Newfound

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Fiction. "In a beautiful plainspoken novel of an Appalachian boy's coming-of-age, Kentucky poet Miller tells of a family drama rooted in daily work, the turn of the seasons, and the stories people share" -Booklist.

A boy growing up in his grandparents' house in the Appalachians learns about the town and the people around him, their habits, stories, and lore.

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Overview


Fiction. "In a beautiful plainspoken novel of an Appalachian boy's coming-of-age, Kentucky poet Miller tells of a family drama rooted in daily work, the turn of the seasons, and the stories people share" -Booklist.

A boy growing up in his grandparents' house in the Appalachians learns about the town and the people around him, their habits, stories, and lore.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rural life in Appalachia, as seen through the eyes of an adolescent boy, is the subject of this first novel. Robert, the narrator, tells of the mismatch between his charming but flighty father, son of the local landlord, and his doughty mother, a sharecropper's daughter. His father's refusal to settle down tries his mother's patience to the point that she takes Robert and his younger brother and sister to live with her parents, tenants on his paternal grandparents' farm. Life in tiny Newfound Creek has a timeless quality: farm chores, dictated by the season, are mostly accomplished without machines; TV, radio and magazines don't seem to exist. The only reference to the outside culture is mention of a long-haired man, which fixes the time frame in the late '60s or early '70s. The sights, sounds and people of the Tennessee mountains are well-evoked here, and the author makes some astute observations about human relationships. But this fictional memoir's curiously detached tone and lack of dramatic focus are unaffecting and make this work read more like a series of vignettes than a novel. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-- Miller's first novel reflects his love of language. It is a lyrical memoir of Robert's life from the sixth grade, when his parents separate and he and his mother, brother, and sister return to his grandparents' tenant farm in New found, Tennessee, until Robert leaves for college. Unlike so many novels about Appalachia which rely on dialect and inclusion of folk stereotypes, Newfound is a collection of careful and gentle portraits of people and events drawn against the beauties of the Appalachian countryside. Each character is lovingly created, from Robert's father, a charismatic schemer; and his mother, determined to better herself; to each of his four grandparents, his brother and sister, and their friends. Through Robert's matter-of-fact retellings, readers come to see how Robert's Grandma Smith's mixtures of folk wisdom and science; his Grandma Wells' ambitions; and a sad, mentally-handicapped neighbor are all parts of the complex web known as family and home. The focus on language, character, and setting may be challenging to young readers used to the action-packed plots and simplistic first-person narration of so many novels about divorce, but readers who enjoyed Barbara Porte's I Only Made Up the Roses (Greenwillow, 1987) and Lois Lowry's Autumn Street (Houghton, 1980) are sure to find satisfaction here. --Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780917788598
  • Publisher: Gnomon Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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