Kit's Tree House

Short story collection published in 2006; author Valerie Tripp; illustrators Walter Rane, Renee Graef, Susan McAliley, and Phillip Hood


Kit's mother is using some old curtain to reupholster some of the furniture, and a neighbor is helping her. The neighbor has twin toddlers and a baby, who Kit watches while the women work. The children are difficult, as kids those ages can be. To show their gratitude, her dad and Stirling use some newspaper pallets to build Kit the tree house she's been wanting since before the Depression cost her father his job. Kit's grateful for their effort...but the tree house is hideous and poorly constructed. Stirling isn't fooled, and later that night he and Kit meet in the tree house. He has the plans they once sketched, and points out that Kit can make the tree house an ongoing project, and make the improvements as time and materials allow. Kit agrees, and acknowledges that while isn't anywhere near the tree house she dreamed of, it was made with love. The next day, she invites her father and friends up the tree house: she's used the old material from the reupholstered furniture to decorate a bit. She's going to make the tree house her own.

Looking Back

As more and more people found their funds running out, houses got more crowded, and privacy was a luxury many longed for. Families who couldn't afford rent or a mortgage might move in with other family members or friends, or rent rooms from boarding houses. Some people had no options, and created makeshift homes out of whatever materials they could find. Homeless camps popped up in many cities, often called "Hoovervilles" by those who blamed President Hebert Hoover for prolonging the Great Depression.


Mrs. Pew is insane. You can't keep a house with two three-year-olds spotless. You can keep it clean (for example no drinks but water over the carpets, no eating outside of the kitchen/dining room), but kids are going to cause some messes unless you just stick them outside in a dog run or something.

I bet Kit was more than a little disappointed she didn't have the fun of working on the tree house. Isn't that half the point of having a tree house, getting to build it?

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