This is another children’s book from long ago. The copy I have was printed in 1935 and belonged to my mother.

I love this book. It centers on a little girl who discovers history and adventure as she travels the West Coast. The inside covers show a hand-drawn map that indicates the important locations from the book. Actual photographs of places and actors posing as the book’s characters give credence to Carmen’s journey.

This is one in a series of books by Brandeis called “Children of All Lands” wherein Brandeis delivers wonderful writing detailing the heritage of a particular nation that includes personalities, environment, difficulties commonly faced… these books were known in their time to be some of the best reading material available for children.

Madeline’s preface begins
“This is the story of two little girls,
Each of them living in different worlds,
One in the old world, and one in the new,
One like your great-grand’ma,
One just like you.

“This, also, is the story of ‘three big states.’ “

Those states, as we journey with Carmen and her father, are California, Oregon, and Washington. We learn some Spanish words like “Tia” (“Aunt”). We discover how some cultures have become Americanized (Carmen’s last name is Stevens, but her eldest living relative’s is Estevan). The story begins with Carmen waking on her birthday to receive a present from her father. Tia Carmencita has sent a package to Carmen: a written account of Carmencita’s journey years ago along the same roads Carmen is about to travel. It’s bound in hide, and they affectionately call it their Cow-Book. And there’s something more: a letter promising that the book also contains a great mystery.

It’s through Carmencita’s story and Carmen’s travels that we discover great places like Olvera Street in Los Angeles, Crater Lake in Oregon, and Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington. There are evil-doers and friends, lessons learned and marvels observed.

And in the end… Oh, please. You know I can’t give that away!

But what I am giving away is your very own copy. That’s right, you can receive your very own book and take the adventures with Carmen and her Tia for yourself! I ordered a great quality copy through Amazon and I’m looking at it right now. It’s in near-perfect condition. The pages are slightly yellowed with age, and the front and back covers indicate the tiniest bit of wear, but for a book that’s 77 years old, it’s in extremely good quality. The photos included in this blogpost are from the very book one lucky winner will receive! This particular copy will be a great addition to anyone’s home library.

Why am I doing this? Because this book needs to be shared. The history, the writing style, the characters. It’s important to encourage children (anyone!) to keep reading, to learn not only literacy with letters and numbers, but to also learn history. This book incorporates all of that in such a way as to make it more than enjoyable.

So, do you want to win? Awesome! Here’s how to enter:

1. MANDATORY ENTRY: Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite childhood book was and why. You’ll have to sign up with Disqus to leave a comment, but it’s a great way to track all your blog comments so it’s worth it! (If you’re reading this post through email, you have to click through to the actual blog to leave a comment. Email replies will not be counted.)

2. ADDITIONAL ENTRIES: You can earn up to four additional entries (for five entries total) by doing each of the following then leaving a comment here telling me you’ve done so. If you already do any of these things, that counts as an entry only if you post it in the comments. Remember that you must complete the mandatory entry or additional entries won’t count. (Additional entries will be verified):
a. Follow me on Facebook and share this giveaway.
b. Follow me on twitter and tweet this giveaway.
c. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this giveaway.
d. Share this giveaway on your own blog and leave the link in the comments below.

Here’s the fine print:


1. This giveaway is solely through Molly Jo and the blog Frankly, My Dear…. There are no corporate sponsors and is in no way endorsed by Amazon or any other person, business or entity.
2. Only legal citizens of the United States aged 18 years and older are eligible to win. [Sorry to my international readers, but I’m only set up right now for American rules.]
3. This giveaway begins at 5:30 a.m. PST on Friday, March 16, 2012 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, March 23, 2012.
4. Winner will be selected from all eligible comments on Saturday, March 24, 2012 through
5. One prize consisting of a used edition of “Carmen of the Golden Coast” will be given. No substitutions or transfers allowed.
6. Molly Jo and Frankly, My Dear… are not responsible for any damages that may occur during shipping.
7. You may comment as much as you like, but any comment/commenter that does not meet the requirements will be disqualified from this Giveaway.
8. By leaving your comment on this post, you agree to be bound by the rules of this giveaway in their entirety.

So there you are. Have fun, and good luck!

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

GIVEAWAY clarification (ooops!)
Institute of Children's Literature
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