Nelda

Pat Edwards, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $12.7 (178p) ISBN 978-0-395-43021-7
Well-drawn characters distinguish this Depression-era novel set in rural Mississippi. Nelda, 11, resembles the imaginative and plucky heroines in novels by Bill and Vera Cleaver. Nelda believes she's going to be richin spite of her migrant family's already plummeting fortunes. Then domineering Miss Mattie May Wynn helps out the family in exchange for getting Nelda to live in her house. But Nelda, who now has what she wants, starts to see ""the wormy side'' of her luck, leading to serious complications. Beautifully constructed and resolved, Nelda's story is enhanced by its comic tone and gentle ironies. The author suggests that poverty and charity possess more than the obvious facets and that the future is ``a great big question after all.'' Ages 8-12. (April)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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