The Little Knownby Janice Daugharty
When twelve-year-old Knot Crews, an African American boy growing up in the segregated south Georgia town of Statenville, discovers a bag of bank-robbed cash in an alley, he is nearly overcome with happiness and terror. All that money—a hundred thousand dollars—could be the ticket to everything he’s ever wanted, but he knows he can’t… See more details below
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When twelve-year-old Knot Crews, an African American boy growing up in the segregated south Georgia town of Statenville, discovers a bag of bank-robbed cash in an alley, he is nearly overcome with happiness and terror. All that money—a hundred thousand dollars—could be the ticket to everything he’s ever wanted, but he knows he can’t spend it, not only because his conscience won’t let him, but for fear of being caught. He decides to do what he can for his needy neighbors, both black and white, and begins mailing them hundred dollar bills anonymously, but it irks Knot daily to discover that most of them squander it and don’t use the money as he had intended, and that the money doesn’t change their lives for the better. It turns out that the weight of Knot’s world can’t be lifted by cold hard cash alone. Set during the turbulent 1960’s, The Little Known is a coming-of-age story full of hope and forgiveness.
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Janice writes a novel that should be read aloud. Her command of the language and use of words create an atmosphere that is almost touchable. An event that could be disregarded in our busy everyday life,here, makes a moving story
Does using found, stolen money to do good negate the wrongness of the money being stolen? Morally, no. But in twelve year old Knot Crew's mind, it does. He hopes that each of the recipients of his anonymous gifts will use the money to improve their impoverished situations. Some do, some don't. Janice Daugharty writes a touching story that will stay with you and make you want to right all the wrongs in the world. And cook a really big dinner.
A young black boy in a segregated southern town in the 1960s finds a fortune in stolen money. But what can he do with it? A hundred dollar note isn't exactly legal tender for a boy of the wrong color, and a few pence would be much more useful. Still, Knot Crews is resourceful and kind; he comes up with lots of interesting schemes, none of which work out how he's planned, but all of which sound achingly plausible and real. During the course of a year, Knot learns about himself and his family and neighbors and grows up. Are heroes the people who are seen saving lives, or those who run away after saving lives? Are good people those who are seen going to church, or those who know their sins and keep away? Are family those who you see very day, or those who choose to live with and stand by you? And who cares for whom? Knot has to learn who he is, who his mother is, and who his family and friends might yet become. There's a preacher visiting the church in town who promises dreams. There's a white girl falling apart. There are black kids who find it easier to stay invisible if they're alone. And there's hope-bought, not with stolen cash, but with brave deeds born of grave need. I really enjoyed this book, for its human touch, for a very real-seeming boy, for a dark place where the sun keeps shining, and for the atmosphere and scenes that grow with the child till scary forest is just a bunch of trees. Disclosure: I heard about this book from BelleBooks and got it free in a deal.
Knot Crews is a thirteen year old African American boy growing up in Statensville Georgia. who was told most of his young life that he was fished out of a dumpster and taken to raise by Marge, she struggles with alcoholism, and alot of days there isn't enough food to eat. They live in what I would call a shanty town, and everybody seems to be poor. The one bright spot is the summers spent with his "Aunt Willie"Marge's sister whom he hopes that some day they will move in with. During the last days of summer, he sees a commotion at the bank, and sees a tall black man drop a bag in the alley. When he goes to retrieve the bag, he finds that it has stacks and stacks of one hundred dollar bills, one hundred thousand dollars to be exact. Knot knows that there is no way that he can spend the money, he will be caught for sure, but he comes up with a plan to help his neighbors, but instead of the neighbors using it to purchase food or other needed items they waste the money. He also donates 100 dollar bills regularly to his church, a place where he is certain to always get a meal. Even though Knot doesn't spend one dime of the money on himself, it does allow him to see the effects it has on other people around him. This book isn't my usual style of read, but I am so glad that I gave it a chance. The protagonist in the story doesn't let life's adversities get him down. While he describes himself as ugly early on in the book, I would totally disagree. His kind caring nature really shines thru and his actions showcase his inner beauty which far outweighs anything that he could consider ugly. I felt like Knot was wise beyond his years, and while he knows that keeping and spending the money isn't right, he wants to make peoples lives a bit easier. When Knot finally learns the truth about who his birth mother is, and that he really is part of the family that he wanted to belong to I hoped that things might take a turn for the better for him. I found the look at race relations set during this time period quite interesting as well, and while it was quite easy to figure out who the "special" speaker would be at Willie's church, it seemed very fitting for the story.This book for me was one that I couldn't put down, reading it in one sitting. I have never read anything by Janice Daugharty before reading this story, but fully intend to check out some of her other work. While this book is geared toward teens, I think readers of all ages will find Knot's story a compelling tale that will definitely tug at your heartstrings.
In Statenville, Georgia, integrations is creeping at a snail's pace as both whites and blacks prefer segregation. For example twelve year old Knot Crews attends the same school as the white kids, but never talks to any of them for fear of reprisal. As another boring hot summer draws to an end, Knot observes the local cops chasing after a bank robber. The thief drops is sack of cash while fleeing the scene, but only Knot notices the bag as the cops focus on the felon. He picks it up and opens it. Inside is 1000 one hundred dollar bills. Not a fool he knows he cannot spend the loot as no one would believe a black kid had even a solo hundred dollar bill though he wishes he could as he goes hungry too often; his single mom spends more on booze than him. However, he feels he can help his even more impoverish neighbors. The young Good Samaritan begins anonymously mailing money to the downtrodden. However, to his shock the cash is not spent in necessities but on luxuries like TVs and liquor; though a few battered women of both colors use the money to escape with their kids from abusive relationships. This is an intriguing historical coming of age tale that contains several life lessons for the reader (high school age and above) and definitely for Knot. He keeps the insightful story line focused as he tries to do what he believes is the right thing with his income redistribution plan. With a strong spotlight in mid 1960s Georgia, The Little Known is a fascinating slice of Southern life from a bygone era, but the generalizations apply anywhere. Harriet Klausner