The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: an Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston

yearSchema: Christmas trees, theme of the White House Christmas tree

Text-to-Text Connection: That Book Woman by Heather Henson and Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile ( historical fiction using cause and effect and drawing conclusions) by Gloria Houston

Author’s Purpose:   Gloria Houston and her family grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina; the historical fiction story depicts what life was like in the early 1900’s during World War I.

Characterization: Characterize the mother in the story and use example from the text as evidence to support your depiction.

Loyal: She went to the rocky craigs to cut the tree that her husband promised to deliver to the church saying her husband was as good as his word.

Self-sacrificing: She cut up her wedding dress to make a dress for Ruthie to wear in the Christmas play at church.  She also used the nylons her husband mailed to her from Europe to make the doll for Ruthie that became the family heirloom.

Sense of humor:  She went along with the preacher about inferring that the people in the holler were hearing the heavenly angels singing on high the night they cut the tree.

Strong: She used the big saw to cut the tree and then loaded it on the sleigh.

Brave and Courageous: She knew how to “make do” with what they had by using honey instead of sugar, herbal tea instead of coffee, embroidering flowers over rips and tears and lowering the hems of Ruthie’s dresses.

Creative: She designed Ruthie’s dress and created the doll who looked like Ruthie.

Organizational Strategy:  the Flashback:  The story begins with the narrator saying the story happened the way that Ruthie told her.

Metaphor: The old woman was picking her geese for the snow

Simile: the road wound like ribbons

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