Uncle Shamus

Uncle Shamus

by James Duffy

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-- After spotting smoke coming from the chimney of a vacant Shanty Town shack, Akers Johnson soon makes friends with the old, blind, black man known as Uncle Shamus, who recently moved there. Along with ten-year-old Marleena, another resident of this poor Oklahoma town, Akers runs errands for the man, an ex-convict who served 30 years for the robbery of an armored car. Marleena and Akers form a tenuous friendship and eventually become involved in Shamus's elaborate plot to recover the stolen cash and fool an ex-prison guard who is demanding a share. Duffy's descriptions of the poverty of Shanty Town are conveyed well, but the starkness of the setting diminishes the emotional level of the story. The villains's threats seem to be annoyances rather than real danger, and despite losing his sight and a close friend during three decades in prison, Shamus appears surprisingly unaffected by the experience. Although there are some observations about the changes that have occurred during his absence, the time period is nondescript. Akers has a momentary flicker of conscience before digging up the money, but all turns out well (and a bit too neatly) when Shamus returns it and decides he'd rather live in the poor Shanty Town with his young friends than enjoy his riches in a big city. Although the conspirators' actions may be fun to watch, and Shamus's gift of $8000 to each child a dream come true, the novel is more than half over before Shamus's full background and plans are revealed. It will require patient readers who arewilling to stick with the story as it unfolds. --Susan Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >