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Home > Donna Nordmark-Aviles

Recent Reviews for Donna Nordmark-Aviles

Peanut Butter For Cupcakes - A True Story From the Great Depression (Book) - 7/15/2008 10:35:13 AM
Although it is meant to be the third and final installment in Donna Nordmark Aviles’s “Orphan Train” series, Peanut Butter for Cupcakes stands alone as a fine historical fiction novel depicting the real life experiences of a Pennsylvania family living through the Great Depression. As Peanut Butter for Cupcakes opens, Oliver Nordmark is a man with a wife and six children living in the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania. When Oliver loses his job and a tragic accident takes the life of his wife, he struggles to support his children and ultimately has to place his children in foster care. PB for C focuses mainly on the life of Oliver’s children as they try to stick together through various foster care arrangements, as well as Oliver’s attempts to make a living and take his children back into his own care. The title refers to the youngest Nordmark’s attempt to trade a peanut butter sandwich (which was his lunch everyday) for a sweet, scrumptious cupcake brought by another student to school. The effort fails, and yet Benny Nordmark doesn’t give up hope that someday he might be able to turn his “peanut butter life” into a “cupcake.” This book is highly recommended as a study of life in the Great Depression through historical fiction.

Beyond The Orphan Train (Book) - 7/13/2008 12:59:45 PM
Beyond the Orphan Train is the true story of the author’s grandfather’s life, and it was a sad and difficult life for certain. Sometimes it seems as if Oliver and his brother must be terribly unlucky to have so much unwarranted misfortune in their lives. And yet, through it all, Oliver maintains his dignity, his determination, and his sense of humor. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” is his philosophy. Sadly, Edward’s character does not develop in the same positive manner, which the reader will come to find out before the end of the book. A wonderful depiction of American life in the early days of the twentieth century, Beyond the Orphan Train will be sure to educate and entertain readers of all ages. Oliver Nordmark represents the all-around American youth – optimistic, keen to learn, and willing to make his way in the world through hard work and resourcefulness.

Fly Little Bird, Fly! (Book) - 7/13/2008 12:57:22 PM
This is a touching historical fiction story based on the author's real family history. Oliver Nordmark was only seven when a single day’s truancy landed him in a New York City youth detention center in 1905. Shortly thereafter, he was coldly informed that his mother had died and he and his three-year old brother were orphans. Life in the city orphanage was harsh, and when overcrowding caused city officials to ship the orphans out west by trains, it seemed an opportunity for a better life. Oliver took his young brother Edward under his wing, and they hoped to be taken in by a loving family. But would the people who met the train in Kansas want sons – or cheap labor? Fly Little Bird, Fly is a true story of life at the turn of the century, where little boys can’t count on fairness and two brothers learn “ the only one looking out for us -- is us.”

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