King, recalls life on the family farm and shares her memories of helping her father who was in charge of taking care of the nearby cemetery. King’s words display the respect and caring that she learned from this important work.
She captures the carefree joy she experienced as she and her twin sister played games in the hay mow with visiting cousins and friends. My heart warmed as she explained how the older kids always watched out for those younger and made sure to keep them safe. It was their responsibility and they took it seriously. They learned life lessons about helping others.
I particularly enjoyed the scenes explaining the family visits to the local general store. It brought back memories of my own as she described purchasing penny candy or 45s of some of the popular singers. So many memories that brought so much happiness to youngsters.
But life on the farm was not all play. King explains how she and her sister had chores they were expected to complete. The two girls had different personalities and different interests. While the author preferred to work outside tending to the animals and working the fields, her sister often helped with indoor work.
Gravedigger’s Daughter: Growing Up Rural is a touching visit to the past that wraps the reader in memories, family traditions, simple pleasures, and love of life.
Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel enjoys writing for children. She is the author of a middle-grade book, Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, and Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution, highlighting little-known women and their role in America’s fight for independence. She also has two picture books Three Little Ghosts, and Whoo, Whoo, Who’s Out There?
Waldvogel is on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Writers Association, and belongs to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as writing groups in Wisconsin and Arizona.
Wisconsin Writers Association
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