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Peanut Butter For Cupcakes: A True Story From The Great Depression

Press: Wasteland Press (June 16, 2008)
Author Name:Aviles, Donna Nordmark


A 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist, PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES is a true story from the Great Depression for ages 9 through adult. 
As the stock market crashes in October of 1929, Oliver fears for his job at the silk mill.
When his nightmare comes true and the mill shuts down, Oliver is hesitant to allow his wife, Estella, to take a job at the local coffee shop.
When he finally gives in, with tragic results, Oliver and his children struggle to survive as the Great Depression takes it grip on the country.
PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES is the true story of the Nordmark children.
Their father Oliver is the subject of the author's first books, FLY LITTLE BIRD, FLY! and BEYOND THE ORPHAN TRAIN.
Find out what lies ahead for May, Bud, Oliver Jr., Margaret, Jim and Benny as they learn their life lessons from a father who never had a parent of his own.
Life with Oliver is full of fun and adventure one moment but marked with poverty and abandonment the next.
A story that will leave you with a deeper understanding of what life was like during the 1930's and how "boys will be boys" even in the hardest of times!


Children's Books,Biographies,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Family Life

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Comment List (Total:7)

  •     Although it is meant to be the third and final installment in Donna Nordmark Aviles's "Orphan Train" series, Peanut Butter for Cupcakes stands alone as a fine historical fiction novel depicting the real life experiences of a Pennsylvania family living through the Great Depression. Oliver Nordmark (the author's real life grandfather) grew up without parents of his own. Orphaned at a young age, he was shipped out west via the "orphan train" movement and given away to a Kansas couple as a cheap farm laborer. As depicted in the first two books of this series, Oliver passes through the hands of several families without ever completely being a part of one.As Peanut Butter for Cupcakes opens, Oliver is a grown man with a wife and six children living in the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania. When Oliver loses his job and a tragic accident takes the life of his wife, he struggles to support his children and ultimately has to seek help from the same Child Services organization which once sent him out as a farm hand. PB for C focuses mainly on the life of Oliver's children as they try to stick together through various foster care arrangements, as well as Oliver's attempts to make a living and take his children back into his own care.The title refers to the youngest Nordmark's attempt to trade a peanut butter sandwich (which was his lunch everyday) for a sweet, scrumptious cupcake brought by another student to school. The effort fails, and yet Benny Nordmark doesn't give up hope that someday he might be able to turn his "peanut butter life" into a "cupcake." Benny and his brothers are lively and rambunctious. Although readers will find some of their foster parents harsh and unkind, it is also obvious that the Nordmark brood were a handful. Schoolyard pranks, horseplay with rifles, and accidentally setting a field on fire are just some of the hijinks these rascals get up to. Interspersed with the boys' pranks and the rough life in foster care are heartwarming stories of the Nordmark family during time with their father, such as when Oliver drives the family to visit the World's Fair, even though they cannot afford to do anything but look.This book is highly recommended as a study of life in the Great Depression through historical fiction.

  •     This is the true story of the six Nordmark children who grew up during the Great Depression. Their mother dies in a tragic accident shortly after the youngest child is born and they are left with only their father, Oliver. Life with Oliver is full of fun and adventure one minute but marked with poverty and abandonment the next. Times are hard - money and work are scarce - but still the children find ways to have fun and get into all sorts of mischief.I read the first two books by this author which tell the true story of Oliver and his brother Edward who were orphaned as young boys and placed on one of America's orphan trains from NYC to Kansas in search of a home. I really enjoyed those two books so I was anxious to read the next one and Peanut Butter For Cupcakes was just as good! I especially like that there is an epilogue to tell you what happens to each of the children after the story ends. There are also lots of photographs of the children and the places in the story. I think that reading about history through the stories of real people is a great way to learn about the past - much better than textbooks!

  •     Donna Nordmark Aviles does a wonderful job portraying the lives of children fromthe Nordmark family growing up in the Great Depresssion. This is a story that readers of all ages can enjoy. People today just don't realize what many families went through during this period in US history. The fact that these children grewup and became productive members of society should be an inspiration to today's youth. I highly recommend this book.Judy S. Walter, author

  •     Very good book for my daughter!

  •     This book is nothing like anything I have ever read about the Great Depression. Other books that I have read deal with families who did what they had to to survive and make the best of the Depression. This book tells the story of one family who were presented with setback after setback and endured possible separation because of a one parent household. This book is sad and at the same time gives a look into the strength of the human spirit and the fight to live. If you are interested in learning about the Great Depression through the eyes of a relative of this family, this is the book for you.

  •     This book was very boring and I guess I would not recommend it to anyone I know, but who knows You might like it better then I do.

  •     Peanut Butter for Cupcakes is a deserving 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree- it is certainly a book worth you time and money!


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