The Summer That Viney Is Eleven Years Old Is Extraordinary It Takes Her Out Of School And Puts Her Under The Wing Of Missy Violet, A Well Loved Midwife Whose Wise And Warm Ways Help Teach Viney About The Business Of Catchin Babies Suddenly, Viney Must Learn About Roots And Herbs And Their Medicinal Purpose, Understand The Contents Of Missy Violet S Birthin Bag, And Contend With A Snooty Peer And Wild, Irrepressible Cousin Charles Elister Paxton Nehemiah Windbush And All This Before She Actually Helps To Deliver A Single Baby At Turns Scary, Funny, And Exhilarating, The Rhythm Of Viney S Rural Life In The South Quickens As She Embraces Her Apprenticeship And Finds Her Own Special Place As Missy Violet S Best Helper Girl Hot Jiggetty Missy Violet is the town midwife When Viney s father can t pay her for the birth of another daughter, Missy Violet suggests that she take 10 year old Viney on as an assistant to pay off the debt Viney is excited to help the midwife even though she doesn t know where babies come from She learns soon though and also learns about the different types of plants and herbs Missy Violet uses and what they are used for Viney is proud of being such a help to Missy Violet and knowing about babies than snooty Margie Poole Told in a girlish, observant voice with humor Viney s voice brings vivid life to the characters of Charles, her rascally cousin the scary Rausy brothers addle brained James Henry who believes the Lord Charles called him to preach Viney s bold friend Arma Jean and Mr Grit, the widower who s set on Missy Violet. A sweet book, easy to read I really enjoyed this one and I was impressed by how she took a topic like childbirth and made it accessible for a younger audience I don t think any parent would object to the topic handled in the way it is. The country is in the middle of the Depression, and even if it wasn t, it would still have been difficult for Viney s family to pay Missy Violet, the midwife, for the birth of Viney s newest sibling In lieu of payment, Missy Violet takes on Viney as an apprentice, and teaches her the ways of baby catching I think this slim little book, which won the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent award, will probably gain a place on reading lists and as a read aloud in classrooms in the coming years It is very short, and told in an episodic manner, but it becomes clear very quickly that this is the story of Viney s journey toward confidence and a sense of purpose At first she is frightened by the noise and mess of childbirth, but gradually Viney learns to be a true assistant to Missy Violet Hathaway is able to use few words to tell a gentle, interesting story that evokes all the sights, sounds, and smells of a Depression era black community. I thought this book was adorable Barbra Hathaway made me want to learn how to do some baby catching The story was beautifully written about a young girl growing up over a course of a short period of time When missy went away, she had to deliver a baby But not without the help of another baby catcher from a few towns over The girl learned about what herbs take away pain and what to give her to drink to calm her nerves She was a proud little girl but she did not dare show it. Eleven year old girls are at an awkward age Still girls, looking forward to growing up, but innocent Viney was such a girl, thinking babies came from cabbage patches, or tree stumps, but the summer she turned 11 was a turning point in her life Her Papa can t pay for baby number 7, so Missy Violet asks for a helper for the summer Viney learns than just catching babies, courage, strength, that she has much to give, and kindness to share. I found this book stuffed on my class bookshelves I have no idea how long I ve had it nor where I got it but it s a sweet little book.If it weren t for the subject matter, I d say this was writen for upper elementary However, I know many parents would be upset with their 11 year olds learning about birthing babies so I d recommend it for no younger than 12. When 11 year old Viney s youngest sister is born in the early 1900 s her father doesn t have enough money to pay the midwife He offers Viney s help for the summer instead Viney learns about various herbs and how to comfort laboring mothers She learn that people who are sick often need a kind words as much as anything A short and sweet read about growing up and becoming confident. Excellent book 5 stars I enjoyed this book It is a short read, but entertaining I was drawn to it because it s about an eleven year old girl named Viney who gets to assist the town midwife one summer I love books about midwives, so this book was right up my alley There were cute little stories and just an overall good, quick read.