Daniel: Picking Up the Pieces by Peter Pactor

Peter Pactor
Friesen Press (2019)
ISBN 9781525558932
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (02/20)

“Daniel: Picking Up the Pieces,” is the fifth book in storyteller Peter Pactor’s Daniel series. This story takes place in 1929, after the stock market has crashed, and the Great Depression is about to begin. Thirteen-year-old Daniel now holds a doctorate in Economics from Columbia University. He has returned home to Hampton Crossing, with his friends and is ready to be a boy again, but he still has a lot on his plate outside of school. As he attempts to get back into the swing of things with his studies and athletic pursuits, Daniel encounters people who are angry at him, mainly because they didn’t take his advice and lost everything. Being viewed as an economic expert at age thirteen comes with a lot of pressure. He also is faced with having to handle the public’s negative reaction to the bank hiring a man of color at equal pay. Daniel knows that this man has earned the job and it distresses him to see that not all of society will recognize this. As with everything else, Daniel stays true to his word and character. He is a man of integrity and a lot of people could learn from what is written about him in these fictional pages.

I enjoyed reading the fifth book in the Daniel series. While they can be read out of order, I believe it is best to go through the series so that the books are being read in the proper order of the timeline. Having read some of the earlier books in this series, I was already well acquainted with Daniel and his friends. Peter Pactor has done an amazing job of bringing them to life, so as I got drawn into this story, I felt like I was visiting with friends. I also love how the author has a gift of teaching me about history during this time, while telling his story. I feel like I have learned a lot about the stock market crash and the Great Depression by reading his stories. It is refreshing to step back into time and read about young men who have integrity and are not tied into modern technology. I find this aspect to be refreshing!

I highly recommend reading “Daniel: Picking Up the Pieces,” and the other books in this series. This is also an excellent selection for a reader’s group or a school reading list. I think it would be fun for grandparents and great grandparents who’ve survived this period, to share this series with younger family members so that they can gain an understanding of the difficulties that people faced during that time. 

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