post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Ginger Pye
Author: Eleanor Estes
Major Themes: 20th century, Dogs, United States, Children’s Fiction
Synopsis: Two children work hard to earn a dollar to buy a puppy, and then the puppy disappears.
Ginger Pye is a lovely story of life in a small town on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Jerry Pye wants a puppy—a particular fox terrier. However, it costs an entire dollar, and neither Jerry nor his sister Rachel ever has any money! Miraculously, it seems, they are able to earn the dollar at the last minute and get the puppy, which they name Ginger—but a mysterious footstepper follows them home. For the next few months, some Unsavory Character seems to be following them around, and then one day—Ginger disappears! Will they ever find him again?
Some of my boys loved this story; one hated it. His gripe was that the story doesn’t keep going. We get to go on rabbit trails into Rachel’s thought processes frequently, and he thought it slowed the story down too much. I love it as a glimpse into a more innocent time, when children could roam freely around town on their own business. It also shows a happy, loving family, and brings out a lot of the humorous little things that happen in daily life.