As I was reading this book, I was reminded of my love of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Beneath the Slashings is similar to those books, as it is set around the same era and it's told from a young girl's point of view. Grace is a girl to admire. Having lost her mother when she was six years old and then been separated from her father for three years while he served in the Civil War, she has had a lot of sorrow in her life and reasons to be afraid. When her Pa returns from the war, she learns that they will be leaving the comfort and safety of home to live and work in a lumber camp. Her fears multiply and an animosity toward her father, not present before, develops. The book has a nice little mystery to keep the reader guessing, but it's Grace who really steals the show. As she lives and works among all the men of the camp, she learns to be more trusting. She also learns to do many things she never thought she could when she meets an old Ottawa woman. Ultimately, Grace grows up a lot in her time at the camp and her life is better for it.Beneath the Slashings was a great read for me, not only because of what I said above, but because it is set in my beloved home state of Michigan. Hearing mention of Saginaw county, Manistee, and Grand Rapids brings me back to what I loved learning about Michigan when I was a child. In all, this book is a great coming of age story for the middle grades that teaches the reader about courage and friendship.