Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.
"'Dear me, what a very large family,' cried Mr Wilkins, as child after child emerged from behind drying sheets and table cloths, and stared at him. 'Six, seven, eight - how many is it?'"
Filled with the hustle and bustle of life in a large family, Eve Garnett’s book heralded a move towards a greater type of class realism. With mum running a home laundry and dad working as a dustman, it showed and helped to highlight very different sides to childhood, one based in a decidedly urban landscape where life was not always easy and issues over money sometimes caused problems. The book was pioneering in helping to better reflect the family and social backgrounds that matched many children’s backgrounds.
What really stands out in The Family From One End Street is the way the characters are pieced together. Each of the seven children have their own unique persona, traits and places or roles within the family meaning that readers will doubtless find one to identify and relate with. There is Lily Rose who tries to help out with her mother’s chores getting into a scrape as she does so. Kate is clever but not always as practical as she might be. Mischievous but well-meaning twins Jim and John who, in different ways, both end up literally being taken for a ride! Jo whose love of the silverscreen leads to a bit of a situation, Peg who has an encounter with the police and the youngest William who is entered in a baby show.
Chock full of misadventure and minor misdemeanours, there’s a warmth and a great sense of fun throughout the book. This makes it a joy to read and offers insight into some of the ups, downs, bumps and lumps to be found as part of life in a very large family.
"We read the review on the blog and we were really gripped by the wide range of characters and the social context of the time. We are looking forward to seeing how our world and Garnett's has changed and evolved."