Milam McGraw Propst- The Adventures of Ociee Nash Series (Belle Bridge Books 2009) 3.75 Stars
The first book in the series, A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street, tells the tale of little Ociee Nash and her family living on a farm in Mississippi. Her mother passed away from the measles epidemic the previous year and the family must deal with the pain and sorrow of the loss. Meanwhile her father is trying to raise her and her two brothers, Ben (the younger brother), and Fred (the older brother), while keeping the farm running. In the hopes of helping her become a lady, he sends Ociee off to his sister’s place in North Carolina. Ociee is sad at first, but is quick to make friends and soon comes to enjoy living at her Aunt Mamie’s. A tender start to the series.
The second book, Ociee On Her Own, starts off where the first one left off. Ociee is still living with her aunt and they are preparing to celebrate the turn of the century. Little does she realize that another kind of celebration is about to happen too. When she gets a letter from her brother Fred she finds out that he is about to get married to Rebecca and so he is coming home for the wedding. Now she must leave her aunt’s to go to the wedding. As excited as she is there is mixed feelings about it as her father has lost thye farm and now works at a store in town. Her brother Ben has grown and their relationship needs some work to get back to where it was before she left. By the end of this book she has finally come to grips with her mother’s passing and has made peace with her mother’s memory.
The third book, The Further Adventures of Ociee Nash, finds Ociee when she is eleven-years-old, so a whole year seems to have passed. Although time has passed her brother Ben is still able to coax her into jumping off of a moving train.She is adjusting to the idea of her brother Fred being married, and now she finds out that her Aunt Mamie is marrying George in Asheville. Meanwhile her father gets a job in Tennessee and so he uproots the family to move to Memphis, which just happens to be where Fred is living. Now the family seems to be together again. Ociee’s curiosity and personality leads to her making new friend’s, even befriending a lady whom everyone else seems to either be afraid of, or just ignores.
The Adventures of Ociee Nash is a wonderful story for children of all ages to read. It is very similar to Anne of Green Gables, and yet has its own unique flare to it. The Nash family is full of life, adventure, and value. They are all very deep characters and Ociee is a little girl you cannot help but love. The story has many lessons involved in it and yet it does not seem to be preaching them to the children. The storyline is great and I love the adventures/situations Ociee finds herself in and how she manages to make the best of her situations/troubles. This beautiful tale tells of the Southern states in a time of change in the turn of the century as the 1900s take shape. The plot was not a deep or complicated one, but it was enough that I think young girls and some young guys will enjoy reading it. The writing style was also well done and I think young readers will appreciate Propst’s style.
I recommend this series to young girls and boys.
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