Bigger

Bigger

4.3 6
by Patricia Calvert
     
 

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In the spring of 1865 the Civil War has finally ended. Men are coming home. Families are being reunited — except for Tyler's. His father is going with a band of men to Mexico, where they will regroup, rearm, and continue the fight against the Yankees. Tyler is stunned. For four years he's dreamed of seeing his father again, and he can't let go of that dream.

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Overview

In the spring of 1865 the Civil War has finally ended. Men are coming home. Families are being reunited — except for Tyler's. His father is going with a band of men to Mexico, where they will regroup, rearm, and continue the fight against the Yankees. Tyler is stunned. For four years he's dreamed of seeing his father again, and he can't let go of that dream. There's only one thing Tyler can do — go get his father and bring him home.
Tyler starts his trek from Missouri to the Rio Grande alone, but he quickly gains a companion — a strange dog made mean by cruelty but tamed by hunger and Tyler's desperately lonely need for him. Tyler names him Bigger.
The journey is long and hard but, with Bigger by his side, possible. Tyler might make it all the way to the Rio Grande. He might even find his father. But most importantly, Bigger helps Tyler realize that some dreams might not be worth holding on to.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly Starred review Thought-provoking, imbued with powerful emotion, and conveying a timeless theme, this is historical fiction at its best.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Calvert's ( The Snowbird ; Yesterday's Daughter ) sweeping, deeply moving historical novel may well bring tears to the reader's eyes. The Civil War has ended, yet 12-year-old Tyler still awaits tidings of his father, Black Jack Bohannon, who left four years earlier, in 1861, with General Jo Shelby's Iron Cavalry Brigade of Missouri. Learning that Shelby and his men are on their way to Mexico to keep the Confederacy alive, Tyler sets out to find his father and bring him home. He undertakes the 800-mile journey on foot, with only a few dollars in his pocket (incidentally, he returns with change), and is joined by the title character, an ornery ``devil dog'' that becomes his inseparable friend and protector. An encounter with Isaac, an African American youth bearing the still-fresh scars of slavery, causes Tyler to doubt for the first time his father's judgment in fighting for the South. Black Jack, no fairy tale father, turns out not to be the homesick hero of his son's imaginings. Thought-provoking, imbued with powerful emotion and conveying a timeless theme, this is historical fiction at its best. Ages 9-11. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-The Civil War is over and Tyler Bohannon, 12, begins a trek that will take him from his secure home in Sweet Creek, Missouri, to Eagle Pass, Texas. His goal is to find and bring back his father, who joined General Jo Shelby and the Confederates four years earlier. Soon after setting out, Bigger, a fierce, apparently abused dog, becomes Tyler's companion. Their odyssey is one of body, mind, and spirit. They face hunger, heat, and exhaustion; in a brief meeting with a scarred, orphaned black boy, Tyler confronts the brutality of slavery; and walking over Pea Ridge, he is horrified by the bones littering the battlefield. He finally finds his father, but the man is hardened in his resolve to settle his score with the Union, and refuses to go home. As the boy tries to understand this rejection, he must face further heartbreak when, on the way home, Bigger is killed. Through strong characters, flowing narrative, geographic description, and historical detail, Calvert draws readers into her hero's life and times. Although he endures a heavy dose of adversity, the boy is not extraordinary. His resilience stems from his realization that loyalty, love, and courage take many forms. Readers will relate to his friendship with Bigger, his emerging social consciousness, and his struggle to accept the loss of his dreams and the hard realities of the adult world.-Gerry Larson, Chewning Middle School, Durham, NC

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689860034
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
07/01/2003
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
634,093
Product dimensions:
0.34(w) x 5.00(h) x 8.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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