MAUDE MARCH ON THE RUN!

After their adventures in The Misadventures of Maude March (2005), 12-year-old Sallie and her older sister Maude try to settle down into quiet, ordinary lives, hoping not to be discovered as outlaws. Maude does little beyond waiting tables, going to church and hanging out at home. Their lives are so quiet that Sallie tells Maude, “You couldn’t have laid any lower if you had set up housekeeping in a rabbit burrow.” But it’s hard to live down a reputation for entering every door “with teeth bared, guns drawn, and coattails flapping in an unnatural gust of wind.” Maude is found out and arrested, along with another notorious outlaw, the Black Hankie Bandit. A jailbreak ensues, and soon the girls are off on a new series of adventures in the old West. Here again are all of the qualities that made its predecessor such fun: old-fashioned storytelling, humor, rollicking adventure and heroines to root for. A natural for reading aloud. (maps) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-375-83246-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The poem/novel ends with only a trace of hope; there are no pat endings, but a glimpse of beauty wrought from brutal reality.

OUT OF THE DUST

Billie Jo tells of her life in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl: Her mother dies after a gruesome accident caused by her father's leaving a bucket of kerosene near the stove; Billie Jo is partially responsible—fully responsible in the eyes of the community—and sustains injuries that seem to bring to a halt her dreams of playing the piano.

Finding a way through her grief is not made easier by her taciturn father, who went on a drinking binge while Billie Joe's mother, not yet dead, begged for water. Told in free-verse poetry of dated entries that span the winter of 1934 to the winter of 1935, this is an unremittingly bleak portrait of one corner of Depression-era life. In Billie Jo, the only character who comes to life, Hesse (The Music of Dolphins, 1996, etc.) presents a hale and determined heroine who confronts unrelenting misery and begins to transcend it.

The poem/novel ends with only a trace of hope; there are no pat endings, but a glimpse of beauty wrought from brutal reality. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 978-0-590-36080-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM--1963

Curtis debuts with a ten-year-old's lively account of his teenaged brother's ups and downs. Ken tries to make brother Byron out to be a real juvenile delinquent, but he comes across as more of a comic figure: getting stuck to the car when he kisses his image in a frozen side mirror, terrorized by his mother when she catches him playing with matches in the bathroom, earning a shaved head by coming home with a conk. In between, he defends Ken from a bully and buries a bird he kills by accident. Nonetheless, his parents decide that only a long stay with tough Grandma Sands will turn him around, so they all motor from Michigan to Alabama, arriving in time to witness the infamous September bombing of a Sunday school. Ken is funny and intelligent, but he gives readers a clearer sense of Byron's character than his own and seems strangely unaffected by his isolation and harassment (for his odd look—he has a lazy eye—and high reading level) at school. Curtis tries to shoehorn in more characters and subplots than the story will comfortably bear—as do many first novelists—but he creates a well-knit family and a narrator with a distinct, believable voice. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-385-32175-9

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more