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Wells, Rosemary.
Viking, 2002.
IL K-3, RL 4.5
ISBN 0670035459

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Have you ever ordered something from a catalog? Was it hard to wait for it to get to your house? In this story Emily Cartwright and her family order a new house from Sears, Roebuck & Company. They are very excited about all of the new and modern features of the house, but there is a lot of hard work ahead of them to get it ready to move into.

Prepared by: Jana Wood for The South Carolina Children's Book Award nominees 2005

Booktalk #2

Imagine your family building their own house.  A house made from a kit ordered through a Sears catalog, a house that comes in the mail.  In 1927, you could do just that.  Emily's parents deliver two surprises in one day.  First, Emily and her brother, Homer, find out that their mother is expecting a baby, and second, the family will be getting a brand new house where all three children will have a room of their own.  Emily describes the hard work her family puts forth building their catalog house and includes pictures and memorabilia.  Take a journey through Emily's scrapbook and share a year in her life. (Cerese Long,, White Knoll Middle School, West Columbia, S.C.)

Booktalk #3

How often have you thought about how far technology has advanced over the years?
                    Well 12 year old Emily reminds us of just how far we have come since 1928 in Rosemary and Tom Wells’ book The House in the Mail.
                        Emily and her brother are living in a cramped house when they find out that their mother is going to have another baby in a few months.  Emily cannot even imagine where the new baby will sleep until her father tells her that they are going to get a new house from Sears and Roebuck by mail.
                        I love the illustrations in this book because they remind me of my grandmother’s scrapbook.  It doesn't feel like you are reading a story, but like you are looking through an old family photo album.  The language and terminology is also wonderful because they talk about the “icebox” and that they can buy a “bungalow” for about $2,500.
                        I remember my father talking about how he and his siblings used to order their school clothes from a Sears and Roebuck catalog and so this book peaked my interest.  I am really thankful that I read this book because I really never knew that people could buy a house through the mail.  (Tracey Burel, SCASL and MLIS student at the University of South Carolina)

SUBJECTS:   Prefabricated houses -- Fiction.
                        Dwellings -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.


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