Life isn’t easy for anyone on a farm in the nation’s heartland in the 1940s, but it’s especially hard for Pixie, the spunky heroine of Tamara Bundy’s Pixie Pushes On. Pixie’s mother has died, and her sister has contracted polio and been taken to a hospital. Pixie blames herself for these tragedies and struggles to cope with her family’s losses.
Unfortunately, Pixie’s school life isn’t much better than what waits for her at home, and she finds it hard to feel thankful—even on Thanksgiving, when she’s not allowed to visit her beloved sister in the hospital. Life seems to have handed Pixie a raw deal.
Things come into perspective, though, when a baby lamb, Buster, joins the farm, and Pixie is charged with his care. As her Granddaddy says, “Every day’s a lesson in beginnings and endings.” Pixie learns compassion and understanding as she pushes on through her pain and learns to laugh and find joy again.
Amid the tough farm work, Pixie’s family is her guiding force, and neighbors who’ve also experienced loss help open her heart. Glimpses into life during wartime—iron lungs, back-breaking work, war rations and doing without—make this a poignant piece of historical fiction for young readers.
Pixie Pushes On is a touching story of love, loss and learning about the world beyond your own backyard.