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Ruth White lives in Pennsylvania.
Returning to the early `50s, western Virginia setting of Sweet Creek Holler and Weeping Willow, White serves up a novel so fresh that readers can practically smell the lilacs and the blossoming fruit trees. Gypsy, the 12-year-old narrator, is all excited when her cousin Woodrow moves in with their grandparents next door-Woodrow's mother, married to a coal miner in a remote holler, has disappeared without a trace, and Gypsy hopes that Woodrow will divulge some new clues. Instead, she gets a best friend, someone who, in spite of unwelcome attention for having crossed eyes and being "Belle Prater's boy," charms everyone in school with his good-natured if mischievous wit. Gypsy cannot understand Woodrow's self-possession in the wake of his mother's desertion, but Woodrow, on the other hand, understands Gypsy's pain at her father's long-ago suicide better than Gypsy does. Pitching her narrative in a genial, mountain-folks twang, White creates vivacious, memorable characters whose openheartedness should not be mistaken for naïveté. She gives her protagonists the courage to face tragedy and transcend it-and the ability to pass along that gift to the reader. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
"White gives her protagonists the courage to face tragedy and transcend it--and the ability to pass along that gift to the reader." "--Publishers Weekly", Starred"White paints a vivid picture of small-town Appalachia in the 1950s. . . . Characterization is superb.""--School Library Journal, "Starred"Ruth White creates a satisfying feeling of community. . . . An admirable, stirring book.""--The New York Times Book Review"
Gr 5-8-This Newbery Honor winner tells a story by 12-year-old Gypsy. Everyone in Coal Station, Virginia, has a theory about what happened to Belle Prater, but Gypsy wants the facts. When her cousin Woodrow, Aunt Belle's son, moves next door, she has her chance.