A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
Opening chapter contains fleeting contemplation of suicide due to surrounding squalor, including drunken parents.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that clear writing and strong, wholesome characters are the trademarks of this pastoral novel.
Is It Any Good?
This sauntering, cadenced tale matches the steady, unhurried pace of a farm in summer. In contrast to Gary Paulsen's high-powered action-adventure novels, this is a survival story of a different sort. Defeat turns to direction for an introspective 14-year-old boy when he glimpses a kinder side of life beyond the neglectful, alcoholic stupor of his parents in their grubby, rundown apartment, a sorry excuse for a home.
At the farm, the boy newly finds himself in the maternal embrace of his compassionate grandmother, where he is able to break through the veneer of hurt and shyness. A final memorable scene, in which he dances with his grandmother to an old song, sets the tone for a better life ahead.
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