As Ever, Gordy

( 21 )

Overview

In this sequel to Following My Own Footsteps and Stepping on the Cracks, set just after World War II, Gordy finds himself caught between the troublemaker he was when he lived with his abusive father and the successful boy his grandmother was helping him to become.

When he and his younger sister move in with their older brother after their grandmother dies, thirteen-year-old Gordy finds himself caught between the boy he was when he lived with his abusive father and ...

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As Ever, Gordy

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Overview

In this sequel to Following My Own Footsteps and Stepping on the Cracks, set just after World War II, Gordy finds himself caught between the troublemaker he was when he lived with his abusive father and the successful boy his grandmother was helping him to become.

When he and his younger sister move in with their older brother after their grandmother dies, thirteen-year-old Gordy finds himself caught between the boy he was when he lived with his abusive father and the boy his grandmother was helping him become.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hahn expertly shows how the expectations of others influence Gordy's behavior, as he struggles to step away from his bad old self; in the end he takes that step, though not without a realistic amount of backsliding….While Gordy's anger is the dominant feeling here, flashes of humor and deftly inserted historical details of the postWW II era lighten the load."--Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Gordy is back in College Hill and he couldn't be more unhappy. Just when he felt his life was turning around, Grandma died and he and June had to return north to live with his brother Stu and his family. His old buddies Toad and Doug are pleased to have their crony back. The girls are appalled that their tormentor has returned. Will Gordy ever straighten out his life? Can he ever be the person that his grandmother believed in? Hahn writes with flair, and there is plenty happening in the life of Gordy and his family and friends, enough to keep readers turning the pages until the very end. But lets hope this isn't the end and we'll get to know more about Gordy.
VOYA - Diane Tuccillo
This sequel to Stepping on the Cracks (Clarion, 1991) and Following My Own Footsteps (Clarion, 1996) is set just after World War II. For the past three years, things had been going pretty well for thirteen-year-old Gordy Smith. Gordy and his younger sister, June, were living with their grandmother in North Carolina after their mother, three little brothers, and abusive father left for California without them. During that time, Grandma managed to get Gordy's poor behavior on track, and a new school and friends gave him a chance at a fresh start. All this changes when Grandma dies suddenly.

Gordy and June, who have no idea where their parents are, are forced to move back to their old town in Maryland to live with their married older brother, Stu. Once there, Gordy finds himself again lashing out at the world while trying to get a girl, his old enemy "Lizard," to like him. The problem is, Gordy's negative behavior has the opposite effect. His old buddies Toad and Doug are no help, and before he knows it, Gordy finds himself in all sorts of trouble. Through intervention by caring adults in his life, Gordy manages to get his problems ironed out and his anger under control.

The dialogue, language, and situations are realistic and the characters are well drawn. Unfortunately, the cover on As Ever, Gordy is inaccurate and less attractive than those on the first two. Even though this book could stand alone, reading the previous ones first would be a plus.

VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P M J (Hard to imagine it being better written, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This sequel to Stepping on the Cracks (1991) and Following My Own Footsteps (1996, both Clarion) continues Gordy Smith's story. After the death of their grandmother in North Carolina, with whom they had been living since their abusive, alcoholic father was arrested, 13-year-old Gordy and his younger sister return to College Hill, MD, to stay with their married older brother Stu. Under his grandmother's firm but loving hand, Gordy had begun to turn his life around. Unfortunately, everyone in College Hill remembers him as a bully. As his anger over his grandmother's death and his new living conditions surfaces, he falls back into his old ways--underachieving in school and playing mischievous pranks. He also finds himself the object of teasing by classmates Margaret and Elizabeth. Perhaps because Gordy is so caught up in his personal problems, it takes much of the book for him to realize that he is attracted to Elizabeth. In the end, they begin a positive relationship. Although Hahn attempts to flesh out the book's post-World War II setting, it is barely evident. Slang words such as "chump" and "dames" and period details such as Frank Sinatra and Hank Williams do not re-create the time for today's children. Readers who already know these characters will be interested in what happens to them, but those meeting Gordy for the first time may not find the book as compelling.-Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
An eighth grader finds that his tough-guy persona doesn't fit as well as it used to in Hahn's third book about the fragmented Smith family (Stepping On The Cracks, 1991; Following My Own Footsteps, 1996). After his grandmother's sudden death, Gordy has to move back to the hated Maryland town in which he grew up. Discovering that the intervening two years have done little to dim his family's white-trash reputation, and that his ne'er-do-well friends, Doug and Toad, haven't changed, Gordy slips back into his old troublemaking ways. The role begins to chafe, however, when he develops a yen for old rival LizþLizzy the LizardþCrawford, and learns that his abusive father and reform-school- graduate older brother aren't the best role models when it comes to human relations. Hahn expertly shows how the expectations of others influence Gordy's behavior, as he struggles to step away from his bad old self; in the end he takes that step, though not without a realistic amount of backsliding. To Gordy's surprise and pleasure, Elizabeth is willing to meet him half way. While Gordy's anger is the dominant feeling here, flashes of humor and deftly inserted historical details of the postþWW II era lighten the load. (Fiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547549552
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/21/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 522,003
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY DOWNING HAHN, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous and The Old Willis Place. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus. Visit her online at www.marydowninghahnbooks.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Just about the time I thought my life was going pretty well, something happened that changed everything. I should have seen it coming, sensed it in the air the way you smell smoke before you see fire, but I had no inkling. None at all.

As a matter of fact, when the news came, I was in English class, staring out the window as if I had forever to sit there studying clouds. Mr. Isaacson stood at the blackboard, showing us how to diagram sentences. Like most grammar lessons, it bored me to death, but not my friend William. He wrote down everything Mr. Isaacson said. That's how William was-too smart for his own good. Later I'd copy his notes, but I had better things to think about now-the way Nancy Jean Allen's hair curled on the back of her neck, the Friday basketball game, the war movie I hoped to see at the Palace on Saturday, maybe with Nancy Jean.

Just as Mr. Isaacson fit a participle into the diagram, someone knocked on the door. Like everybody else, I stopped what I was doing and watched Mr. Isaacson go into a huddle with the school secretary. Suddenly they both stared right at me. A couple of kids noticed. William turned around in his seat, a worried look on his face, but Billy Brown grinned and ran a finger across his throat. The whole class, including me, thought I was in trouble. But for the life of me, I couldn't think of a single bad thing I'd done recently.

"Gordy," Mr. Isaacson said, "you'd better get your books and go to the office with Miss Spurles."

I It wasn't what he said that scared me but the way he said it. His voice was soft and low, not a speck of anger in it, and his face was sorrowful. The whole class watched me stand up. Nobody wasgrinning now. Like me, they knew this was serious business.

I walked down the hall beside Miss Spurles, wanting to ask her what was wrong but too scared to open my mouth. Suppose June had been hit by a car on her way to school? Suppose my big brother Donny had wrecked that old jalopy he was so proud of? Worst of all, suppose my father was waiting in the principal's office, come all the way from California to tell me Mama was sick and needed me?

At the door to Mr. Nelson's office, Miss Spurles paused and laid her hand on my shoulder. "I'm afraid it's bad news, Gordy,' she said in a low voice. 'And I want you to know I'm real sorry about it.'

I nodded and swallowed hard. Mr. Nelson was standing behind his desk, looking at me with sad eyes like everyone else. Slowly I walked a little closer and stopped in front of him, dreading to hear what he had to say. At least the old man wasn't anywhere in sight.

Mr. Nelson cleared his throat, like he'd lost his voice and was trying to find it. "Gordy," he said, "I got a call from your neighbor a few minutes ago." He paused to clear his throat again. "Mrs. Sullivan told me Your grandmother was taken to the hospital this morning. A heart attack, she said."

For all the sense I could make of what Mr. Nelson was saying, he might as well have been speaking German or Italian. Strange as it sounds, I'd never once thought the bad news had anything to do with Grandma.

"There must be some mistake," I said, swallowing the cold lump in my throat. "Grandma was fine when I left for school, she couldn't have had a heart attack, she's as strong as horse, she, she-why, she-"

My voice ran on and on all by itself. I swear my brain had shut down like I'd thrown a switch or blown a fuse.

When I finally stopped babbling, Mr. Nelson said, "Your brother Donny is on his way to get you. He should be here any minute now." He cleared his throat again. 'I'm truly sorry, Gordy. Mrs. Aitcheson was a fine woman. We taught together for many years before she retired. I admired her more than I can say."

Though it worried me, I didn't dare ask Mr. Nelson why he'd said Grandma was a fine woman. I'd convinced myself Grandma was in the hospital but not too bad off. Soon she'd be home. In the meantime, I'd look after June and keep the house tidy. Maybe I'd buy Grandma some flowers or candy. Chocolates were her biggest weakness-once she started eating them, she just couldn't stop. I figured I had enough allowance left to get her a big fancy box of her favorites.

I was thinking about the chocolates when Donny showed up. Slinging one arm around my shoulders, he gave me a fast hug, something he never did, and hustled me out of school.

"Hurry up," he said. "I told Mrs. Sullivan I'd bring you to her house. June's already there."

I slid into the front seat beside my brother, smelling the familiar smells of old leather and cigarette smoke. "When are we going to the hospital to see Grandma?"

Donny stopped fooling with the ignition and stared at me. "Didn't they tell you?"

The cold lump I'd choked down in Nelson's office came back, filling my throat like an ice cube I'd swallowed without meaning to. "Grandma had a heart attack, she's in the hospital, but she'll be home soon," I said, stringing the words together as fast as I could. "I hope she doesn't feel too bad to eat chocolate. Maybe we could stop on the way to the hospital and pick up some at the drugstore. She likes those big fancy boxes, the ones with lots of different kinds. Her favorites have nuts in the middle, she always eats those first, then she-"

"Gordy, for God's sake! " Donny yelled. "Shut up and listen to me. Grandma's dead. She died on the way to the hospital!"...

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2000

    Brillant

    A very emotional book. A boy dealing with his father abusing him and his family. The town talking about whos footsteps he was going to follow becoming yellow, dropping out of school once reaching 16 or becoming a alcholaic, abusive scary person, the town drunk. Dealing anger, a death, growing up, his family and what everyone thinks of him. A great book for fifth and up. Even adults. A book that hits home with everyone.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2006

    GREAT!!!!! ONE MILLION STARS!!!!!!!!!!

    This book is great! I highly recomend this book! Mary Downing Hahn is a highly skilled author! READ IT! READ IT!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2000

    Gordy Growing Up

    I love this sereis of books. I recommend them to all 5th & 6th grade students. It was great watching Gordy and his friends grow up. How when he came back things weren't the same. Living in a cramped apt. with his brother Stu, thinking of William. And last his adventures after he returns.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    FKJVFFDFFFFGFJJJJJFVJFFHFCCHCCBCJFUVBCCCKCJFJFUCKCKGKKGGGFFFFFFC

    MUST READ

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    As Ever, Gordy

    I read this book and its series in 4th grade and all aof them made me cry. If you like sad stories and you're around fifth or fourth grade I recommend this book and its series to you. Mary Downing Hahn is an incredible author! If you read the first book in the series ( Stepping on the Cracks)first you will understand the book so much better. This book is amazing it is a must read.

    Samira

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    A Mary Downing Hawn Challenge.By Sally

    TO START THE CHALLENGE MEET ME AT Mary Downing Hawn's book, WAIT TILL HELEN COMES? YOUR MISSION WILL START

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    AMAZIN!!!!!!!!!

    This is one of the best books ive ever read!!!!! It is,yes,kinda sad in some parts. Gordy likes Elizebeth. He pretendes like he doesnt by insulting them. Best book evr!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    I have never read this book

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Awsome

    This book was so good. Sometime i would regret putting it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    As Ever, Gordy

    I love this book it is sweet and I think I will read it again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Thanks

    Thanks to whoever wrote be careful i thought this was the first book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Be carful

    This is the third book in a series that starts with Stepping on he cracks. It is not the first. Great book though. I highly recomend it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Reading

    I cant wait to start reading it im still on stepping on the cracks

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted January 31, 2012

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