Clayton Bess, Author, Robert Locke, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-395-40571-0
The acclaimed author's new novel recreates America during the blighted 1930s. Different from but as powerful as Aaron's Lackawanna (reviewed above). Bess's story starts in Oklahoma, where the narrator grew up. His name is Blue Roan, and he describes events in a colorful and frank argot that frequently leavens the terror he recalls from his boyhood. At 11, Blue hops his first freight, set on following his older brother Monroe who wants to find the girl he loves (she moved with her family to California). Blue and Monroe narrowly escape death on their travels, the most terrible threat at the hands of members of the Texas Klan. The Klansmen lynch a Mexican youth and blame the murder on the brothers, a situation calling on all of Blue's resources. Running from the criminals, the boys hide out but Monroe is shot and Blue must get help before it's too late. The people who risk their lives to save Monroe as well as othersthe cruel and the kindremaine indelibly etched on the reader's mind. (12up)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Genre: Children's
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