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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Ruth's New Friend
by Hertha von Gebhardt
Age Range: 9-11
Old Mr Brown loves children and before he died he decided to leave his house to the children of the local community so that it could be converted into a youth club for them to enjoy and spend their leisure time. After Mr Brown’s death his daughter, Miss Brown set about putting his wishes into practice and organising the adaptation of the house.
When Ruth and her friends hear about Mr Brown they are upset but at the same time excited about the club. At the grand opening celebration all the local children are invited to attend. The place is idyllic; there is a library, a hobbies room, a playroom and lots of regular activities planned for the children. There are some rules that must be obeyed though: to join the club children have to be aged 5+ and they all need to wash their hands before handing toys and books.
This is a light hearted novel by German author Hertha von Gebhardt (1896-1978) about a group of children, playing, interacting and enjoying themselves in their newly created youth club. The translation by Oliver Coburn and Ursula Lehrburger is very well accomplished and at a level that is easy for the targeted young group to read. Irene Schreiber’s illustrations are charming and evocative of a time gone bye.
Other Hertha von Gebhardt titles on the website are: The Girl from Nowhere (1958), Love from Nicky (1960), The River Post (1961), Toffee and the Small Car (1961), The Building Site (1964) and The Boy in the Glasses (1967)