Music from a Place Called Half Moon

Jerrie Oughton, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (176p) ISBN 978-0-395-70737-1
With something of the tenderness of Ruth White's Sweet Creek Holler and the moral force of Trudy Krishner's recent Spite Fences, this potent novel visits the small town of Half Moon, N.C., in 1956. The 13-year-old narrator, Edie Jo Houp, gets caught up in controversy when her father advocates that the Vacation Bible School be available to all the community's children-including Indians. Not only the townsfolk are angry with her father-her mother is furious, too. Meanwhile, Edie Jo has begun an unlikely friendship with the ``half breed'' Cherokee Fish, a classmate who escapes to the same hideaway that Edie Jo loves. Although there are a number of attention-grabbing plot elements (arson, manslaughter) and overfamiliar devices (Edie Jo's secret poetry-writing, Cherokee Fish's music-making), the author's careful and atmospheric construction grounds the narrative believably. Understated and candid, Oughton's (The Magic Weaver of Rugs) first novel will linger in the reader's memory. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 160 pages - 978-0-440-21999-6
Prebound-Other - 160 pages - 978-0-606-11003-7
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-544-27180-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-01456-4
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