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Ann Lawrence of Old New York by Gladys Malvern

Ann never wanted to leave her beloved farm.  After losing her parents, she had to struggle hard to keep her remaining family of brothers and sisters together.  But this was difficult with a growing Manhattan surrounding them as New York continued to grow, threatening all the farms that might block development.

Ann organized to fight the expansion, but Manhattan and her inhabitants were as determined as Ann and her allies.

A wonderful story about life in early Manhattan, with numerous historical characters playing key roles in Ann’s story of the Lawrences in Old New York.  For readers aged 11 and above.

An unusual historical segment forms the well-integrated background for an exceptional book, a first rate story... The scene is New York around 1811 when the expanding town is displacing the farming community. Ann, “mother” to her orphaned sisters and brothers, runs the farm with her brothers’ aid. Every morning they take produce to the market of the growing city. Then comes threat of eviction, as what is now 23rd Street is surveyed for absorption into the city. As part of the planning board responsible, young Elliot is blamed, though he has long been a friend of the family. Ann, knowing the fight is futile, faces still greater heartbreak as she realizes that her brothers are glad to leave the farm and go their ways, while she is sent to work for a disagreeable aunt for her “keep”, while the younger children go to more comfortable homes. Then Ann and Elliot make up and the story ends on a brighter hope for the future. Unsentimentalized characters — excellent background- a well-paced plot.
— Kirkus Reviews
It’s crazy to think of New York with farms instead of massive skyscrapers. Ann is a wonderful, proud New Yorker who takes great joy in keeping her family’s farm running and taking care of her siblings after her parents died. It’s only when they’re faced with tragedy does Ann see what New York will look like in the future - but to get to that future, her strength and endurance is tried to the max.

Great story Gladys Malvern! Wonderfully put together in a way that takes me there and makes me feel what Ann feels.
— ScoobyFink
A nice little story about life in early New York as Manahattan is beginning it’s transformation. The author has skillfully woven in historically significant people into a lovely family story. Great read for teens, with lots of interesting facts and illustrations.
— HistoricalFictionBuff