Under the Pear Tree

Under the Pear Tree

by Brenda Seabrooke, Roger Essley
     
 
It is summer again in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and Deanne, Stacy, and Lala are exploring their world in the early 1950s: boys, a visiting cousin with a secret, the courting of a couple across the street, a newcomer who reveals foreign vistas. But after a party at Bowens Mill, Stacy takes her first steps towards adulthood and their world will never be quite the same.

Overview

It is summer again in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and Deanne, Stacy, and Lala are exploring their world in the early 1950s: boys, a visiting cousin with a secret, the courting of a couple across the street, a newcomer who reveals foreign vistas. But after a party at Bowens Mill, Stacy takes her first steps towards adulthood and their world will never be quite the same.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Seabrooke once again transports readers back to the 1950's in Fitzgerald, Georgia. The friends we met in Judy Scuppernong are spending another lazy summer together- but things are changing: boys enter the scene and Stacy seems to be growing up faster than her longtime pals, Deanna and Lala. The poetic narratives are like "chunks of that sweet gummy orange slice candy" a line that describes the fish in the poem entitled "The Fountain in Front of the Bus Station."
The ALAN Review - Mike Angelotti
Brenda Seabrooke poetically narrates soft reminiscences of her eleventh summer in Fitzgerald, Georgia. There are mini-stories of summer, of her two best friends Lala and Stacey, of dog weddings and attic playacting of Gone With the Wind, of the bittersweet visit of thirteen-year-old cousin, Rusty, and shell-shocked marine war veteran, Joey Van Druten, of the summer dance when twelve-year-old Stacey stepped over the line, of the romance of youth and growing up. Time and again the poet returns to the shade of the pear tree, her safe haven, to recapture experiences in free verse and situate action. There are memorable lines, as in "The Fountain in Front of the Bus Station," where she describes the fish "like chunks of that sweet, gummy orange candy lying at the bottom of the cast-iron pool." Altogether a pleasant, uncomplicated read that suggests a rather interesting alternative to prose memoir writing for middle-school students and older, and their teacher. Certainly worth the read and a place on the classroom bookshelf.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7This delightful coming-of-age tale told through prose poems transports readers to Georgia during the early 1950s. It's summer and 11-year-old Stacy, Deanna, and Lala have lots of time to kill, and many interests to pursue. Boys ("an exotic species like Komodo Dragons or Tasmanian Devils") are one new interest, and the poems provide brilliant bits of insight into the world of these foreign creatures. Girl talk hasn't changed over time; in "Boys We Knew," longtime neighbors are described, "They didn't count as boys,/the kind we might go/on a date with someday,/or even want to talk to./They were our pals, nobody/to get romantic about." Related selections capture the small events that enhance the girls' summer: a dog "wedding"; games of "Redlight" and "Mother, May I"; comic books; lipstick; and lightening their hair with vinegar and lemon juice. Essley's expertly rendered, black-and-white illustrations are at once soft-focused and nuanced in their detail, providing appealing glimpses into the time and place. This summer is truly a growing one for the girls, and it seems all they do and see is preparing them for adulthood. These poems are gentle, quiet, insightful, and timeless; and this format is quite appropriate for the subject. There is also clever language here, readily relaying the sights, sounds, and smells of the season.Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
In this sequel to Judy Scuppernong (1990), the language is simple in a narrative in free verse, but the emotions are genuine, powerful, and sweet. The narrator, Deanna, and her friends Lala and Stacy find the summer full of mystery: Deanna's teasing cousin, Rusty, and his hidden sorrows; their shell- shocked neighbor Joey and his new wife, Vivian, whom the girls find exotic but of whom their mothers disapprove; and the greatest mystery of all, boys. "Who can explain them? . . . They don't even try—just do whatever they want and let the broken bits fall any old place." Friends wander in and out, nylons and Flame Kiss lipstick become talismans, lovely images of light, wind, and the ever-present pear tree suffuse this gentle book. Readers will love it; those seeking to unlock the secrets of the female heart will find some nuggets here.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525652137
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
7.86(w) x 5.26(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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