Monday, 18 January 2010

Patsie's Bricks by Lillian Staple Mead

Patsie's Bricks is an absolutely beautiful and very sad book.

It is about a little girl called Patsie, her older brother Tim and her mother who has a terrible cough, they are extremely poor. Patsie and her mother stay in a lodging house and Tim has to sleep outside at all times of the year.

The book is set around the 1900's and this copy was given to my Great-Great-Aunt in 1906 and was passed down to her sister, my Gran-Gran, who used to read this book to my mum when she was a little girl. Gran-Gran gave it to mum in 1982 when she was 11 and it is her most treasured book.

The story really starts when Patsie and Tim's mum dies and they go to live in two separate Orphanages a girl one and a boy one. There isn't enough room for their little friend Blossom, whose parents died when she was very young and she has been living on the streets ever since. Patsie has always wanted to be a servant and learns to be one, she thinks that reading and writing isn't worth doing if she's going to become a servant, but she learns a valuable lesson from her lovely house-mother, Mrs Grant.

Patsie starts going to stay with some lovely people who live in the country at the summer. These people are called Aunt Rachel, Grandmother, Grandfather, Winnie and Elsie. Patsie loves staying with them.

Patsie, Blossom and Tim decide to collect as much money as possible to help for a new orphanage to be built where Blossom can live and Patsie decides to make a little chart with bricks on to sell - each brick is worth six pence.

One day Aunt Rachel, Winnie, Patsie, Elsie and a few little children who live in the country go on a picnic. It suddenly starts to rain and they all get drenched. Patsie develops a cough which gets worse and worse. It is so bad that Patsie needs to go to hospital. Patsie's situation worsens and eventually, sadly, she dies.

Patsie's grown-up friend Miss Pearl who is quite rich promised Patsie that she would collect the rest of the money for her (they need three thousand pounds to build the orphanage). Miss Pearl collects the money and the new Orphanage is built which Blossom goes to. Meanwhile Tim gets the chance to go and live in Canada and work as a farmer.

This book is very beautiful and very sad because of this I will give it a 9 out of 10. (Although mum is really cross about this. She thinks it should definitely be a 10/10!)



  1. oooh! Even though I haven't read it for years it still makes me want to cry! Definitely a 10/10 for me!

    M x

  2. I love that you have got a blog reviewing books Dot! I may call by and suggest some from time to time? try Jenny Sullivan the Magic Apostrophe - you may have to get it from the library - not sure if its in print - Martha loved it at your age
    well done you and keep reading!

  3. What a great review, Dot - you nearly had me in tears!

    I'm so impressed with how much you're reading and yet you still find time to knit, blog and visit Ravelry - all whilst having a life!!


  4. Hi Dot, just found your blog (how have I missed it?). I am very impressed that you have read so much since Christmas already, I am only on book three of this year :-( My biggest girl, Elizabeth is a bit of a book worm too and I will be letting her loose on my laptop later to come and read your reviews.
    Well done!

  5. Have you read The Black Riders and The Emerald Crown by Violet Needham? My 2 boys were sent them a few years ago and neither has bothered to pick them up (they do Playstation, sadly rather than books). You are more than welcome to borrow them if you want.

  6. It sounds wonderful, but so sad. How fabulous to be able to read a copy that has such a family history to it as well!