Jessie's Mountain

Jessie's Mountain

3.6 3
by Kerry Madden
     
 

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Livy Two has always dreamed of becoming a singer, and her decision to run off to Nashville's Music Row is made with confidence-she figures the money she'll bring home will buy the family's house as well as forgiveness for running away. The Nashville adventure is a disaster, though; even her cherished guitar is stolen. Livy Two takes her failure hard, but finds

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Overview

Livy Two has always dreamed of becoming a singer, and her decision to run off to Nashville's Music Row is made with confidence-she figures the money she'll bring home will buy the family's house as well as forgiveness for running away. The Nashville adventure is a disaster, though; even her cherished guitar is stolen. Livy Two takes her failure hard, but finds comfort in the girlhood diary of her mother, Jessie. Outraged to discover that young Jessie had dreams now long-forgotten, Livy Two puts the whole family to work and makes Mama's ultimate dream come true.

Jessie's Mountain concludes the captivating three-book saga of Livy Two and her mountain family, the Weems of Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Enid Portnoy
Set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, this book features Livy Weems, a twelve year old girl who thinks and dreams about her future and her place in her family. The story takes place in 1963. Told in the first person, Livy is quite open about her feelings. She certainly has a house full of family: "ten kids and three grown ups," who depend on her for many things. She seems to be well read, referring constantly to books and literary and biographical figures she discovers in her visits to her beloved community bookmobile. One Christmas, Livy's grandmother presents her with an old journal which Livy's mother wrote when she was also twelve. As Livy hears a different voice speaking to her from the journal's pages, she begins to share those thoughts with her siblings. Livy gains the strength to follow through with some plans to help support her family by fulfilling her dream as a singer. The adventures that Livy has offer a lively picture of mountain folk who depend upon their kin for advice, support, and entertainment. Livy wants to make a career in music for herself, but to do this, she must travel to the big city of Nashville and have an audition. Readers will learn about new items which may be unfamiliar: S & H green stamps, bookmobiles, the Holler, wool socks with tangerines inside them, and family rituals of small rural communities in the mountains. Although it may be difficult at first for more sophisticated urban readers to identify with the activities and setting, there is a charm and infectious simplicity to the rhythm of the characters' lives. Female readers especially can appreciate some of the ambivalent emotions described. The book provides an imaginative entry into asweeter, uncomplicated lifestyle, in which family means everything. Madden uses an easy vocabulary, broad humor, and plentiful word images to paint a strong minded female character. The ways in which Livy and others face the barriers to her plans for success will keep the readers' attention. The end of the book features an acknowledgement by the author of her feelings about writing the book. Her sincerity and honesty of expression are equally mirrored in the characters in her book. This book is one of Kerry Madden's "Maggie Valley Stories." Reviewer: Enid Portnoy
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7- Things are getting more difficult for Livy Two Weems's family in the last book in the series. The landlord is demanding the back rent, and Daddy still hasn't regained all of his memory since a car accident. Grandma Horace insists that they leave their beloved valley and move in with her, but their mama, Jessie, refuses to go back to her mother's home. The only bright spot for the children is secretly reading the diary she wrote when she was Livy Two's age. The 12-year-old has decided to solve the family's problems by slipping off to Nashville and selling her songs. She is caught by her sister Jitters, 10, who demands to go, too. Meeting with bitter disappointment there, the girls return home to their frantic family and to the jeers and laughter of the town. As the family's plight worsens, the sisters hatch another moneymaking scheme-the opening of a music hall, Jessie's Smoky Mountain Music Notes. The plot is predictable, but the book is an interesting character study of Livy Two's brand of love, her mother's courage in protecting her family, and feisty Jitters. The outcome of the girls' final plan is unrealistic given their ages, but it makes for a happy ending. Fans of the series will enjoy this one, too.-Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Madden brings the struggling yet loving Weems family refreshingly to life in her third story in the Maggie Valley trilogy following Gentle's Holler (2005) and Louisiana's Song (2007). Set in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains in 1964, almost-13-year-old Livy Two, one of ten children, again provides a poignant and spirited lens through which events unfold and a lot of growing up occurs. Determined as ever to help support her family so they can stay in their beloved holler, Livy Two, a gifted songwriter, singer and guitar player, runs off to Nashville to audition for Mr. George Flowers of Music Row. But her ten-year-old sister follows, nothing goes as expected and their abrupt disappearance affects everyone she cares for deeply. "A brave girl-full of heart," she is sometimes torn about secretly reading her mother's girlhood diary from the '40s, uncharacteristically given to her by Grandma Horace. In part sparked by the entries and bird drawings, she hatches a plan that, with everyone working together, really does make a difference. A fitting end to the trilogy, Madden has created a heartwarming family story bursting with love and mountain music. (Fiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670061549
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/14/2008
Series:
Maggie Valley Trilogy
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.06(d)
Lexile:
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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