While staying on his grandmother's farm, an Afro-American boy learns that every child needs a home where there's love, even though that love may be rough and scratchy.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 1-3The African-American narrator of this story recalls a time in his childhood when he felt deserted by his mother. He is unceremoniously dumped at his grandmother's farm, and his mother tells him that she needs to go and get herself together. He is unsure about living with his grandmother, whom he hasn't seen in a long time and who seems rough and scratchy. He directs his anger at her, thinking, "[she] must not have known anything about raising kids, cause she didn't seem to do a very good job with my mom." He soon learns that she knows a lot about children and what they need, and she provides it unstintingly. He comes to love her and the farm, and when his mother reappears to take him home many months later, he isn't sure he wants to go. The story is told in a low-key way, softening the impact of childhood's central worry, the fear of being abandoned by parents. The characters of the boy and his grandmother are well developed but the mother remains in the shadows, cool and aloof. The full-page illustrations are done in soft watercolors, lending an air of a bygone era. The child is shown with a sad, angry face except when he is enjoying his time with his grandmother. This subtle story handles a tough subject with sensitivity.Virginia Golodetz, Children's Literature New England, Burlington, VT
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