Moving Mama to Town

Moving Mama to Town

by Jeff Woodman, Ronder Thomas Young
     
 

Freddy James Johnson becomes the man of the family when his daddy Big Kenny runs off. Freddy James knows he must keep his family together, and moves his Mama and little brother Kenneth Lee to town. He soon gets a job at Fenton Calhoun's saloon and rents rooms for his family from Miss Precious Doolittle. As the days go by, Freddy James gains strength by working hard…  See more details below

Overview

Freddy James Johnson becomes the man of the family when his daddy Big Kenny runs off. Freddy James knows he must keep his family together, and moves his Mama and little brother Kenneth Lee to town. He soon gets a job at Fenton Calhoun's saloon and rents rooms for his family from Miss Precious Doolittle. As the days go by, Freddy James gains strength by working hard and learning from the people he meets. He'll need that strength as he faces a challenge that will change his life forever.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-9It is 1947 in rural Georgia, and 13-year-old Freddy James Johnson's father has run off, leaving him, his mother, and his younger brother, Kenneth Lee, destitute. Freddy has grown up listening to his father's platitudes about manhood and responsibility, and he proves he has been a good listener. Borrowing a neighbor's old truck, the boy drives to the small, sleepy town of Elderton and secures a run-down apartment plus an all-purpose errand-boy job at a tawdry saloon. The big event of the summer is a barbecue for which Freddy has dug a huge pit on the saloon's grounds. Custis Fullbright, a would-be replacement for Big Kenny in Mama's affections, shows up at the event and offers to drive the Johnsons to visit Mama's parents in South Carolina. Even the lure of the ocean is not sufficient to overcome Freddy's distaste for and distrust of Custis. The journey ends in tragedy, adding yet another loss for Freddy. Young has a fine ear for regional speech and creates a strong and positive sense of time and place. Freddy is a likable hero who is forced to grow up way too soon, yet he approaches every day of his life with renewed vigor and a strong sense of always doing the right thing. Where Big Kenny was all big talk but a little man in truth, his son is a young man who quietly grows in stature before readers' eyes.Jerry D. Flack, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Kirkus Reviews
From Young (Learning By Heart, 1993), the credible, often tender story of Freddy James Johnson, 13, who takes on the responsibility of holding his family together when his daddy, Big Kenny, runs off.

Freddy's first step is to move his mother and his little brother, Kenneth Lee, off their hardscrabble farm and into town where he takes a 45�-an-hour job at Fenton Calhoun's saloon, performing back-breaking chores. The town doyenne, Miss Precious Doolittle, likes Freddy's gumption and rents part of one of her houses to his family. The farm is sold to pay Big Kenny's gambling debts and the Johnsons start to understand that their new life is permanent. When a former farmhand, Custis Fulbright, offers to drive the family to Charleston to visit Mama's parents, Freddy—disliking Custis's too-familiar ways—refuses to go; Mama and Kenneth Lee join Custis and she subsequently dies in a car accident. As a picture of small-town Southern life in 1947, the book is fascinating; Young evokes the sights, sounds, and scents of the place and gives each scene immediacy. Every character is perfectly drawn, with the exception of Mama: Her haste in taking up with Custis is full of contradictions; her death makes all of Freddy's efforts to hold the family together abruptly moot. Still, this is a fine novel, informed by its protagonist's clear sense of right and wrong, and a work ethic that assures his future success.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780788719080
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
01/07/2002
Edition description:
Unabridged
Age Range:
10 Years

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