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A Thief in the Village: And Other Stories of Jamaica

Overview

Nenna and her brother Man-Man sneak from shadow to tree trunk in the dead of night, concealing themselves while tracking a coconut thief. Gustas barely survives a violent hurricane, trying to save his fruit-laden banana tree. Becky begs her mother for a bicycle, and Fanso longs to know his father who walked out of his life thirteen years earlier.
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Overview

Nenna and her brother Man-Man sneak from shadow to tree trunk in the dead of night, concealing themselves while tracking a coconut thief. Gustas barely survives a violent hurricane, trying to save his fruit-laden banana tree. Becky begs her mother for a bicycle, and Fanso longs to know his father who walked out of his life thirteen years earlier.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The phrases in these stories, all set in Jamaica, are musical in print, even before they are read aloud. ``I know total-total that if I had my own bike, the Wheels-and-Brake Boys wouldn't treat me like that,'' Becky tells readers in ``Becky and the Wheels-and-Brake-Boys,'' and, with those words, her determination is established. By the end of the tale, she gets her wish and rides alongside the boys who had seemed to her fearless. ``Usually I think I live in the poorest back-o'-wall bush place,'' begins the narrator of ``All Other Days Run into Sunday,'' a boy who knows that the mischief of the other days of the week always tries to creep into Sunday's calm specialness. In the title story, an honest man is maligned in such a way that the villagers may never again be so sure of themselves. Berry's prose is liquid and cool; in ``Fanso and Granny-Flo'' and elsewhere his descriptions are so original that the language is rendered meaningful and new: ``Fanso's comings and goings and concerns were so well woven in with his granny's, it was hard to tell he had a big secret worry.'' How better to express the phase when the young adult begins to pull away from childhood? The collection is epiphanic; each story wraps itself around ordinary incidents and transforms them into lore. Ages 12-up. (March)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140343571
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1990
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Table of Contents

Becky and the Wheels-and-Brake Boys 1
A Thief in the Village 12
Tukku-Tukku and Samson 34
All Other Days Run Into Sunday 46
The Mouth-Organ Boys 65
Elias and the Mongoose 75
The Pet, the Sea, and Little Buddy 89
Fanso and Granny-Flo 101
The Banana Tree 134
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