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Donna Nordmark-Aviles

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Peanut Butter For Cupcakes - A True Story From the Great Depression
by Donna Nordmark-Aviles   

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Books by Donna Nordmark-Aviles
· Fly Little Bird, Fly!
· Beyond The Orphan Train
                >> View all


Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Wasteland Press


Copyright:  July, 2008

As the stock market crashes on October 29, 1929, Oliver fears for his job at the silk mill. When the mill shuts down and his nightmare comes true, Oliver is hesitant to allow his wife, Estella, to take a job at the local coffee shop. When he finally gives in, with tragic results, Oliver and his six young children struggle to get by as the Great Depression takes its hold on the country.

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Orphan Train Book

PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES is the true story of the Nordmark children. Their father Oliver is the subject of the author’s first books, FLY LITTLE BIRD, FLY! and BEYOND THE ORPHAN TRAIN. Find out what lies ahead for May, Bud, Oliver Jr., Margaret, Jim and Benny as they learn their life lessons from a father who never had a parent of his own. Life with Oliver is full of fun and adventure one minute, but marked with poverty and abandonment the next. A story that will leave you with a deeper understanding of what life was like during the 1930’s and how “boys will be boys” even in the hardest of times!   

Professional Reviews

History Lesson For the Heart and Soul
Written in such a style that not only is engaging but also informative and educational, “Peanut Butter for Cupcakes” brings alive the life and times of one of the most difficult periods in US history. However, unlike your standard history text, or those big biographical tomes that are typical of books covering the Depression, author Donna Aviles delivers a story written to capture the heart and soul of the reader.

Just like during Oliver’s childhood, because of hard times, the six children of the Nordmark family are placed into foster care during various parts of their young life. Having to overcome the unexpected death of their mother and the economic hardships of the Depression, Oliver’s six children provide the story with enough mischief, adventure, and heart to keep the reader interested. Not only does the reader learn about this desperate time in United States history, including how the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration saved many a family, but also about personal character, responsibility, and integrity.

“Peanut Butter for Cupcakes” is bound to be considered a classic in its genre. Rarely do you find in a book a story that can not only teach your children important history lessons, but also how families in the past survived some of the hardest of times. It is this final aspect that gives the book its unique component, for it provides young people with a sense of respect for their ancestors – a level of respect that is very deserving but often not given. “Peanut Butter for Cupcakes,” like Donna Aviles' two other books, should be considered essential reading.

-Peter N. Jones, PhD
Director, BAUU Institute
Boulder, CO

Peanut Butter For Cupcakes: A True Story From the Great Depression, has been named a FINALIST in the 2009 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS!

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Reader Reviews for "Peanut Butter For Cupcakes - A True Story From the Great Depression"

Reviewed by Dianne Salerni 7/15/2008
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.

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