Josiah's Apple Orchard

Children - Grade 4th-6th
161 Pages
Reviewed on 08/18/2015
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Author Biography

A native of Minnesota, Katherine L. Holmes holds an M.A. in Writing from the University of Minnesota. Her Middle Grade novel,The House in Windward Leaves, placed as Finalist in both the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Book Awards. The Wide Awake Loons placed as Finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Book Awards. More information is available at her website:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Josiah's Apple Orchard by Katherine L. Holmes revolves around Vivvy and her brothers Vince and Matt, and apples. Vivvy likes music and green apples and she goes with her little brother Matt to pick up apples. Music always played in Vivvy's head when she went on her apple raids and she always saw notes and tunes in the branches and apples on the trees. One day their father drives them to a pick-your-own orchard. The story takes young readers on a journey with Vivvy through the old and new music forms, dreams of playing in Mr. Fortray's jazz band, Josiah's orchard, and pixies.

Music runs through the story and connects well with readers where Vivvy's passion for music is evident at every juncture. The author makes apple raids very aesthetic by connecting it with notes and songs. I like the whimsical vibe of the story; though simple and elegantly narrated, the plot touches young readers with its apple trees in the orchard, pixies, and music. Vivvy's character portrayal is done succinctly and she, with her parents and brothers Matt and Vince, remain memorable. The black and white pictures interspersed through the book complement the story and capture the essence of the 1960s beautifully.

The detailed and descriptive narration by the author makes it very visual and the scenes come alive in front of readers. The words also reflect the speculations and questionings of early times where thoughts and ideas influenced one's childhood. The surreal feel of the book is captivating and enthralling. A very original and refreshing plot that will make readers think. I love the cover design.