A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Families are strong and loving.
Violence & Scariness
An old lady likes to tell stories about gruesome injuries, including a hand cut off in a farm machine; a boy who sleds under a harvester; another who bites off the tip of his tongue. A man is hit in the head with a wrench, resulting in a concussion and stitches. A girl's hand is caught in a rattrap, chickens are slaughtered.
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Products & Purchases
Candy, bicycle, drink brands mentioned.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is some violence: A father is knocked out with a wrench, a girl's hand is caught in a rattrap, and an old lady likes to tell tales of gruesome injuries.
Is It Any Good?
This slice of Americana has all the elements that Richard Peck does better than anyone else. Start with a historical setting that opens up a new world to young readers, and tell the story in the voice of someone who lived it. Add intact families with strong, loving parents and wise, cantankerous elders, infuse it with incisive wit and humor, and spread it all out in some of the sharpest prose available in print today.
This is Mark Twain crossed with Dylan Thomas, and Peck is one of very few authors who could bear that comparison. This delightful little book is not for kids who need lots of action and adventure to keep them reading. But for those who can enjoy a warm and witty portrait of a time and place long gone but not yet forgotten, it's a true gem. And it might just send young readers scurrying for their own grandparents to hear more stories about their childhoods.
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Our Editors Recommend
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