Abandoned as an infant, Jip West accepts his grim fate on a Vermont poor farm without question until a series of disturbing events changes his beliefs about himself and the people around him. The turning point occurs when, in the year 1855, Jip (who has a gift for ""handling beasts and residents"") becomes caretaker of a lunatic brought to the farm. The boy's growing friendship with the mysterious, moody man called Put coincides with Jip's discovery that his mother was a runaway slave. Tension mounts when Jip's biological father, the master of a Southern plantation, arrives to retrieve his ""property."" Like Paterson's Newbery-winning Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved, this historically accurate story is full of revelations and surprises, one of which is the return appearance of the heroine of Lyddie. While Jip's concerns provide insight into 19th-century society, his yearnings for freedom and knowledge are timeless. The taut, extremely readable narrative and its tender depictions of friendship and loyalty provide first-rate entertainment. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996 Release date: 10/01/1996 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.