Books by Chris Woodworth

IVY IN THE SHADOWS by Chris Woodworth
Released: Feb. 5, 2013

"A coming-of-age tale with sufficient heart, an appealing narrator and an unusual conflict combine for a fine read. (Fiction. 10-14)"
When Ivy's newly divorced mother takes in a young boarder, the 12-year-old strongly disapproves. Read full book review >
Released: June 12, 2008

When caught viewing inappropriate websites on the family computer, 13-year-old Eddie McCall is sent to spend his four-week vacation in Indiana with Uncle Peavey, a scrawny little "garden gnome" of a man living in the middle of nowhere. Looking for a father figure, Eddie doesn't expect much from Uncle Peavey, who has never even been on a date and still sleeps in a bunk bed. Though he feels as if he has walked right into reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, Eddie—predictably—comes to appreciate his great-uncle, the mechanically minded girl named Ronnie who helps Peavey in his shop and the values they impart. Swirling around Eddie's resentment at his exile are stories he glimpses only parts of: Peavey's determinedly single status, Ronnie's bristling resentment and his unguessed-at connection to the unpleasant Daly family. Woodworth leavens her simply written story with well-drawn characters and quiet wisdom, making this a good choice for discussion groups. Parents, too, might learn from Eddie's single mother and her determination to assert parental control over her son's use of the Internet. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
GEORGIE’S MOON by Chris Woodworth
Released: March 10, 2006

In 1970, an angry seventh-grader copes with life in a new town while her father, a career Air Force pilot, is away in Vietnam. Every night, she looks for the moon, knowing that her father has sent his love to her on it. Her anger comes out in vicious spurts, cynicism and casual cruelty shielding her from her other emotions. Woodhouse gives Georgie fairly standard plot elements to help her out, a school project binding her to Lisa, a girl she simultaneously likes and despises, while they help in a nursing home. For all that these devices are hardly new, they work, for both the reader and Georgie. Georgie's unwilling visits to the school counselor and her refusal to talk about her father give the reader clues to the welter of feelings beneath her spikiness, as does the extremity of her reaction when she discovers that Lisa's brother has fled to Canada. And when all becomes clear, her father's love gives Georgie the strength to soldier on without him. A touching exploration of an aspect of the Vietnam War not often seen in books for children. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
Released: March 17, 2005

When Willis Merrill's pet raccoon jumps on her back and Willis knocks her down, sixth-grader Lydia Carson knows she wants nothing to do with him. Worse, he's her new next-door neighbor. However, his older brother Elliott is different. To gain Elliot's friendship, Lydia begins to give Willis the necessary "special handling." Reading to him in her favorite tree house fills the empty hours of her summer vacation—those that aren't filled with new household chores when the Nanna who raised her decides to take an extended vacation. "Sometimes folks just need a helping hand," Nanna had said, about the ways she helped their new neighbors. Moreover, her absence seems to help Lydia's family, too. Nevertheless, while relationships in the Carson family are improving, the Merrill family is falling apart. Willis's father's drunken rage when he discovers his wife is working results in an incarceration that allows the rest of them to leave, to make a new life somewhere else. Woodworth convincingly describes life in small town Indiana in 1962, the changing relationships between mother and adolescent daughter, and the complicated ways in which families survive and thrive, in this hopeful debut. (Fiction. 8-11)Read full book review >