War in Georgia CL

Jerrie Oughton, Author
Jerrie Oughton, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (183p) ISBN 978-0-395-81568-7
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-16444-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-15341-6
Open Ebook - 183 pages - 978-0-544-27177-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-90157-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 192 pages - 978-0-440-22752-6
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This intimate novel offers a glimpse of Southern neighbors struggling with personal hardships as they await the end of WWII. In 13-year-old Shanta's home, Grandmorgan tries to sustain three people on her meager pension, and bedridden Uncle Louie laments his abandonment by his young, pretty wife and five-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, Shanta, orphaned as a baby, longs to be part of a ""real"" family. Across the street, troubles are no less profound for the Walling girls or their brother, who is 21 but has the mental capacity of a small child. Shanta's discovery of their abuse by a cruel father and uncle is preceded by other artfully woven revelations. Small acts of kindness are balanced with practical jokes (mostly invented by Uncle Louie's magician friends). The compassion and wit of major as well as minor characters proves to be as acute as the sorrows plaguing Shanta, her relatives and friends. If not as passionate or as taut as her Music from a Place Called Half Moon, Oughton's graceful writing here clearly expresses the hope, laughter and sheer stubbornness bringing strength to a clan of survivors. Ages 10-14. (Mar.)
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