Buy this book at
To Past Reviews Index
Back to Last Page

Nettie Parker's Backyard

C.V. Smith

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Avid Readers Publishing Group

Published : 2011

Copyright : C.V. Smith 2011

ISBN-10 : PB 161286032X
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1612860329

Publisher's Write-Up

Ask anyone who knows Nettie Parker, and they'll say that she's an amazing, mystical woman... what else would you call someone who receives supernatural signs sent just to them? And being able to live longer than anyone else? That alone is pretty amazing! Nettie's been through many hardships in her life, and she's learned first-hand that prejudice can be a multi-headed dragon, but her courage and determination show others that differences in skin colour or in physical abilities don't matter. In fact, as Nettie and her fighter-pilot husband both get caught up in World War II, survival becomes what matters most - not just for them, but also for the eight Jewish refugee children she comes to care for. Now Nettie faces her toughest struggle yet: uncovering the mystery of her supernatural signs and the purpose of her unusually long life. Do the strange statues that suddenly appear in her backyard point to any clues? Halley, Nettie's young friend, plays detective as she re-visits Nettie's past, a journey that takes the reader from South Carolina to England and back again. Can Halley put all the pieces together and solve the puzzle?

Nettie Parker’s Backyard is a WWII historical-fiction novel for 4th-8th graders. The book tackles important lessons against bullying and intolerance toward race, religion, and the physically challenged. The title character has experienced prejudice as an African-American growing up in the 1920’s American South. Later, while studying nursing in London, a blitzkrieg bombing forces Nettie to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. But Nettie Parker is strong and never gives up. Luckily, the supernatural signs she receives always give her hope as they lead her in the right direction toward helping others. The values of dedication, commitment, and love come across clearly to the reader as she comes to care for eight Jewish refugee children. To keep the audience captivated, the story’s values and ethics are woven into the plot with ribbons of mystery and the supernatural. When statues suddenly begin appearing in Nettie’s backyard, she is driven to find the reason why, and in the process discovers that love truly is the greatest force of all in a surprise twist ending.

Column Ends


Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Deb Hockenberry (290212) Rating (9/10)

Review by Deb Hockenberry
Rating 9/10
Nettie Parker's Backyard is a gentle yet action packed and war-torn story. It's the story of Nettie's life which is full of prejudice and bullying. Early in her life she starts seeing and hearing signs. What do these signs mean? Are they magical? Only Nettie can find that out.

When Nettie is nineteen-years-old, she travels to London, England to study to be a nurse. Upon her arrival, the nursing administrator is very nice to her but soon she is met with more prejudice from others. Is this because of her physical challenge or because of her race?

Nettie meets two young boys one day when their ball flies across the fence and into the Charring Cross Hospital grounds. The boys don't think they'll ever get their ball back and are very hesitant to talk and ask for it. Nettie's caring and compassionate nature can't understand this but she soon will. She talks with the boys for awhile and is surprised to learn that the boys were sent to London by their parents to escape the horrors of World War II. Kind, compassionate Nettie doesn't think there's enough hate or fear in the world to make parents and children separate! She soon finds out differently!

It was very hard for this reviewer to put this book down. Throughout this well written account of Nettie Parker, not only do you learn about her ancestry and her adventures in London but you learn a secret language too!

I highly recommend Nettie Parker's Backyard. Although the historical fiction is written for children, adults will thoroughly enjoy this magical book too!
Deb Hockenberry (29th February 2012)

Back to Top of Page
Column Ends