The Ballad of Jessie Pearl

The Ballad of Jessie Pearl Sometimes when the kerosene lamp casts shadows I think I see Ma s ghost If she were still alive she d say Jessie Pearl you keep on studying Not everybody is cut out to be a farm wife We ll find a

  • Title: The Ballad of Jessie Pearl
  • Author: Shannon Hitchcock
  • ISBN: 9781608981410
  • Page: 261
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sometimes when the kerosene lamp casts shadows, I think I see Ma s ghost If she were still alive, she d say, Jessie Pearl, you keep on studying Not everybody is cut out to be a farm wife We ll find a way to pay for teachers college Leave your pa to me And tonight, Ma would notice how my hands are trembling I can almost hear her voice Jessie, fourteen is too young toSometimes when the kerosene lamp casts shadows, I think I see Ma s ghost If she were still alive, she d say, Jessie Pearl, you keep on studying Not everybody is cut out to be a farm wife We ll find a way to pay for teachers college Leave your pa to me And tonight, Ma would notice how my hands are trembling I can almost hear her voice Jessie, fourteen is too young to help birth a baby Why don t you go and study in the kitchen But Ma is just a memory.It s 1922, and Jessie has big plans for her future, but that s before tuberculosis strikes Though she has no talent for cooking, cleaning, or nursing, Jessie puts her dreams on hold to help her family She falls in love for the first time ever, and suddenly what she wants is not so simple any Inspired by Shannon Hitchcock s family history, THE BALLAD OF JESSIE PEARL wraps you like an old quilt in the traditions, tastes, and dialect of rural North Carolina.

    One thought on “The Ballad of Jessie Pearl”

    1. South Caroline in the 1920's, Jessie and her family own and work a tobacco farm. Life is very hard, Jessie is fourteen and her mother has died, but although she is sad the family sticks together and there is alot of love. She has a dream, to finish school and become a schoolteacher, this is what her mother wanted for her as well. Then tuberculosis rears its ugly head and everything changes.Well written book ,targeted for the young adult and Jessie at fourteen is a very strong and capable young l [...]

    2. For fourteen year old Jessie, life revolves around three things: her family, her school and their farm. What she wants more than anything is to be a teacher but right after our story begins, her sister's sickness forces her to leave school to cook, clean, and watch over the sickroom.Set in 1920s North Carolina, Jessie's story is sparse and emotionally charged. Her sense of duty is so passionate and yet her desires to just be a teenager: to be in love, learning and exploring the world - they are [...]

    3. Jessie Pearl is the youngest child in her family and with all her grown up siblings married, living on farms she is determined to go places and do things. Most of all she wants to become a teacher the way her Ma planned before she died. But then Jessie helps her sister Carrie during the birth of her nephew and Carrie falls seriously ill. Jessie has no choice but to drop out of school and nurse Carrie as she slowly wastes away from Tuberculosis. All the time Jessie is worried about catching the v [...]

    4. Shannon Hitchcock kept me up late a couple nights because I had to find out what happened to plucky Jessie Pearl. With characters I truly cared about and an exciting, compelling story, I had to keep turning pages. This book will get readers excited about historical fiction. (I just wish the publisher had made the type a little bigger.) Can't wait for Hitchcock's next effort!

    5. This is a short self-published book by the author born from family interviews taken by her son Alex for his history class in 2008. It's about life within a very close knit loving family who live in rural N. Carolina. I found the family members support for each other in tough, sad times truly moving. Jessie's dream is to become a teacher. So when the family dynamic unexpectedly changes, Jessie faces a decision that even someone far above her young years would find difficult. I enjoyed reading abo [...]

    6. The only thing that I didn't like about Shannon Hitchcock's debut novel, The Ballad of Jessie Pearl, (Namelos, 2012) is that it ended. The fact that I wanted to know what happened to Jessie, proves that this well-written historical fiction is a must-read for young adult girls, as well as their mothers and grandmothers. The time is 1922 and the place is rural North Carolina; a time when young girls are fortunate to graduate from eighth grade and not many leave home to pursue higher education. It' [...]

    7. The Story (in 5 sentences or less): Jessie Pearl is a 14 year old girl living in rural North Carolina in the early 1920’s. Her mother died a few years before and Jessie, bright and academically minded, promised to her mother that she would go to “teacher’s school” and make something of her life. Her plans are complicated however, when her older sister Carrie, having recently given birth to a son, dies of tuberculosis and Jessie is now in charge of the child. This, coupled with her feelin [...]

    8. Shannon Hitchcock's first novel, THE BALLAD OF JESSIE PEARL, is based on a snippet of a family story about how her grandmother took care of a baby nephew when his mother died of TB. This was back in the early 1920s, when the good old days included the terror of diseases that we hardly remember today.Jessie cares for her dying sister at home, cooking the family meals and burning her sister's used hankies, while trying not to consider the possibility of falling ill herself. An appealing character [...]

    9. When her sister Carrie, who is dying of TB, asks Jesse to describe her heaven, and Jessie says it smells like freshly baked biscuits, only you don’t have to bake them, this rural story had me hooked. The author creates scenes intimate enough for the reader to hear the baby clank his spoon on the tray of his high chair. She makes me love this family by zooming me in close and deftly employing historical period detail throughout.Life and death questions in the book are balanced by coming-of-age [...]

    10. Perfect for historical-fiction fans of books like Sarah, Plain and Tall and Our Only May Amelia, this tale of plucky and loyal Jessie Pearl is aimed at somewhat older readers and gives a taste of life in 1920's rural North Carolina, with details on everything from chicken & dumplings to Model T's to "stink soup." As Jessie grows from fourteen years old to sixteen, love with a childhood sweetheart remains innocent and heart-tugging, and her love for her family is as deep as the well where she [...]

    11. "Jessie has a choice to makeWondering 'bout which road to takeJessie has a choice to makeWill Jessie Pearl be a lonely girl?"So reads a stanza from the song gifted to fourteen-year-old Jessie by her sister. Shannon Hitchcock's debut novel, The Ballad of Jessie Pearl, set in 1922, rural North Carolina presents a young heroine facing adult challenges. Jessie Pearl dreams of going to teacher's college, a dream she shared with her late mother. Jessie's sisters are all married and settled. They tease [...]

    12. A sweet coming-of-age story about a young girl in the Appalachians. The decision between fulfilling a final wish of her sister or the final wish of her mother causes her to grow up quickly. I'd be curious to see if there will be a second book taking over where this one left off with a slight cliffhanger. A decision is made, but there's so much more to the story, I'm sure!I received the book for free through First Reads.

    13. This is a sweet, sweet historical read. You will fall in love with Jessie, admire her courage, and in the end you'll cheer her on to write the end of her own life ballad.The hardcover has a really cool feel to it (a weird comment maybe, but it truly does.) That said, the print is really small and a bit hard on the eyes, but you'll push through because you'll be hooked the entire time.

    14. This family story taking place in 1922 has been turned into a sensitive and engaging novel by author Shannon Hitchcock. I enjoyed her creation of the time period and the close family connections in rural North Carolina. Great story and engaging characters.

    15. I enjoyed this book. It is based on the town I live in and I knew a lot of the names and places in the story. It takes place in 1922, and deals with loss, sadness and life in that time. It was a different world. Story very well told.

    16. Great little story ,based on factual events, about a families grief, hardships, and dreams. A great example of how families rely on each other and how one grows into the person that everyone else knows they can be. Love, endurance and dreams. 3 1/2 stars

    17. What an absolutely wonderful novel! This story of a young girl growing up to be a strong, independent woman capable to taking on life's challenges is fantastic. I didn't want to put it down! I would highly recommend it. I am so thankful I won this book from First Reads contest.

    18. In 1922, 14-year-old Jessie Pearl lives on a tobacco farm with her father, older sister, and brother-in-law; her mother has recently died. Jessie’s dream is to finish 8th grade then go away to college to become a teacher, but those plans go by the wayside when her sister contracts tuberculosis after childbirth and dies, requesting Jessie to raise her newborn son. Dropping out of school, the grief-stricken Jessie wonders if she will ever break away from the monotony of housework and child-reari [...]

    19. The Ballad of Jessie Pearl feels very young. I definetly wouldn't classify this as a YA, probably more middle-grade but it even feels young for that. It reminds me of older books, set in an Appalachian past with a main character forced to grow up before her time (and she doesn't have a mother. Maybe this reminds me of a Disney movie).14-year-old Jessie Pearl has big plans for her life. She wants to follow in her late mother's footsteps, finishing 8th grade before heading off to teacher's college [...]

    20. After reading Shannon Hitchcock’s Ruby Lee and Me (good book, by the way), I investigated her other titles and came across this one. The plot – a young girl in the early twentieth century whose dreams are put on hold for the sake of her family – grabbed my attention immediately. From the first page to the last, Hitchcock sucks you in with tragedy, friendship, and love about Jessie Hennings and her journey on choosing her life calling. The historical elements about tuberculosis and tobacco [...]

    21. THE BALLAD OF JESSIE PEARL is a wonderful book of historical fiction. Jessie is a very relatable character as she agonizes over juggling her family responsibilities with her own hopes and dreams. How can Jessie leave the farm to pursue a career when her family needs her? Her sister has tuberculosis, and Jessie must care for her newborn nephew. Then there is Liza who seems to have her eyes on Jessie’s boyfriend. The adversarial relationship between Jessie and Liza brings the story into modern t [...]

    22. In this story based off of Shannon Hitchcock's family tree, the reader follows through several years of Jessie Pearl's life. The writing is both stylistic and easy to read; the story captures your heart. In the fashion of It's a Wonderful Life, Jessie Pearl had dreams bigger than her town can hold. But life's circumstances keep her bound to her family and her heart keeps her close to her family, leaving the reader to wonder will Jessie Pearl ever get to choose for herself?I would recommend this [...]

    23. This was a really sweet story and I loved the characters, especially Jessie Pearl. But, I felt like the writing was kind of stilted and didn't flow very well. And the language was really beautiful sometimes, but then there were a lot of other times it just seemed cheesy or juvenile. The biggest bummer for me was that it ended really abruptly and I felt let-down because I wanted more. I could really overlook those things and give it a higher rating, but the nit-picky things happened too much. It [...]

    24. Jessie would like to study to be a teacher, but family tragedy strikes. When her sister is diagnosed with tuberculosis, she steps in to raise her nephew and keep house. She also has a sweetheart, J.T who she’d love to spend time with but her new responsibilities, as well as her dream to be a teacher, don’t fully mesh with him. I fell in love with Jessie and her family. The story takes place in the 1920’s in North Carolina, and the world and characters were so believable. This historical no [...]

    25. A very sweet and straightforward story, even though this time the minimalist narrative didn't work for me. Maybe it's just my ARC (thanks, Netgalley!) but the description of the world surrounding Jessie felt pretty bare. I'd still recommend for younger readers who like books with strong heroines and good messages about fraternity.* Having a smile on my face while reading a character sing "In the Sweet Bye and Bye" in a funeral was pretty weird/amusing (sorry, I just watched Django Unchained).

    26. "The Ballad of Jessie Pearl" is a touching story about a family struggling to survive in rural North Carolina during the 1920s. Author, Shannon Hitchcock penned a hauntingly tender story of a fourteen-year-old who's dreams are placed on hold because of family obligations. Hitchcock's research and attention to detail as well as her facile weaving of this story earned her 5 stars (I'd give her more if I could). The ending left me wanting more. This book is written for Y/A and anyone interested in [...]

    27. Rural North Carolina, 1922. Terrific historical fiction, based on a small bit of family history, expanded by the author to a novel that will appeal to a very broad span of readers. I see this book as a perfect Book Group discussion choice, or as a great book to curl up and enjoy all alone! One of my favorite quotes comes from Chapter 8 -which starts out "Maude's snoring sounds like a whistling teakettle." And ends with this thought: "I figure most people see what they want to see. Maude thinks I [...]

    28. While I'm not drawn to historical fiction by habit, this lovely book captured my attention. Hitchcock kept true to the time period throughout, and the details included taught me more than a few things about the 1920's. Jessie is a wonderful character and felt real. I was worried as the book neared the endunsure of the direction Jessie might take in her life. In the end, I was thrilled with her choice.

    29. A lovely book, sensitive and crafted. The characters are very individual and come right off the page. I love the restraint the author shows throughout, often where other writers would have gone for the obvious. The period detail is convincing. I truly enjoyed every page and didn't want to put it down!

    30. Enjoyed the setting and time period. Jessie Pearl is a strong female character who has to deal with a lot of hardship. Many times she puts her own plans and wishes on hold to help her family. For the most part the story flowed well, there were a few spots were I would have liked more detail or to have the story stretched a little.

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