Lackawanna

Chester Aaron, Author J.P. Lippincott $11.89 (210p) ISBN 978-0-397-32057-8
Aaron surpasses his most memorable novels with this wrenching, realistic story of the Depression years. Willy, 15, discovers that people in his Brooklyn neighborhood and all over America are starving. Overcome by the inability to find work and support their families, parents die or disappear. Children are homeless, scavenging for crumbs to survive; Willy joins such a group, forming a family. Calling themselves Lackawanna, after a train in a nearby local yard, they share the food they can beg or steal. Besides Willy, there are five at home in a rough city shelter, including Deirdre and her little brother Herbie. Existing day to day, the Lackawannas are basically secure until a hobo grabs Herbie and escapes with him on a moving train. Sticking together, Deirdre and her friends follow, climbing aboard freight cars and crisscrossing the country in their search for the missing boy. The mission involves the children in more than one tragic circumstance before they succeed, closing a bittersweet chapter. In describing the suffering of desperate adults and young victims of bad times, Aaron makes the reader conscious that history consists of people, and that hope depends on faith and love. (12up)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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