It’s hard to imagine a time when books were expensive and not readily available, especially for children.
Clara and the Bookwagon by Nancy Smiler Levinson tells the story of Clara, who badly wants to learn to read, but does not have anyone to teach her. Clara lives on a small farm, where there are no schools and where she must work all day. Her papa says there is no time to learn to read.
Then one day, a book wagon stops by their farm. Papa says they cannot afford books, but Miss Mary tells him it’s a library wagon, and Clara can borrow a book at no charge.
Papa still says no. Clara and Miss Mary persist – and finally Clara is able to check out a book to help her learn her alphabet.
Clara and the Bookwagon is a great book for beginning readers – especially for those who aren’t too sure that reading is a necessary skill.
Highly recommended for ages 5-8, depending upon reading level. (It’s an I Can Read Book, Level 3.)