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Littlejim's Dreams
     

Littlejim's Dreams

by Gloria Houston, Thomas B. Allen (Illustrator)
 

More than anything, fourteen-year-old Littlejim wants to attend the academy so he can study to be a teacher, like Aunt Zony. But Mama gets sick and there’s work to be done on the farm. And the timber company’s coming to take away the only life his family knows. Will Littlejim be able to make his dreams come true? This is a touching story of a

Overview

More than anything, fourteen-year-old Littlejim wants to attend the academy so he can study to be a teacher, like Aunt Zony. But Mama gets sick and there’s work to be done on the farm. And the timber company’s coming to take away the only life his family knows. Will Littlejim be able to make his dreams come true? This is a touching story of a boy’s coming-of-age in 1920 Appalachia. “It’s a heartwarming story of family ties and friendships, set in an earlier era and another culture. Fans of the previous books will not be disappointed.”—Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
In this continuation of Houston's (Littlejim) saga about an Appalachian boy, Littlejim's dreams go far beyond the Creek. Inspired by Jules Verne's books and by a worldly-wise visitor from Philadelphia, the 13-year-old wants to be an airship pilot some day, but his father expects him to follow family tradition and learn the logging trade. As Littlejim struggles with decisions about his future while trying to prove himself a man to stoic Bigjim, other troubles arise-first the protagonist's mother grows seriously ill, then Bigjim's land is stripped of its most precious trees by swindling prospectors. Once again Littlejim's ability to put his thoughts on paper proves to be his most valuable weapon: a letter to the editor in the Philadelphia Inquirer not only brings powerful attorneys to Bigjim's aid but also clears misconceptions about "hill-billie" ignorance. This account of Littlejim's initiation into manhood captures the dialect, values and work ethic of self-sufficient mountain people faced with change during the early 1920s. If the characters and neatly packaged resolutions are too reminiscent of a Waltons episode for some tastes, many readers will savor the book's local color and down-home flavor.
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
In this latest installment in the "Littejim" series, Littlejim, now 14, must decide between his dream of becoming a teacher and his father's desire that he stay in his small Appalachian village to help farm the family land. This fascinating novel takes us Western North Carolina circa 1920, where the modern world, with all its advantages and disadvantages, is slowly making its way. When Littlejim's mother becomes seriously ill, he must help his father find the money to pay for her treatment while at the same time prevent a mining company from destroying their precious forest. All the while, Littlejim is waiting to see if an award-winning essay he wrote will get him a full scholarship to a private school far away from his small mountain community. All of these conflicts flesh out the portrait of a strong young man trying to balance his dreams with his family's needs. A wonderful story.
Kirkus Reviews
Littlejim Houston is nearly 14 and loves his life in rural Appalachia in 1920, but he dreams of being more than a farmer and logger. He'd like to go the academy and then to college; he wants to become a teacher or maybe even an aviator. Money is tight, for the bottom has fallen out of the lumber market, and there's work to be done if they are to keep their farm. When Mama falls seriously ill, Papa needs money to take her to the Statesville hospital, and sells the mineral rights to his property to a couple of unsavory mineral speculators. The farm is left to Littlejim while his parents are gone. With Myron, a law student from Philadelphia who is staying with the Houstons for the summer, Littlejim soon discovers the magnitude of his father's blunder; the miners clear the family's only virgin stand of timber, claiming the right to "prepare" the land. This terrible loss results in Papa's seeking—and obtaining—justice from outside the community; he also begins to understand the value of Littlejim's fine mind and openly pledges his support for his boy's education. It's a heartwarming story of family ties and friendship, set in an earlier era and another culture. Fans of the previous books (Littlejim's Gift, 1994, etc.) will not be disappointed.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152015091
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.97(d)
Lexile:
1000L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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