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From the pen of Kate Douglas Wiggin (Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm) comes this heartwarming story of Margaret Carey and her four children - or "chickens" as the author often refers to them.

The sudden death of the father of the family results in the drastic reduction of the Careys' income and they must leave their comfortable home in Boston. Nancy Carey, the eldest, recalls a vacation in Maine when they all picnicked in the garden of a big, vacant house that her father loved. She discovers that the house is available, the rent is cheap, and persuades her mother that life in The Yellow House in Beulah, Maine is the perfect place to begin their new life.

Mother Carey is a model of strength and wisdom (think Marmee from Little Women) but her children exhibit all the growing pains: Nancy is brimming with enthusiastic and not always practical plans; Gilbert resents moving to a small town and having his dream of college disappear; Kitty is overly sensitive; and coddled young Peter has to learn to do things for himself. Add to that, prim and snotty cousin Julia and visits from acerbic, critical cousin Ann, and Mother Carey has her hands full!

Soon The Yellow House becomes a welcoming oasis for Beulah's quirky inhabitants. A window into the joys and travails of country life of a century ago, Mother Carey's Chickens delighted everyone including Walt Disney, who adapted it for his 1963 movie Summer Magic starring Hayley Mills as Nancy.

Public Domain (P)2016 Anne Hancock

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