”Sold On A Monday” by Kristina McMorris, SourcebooksLandmark, 2018, 354 pages

During the Great Depression, many tragedies occurred to small children. Readers can hardly imagine the desperate days when an ill mother is forced to give up her children. Parents couldn’t afford to feed them.

The sale of two children leads to horrifying circumstances. The story has grit, a complex plot and historical detail depicting the tragedies of families who are poor and ill. The story is told through the eyes of two newspaper reporters, Ellis Reed and Lily Palmer. Both of them are struggling to overcome the scarcity of writing jobs.

Ellis sees a sign that advertises two children for sale. He thinks that sign must be a mother’s last resort. He snaps a picture of the children that leads to his big break in the newspaper business. Later, he wonders if it’s right to use a mother’s plight to write a newspaper story as a way to promote his writing expertise.

Lily and Ellis are hiding secrets but aren’t willing to share — even though they’re attracted to each other. Their focus is no matter what, they’re eager to get started in the newspaper business. They use a sad, realistic event that turns out differently than they expect. Both have family problems of their own that intrude on their efforts to solve the other’s situations.

With Lily’s help, Ellis continues his search for the children in an effort to make sure they’re OK. When he encounters dangerous characters and criminals, he doubts his ability to help them.

A good read for all who want to learn more about the Great Depression. It makes you wonder what you would do in circumstances that prevent you from providing basic daily needs for your children. “Sold On A Monday” will remind you of Lisa Wingate’s “Before We Were Yours.”

JoAn Watson Martin is an educator.

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