Thursday, January 3, 2008
When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan
Set in post Civil-War Mississippi, twelve year old Addy O'Donnell is deserted by her mother. She is "taken in" by Frank Russell and his new wife despite the O'Donnell reputation of being "lazy, mean good-for-nothings." Addy helps around the house and even goes to school before she is drug back into the O'Donnell squalor by her pa, who suddenly appears after years of absence. While playing with a friend in the woods, Addy is an innocent witness to a very ugly Klu Klux Klan scene. This experience propels her into quickly gaining new maturity, insight, and courage. Later, a resulting court room situation will test her to the very core and change her life forever. McMullan stays true to the language and spirit of the time. The reader is constantly privy to Addy's sensitive observations and wisdom. "The world is a powerful place, but then again, so are we." Her grit and determination against
great odds will land this title on the "Strong Girls" bibliography. I'm sure the
2008 Newbery Committee members are looking at this one.