Bulldog Library

Jacob Have I Loved

on May 8, 2013

JF Patterson    •    AR Reading Level: 5.7    •    AR Points: 8.0    •    Quiz #120

Jacket.aspx“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” – Malachi 1 : 2-3

Like Jacob and Esau, Louise and Caroline Bradshaw are twins. Louise is the eldest, born just two minutes before Caroline.  Louise was born strong and healthy.  Caroline was born sickly.  Since the moment Caroline was born, she has received the attention, the love, and the adoration of everyone around her.  Since the moment Caroline was born, Louise has been in her shadow.  As they grow from school children to adults, Caroline sees her life laid before her.  Her life seems charmed, her future certain.  Louise’s future is uncertain.  She must find her own path, make her own way in the world.  Can she ever escape her sister’s shadow?  Will she ever find the place that she belongs?

Jacob Have I Loved chronicles the life of the Bradshaw family through the Great Depression and World War II.  In this span, Caroline and Louise grow from children into adults.  This is a book filled with flawed people.  Each character is portrayed warts and all.  Caroline is haughty.  Louise is angry and melancholy.  Their grandmother is slowly sinking into dementia.  It is the fallible humanity of each character that creates the emotional depth  readers will experience in this book.  Readers will mourn with Louise as her mocking sister eclipses her and bit-by-bit takes everything Louise held dear, but they will also rejoice with her when she does finally find the place where she belongs.  This is a deeply moving and sorrowful book with a heartwarming ending that will leave readers believing they can also make a way for themselves and overcome the obstacles they were born with.

Genre: Historical Fiction  •  Interest Level: grades 5-9

1981 Newbery Medal Winner

Patterson, K. (1980). Jacob Have I Loved.  New York, NY: HarperCollins.


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