Book Review: Stealing Mt. Rushmore by Daphne Kalmar

Stealing Mt. Rushmore cover image

Thirteen-year-old Nellie has a lot on her shoulders. Her mother left the family, her dad sometimes gets depressed and stays in bed for days on end, and her younger brothers need someone around to be responsible. She believes if they could just make their planned family vacation from their Boston home to Mt. Rushmore everything will be okay.

Stealing Mt. Rushmore by Daphne Kalmar is touching and uplifting. Nellie knows her family is a mess, but she has a plan to fix everything. She’s extremely hard-working, responsible, and creative about ways to make money to add to the family coffers. The story setting in the 1970s  is interesting because it shows how kids could make money in those days, even by doing simple things like pushing shopping carts to cars and unloading groceries in trunks.

It’s also interesting to see that some of the topics of the times, a presidential impeachment, Native American rights to Mt. Rushmore, female equality and more, are issues in the news today. That bit of history can give young readers context when learning about these topics now.

Stealing Mt. Rushmore highlights a family in crises, resilience, friendship, and personal empowerment in a compelling coming-of-age story. I recommend it for readers aged 9 to 12.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

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