Robert Newton Peck, Author
Robert Newton Peck, Author Walker & Company $16.95 (153p) ISBN 978-0-8027-6856-8
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
In 1927, Jailtown, Fla., is not the best place for an 11-year-old. Arly Poole, the son of a cucumber picker who looks ``like he lost every fight in his life . . . and never knowed shade.'' has little to look forward to. When Arly reaches working age, he too will be a virtual slave to the owner of Jailtown. Then President Calvin Coolidge's Rural Education Act brings a schoolteacher to Jailtown. Miss Binnie Hoe rescues Arly (she calls herself her students' ``ticket'' out of the cycle of the town's poverty), but this is no sugar-coated tale: Arly's father dies, and a girl Arly tries to help ends up going to work at the local house of ill repute. Peck pungently combines earthy dialect, good storytelling and an authentic locale. Arly's life in Jailtown will linger in readers' memories for a long time. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
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