Books by Faye Gibbons

HALLEY by Faye Gibbons
Released: Sept. 1, 2014

"A richly rewarding look at an era. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
A Depression-era novel is defined by the hard-edged beauty of its rural Southern setting. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2003

A farm child's bad day turns about more than once in this helter-skelter episode. Having already been "fussed out" for trying on her big sister's bonnet, and then letting the goat get hold of it, and then having to endure "every stinging pest in the Georgia mountains" while picking blackberries, Emily's hopes for an end to her troubles goes glimmering with the arrival of Cecil Bramlett, itinerant photographer. How hard can it be to get family and pets to hold still long enough for a picture? Try . . . impossible. Unfortunately, uninspired visuals send the promising premise glimmering too; not only has Meidell (Full Steam Ahead, not reviewed, etc.) chosen not to depict the first round of domestic chaos, but her brushwork has a heavy, paint-by-numbers look that makes it hard to follow the action in each over-busy scene. A mediocre variation on Nancy Willard's Simple Pictures Are Best, illustrated by Tomie dePaola (1977). (Picture book. 7-9)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

PLB 0-688-15299-6 The Searcys and the Longs (Mountain Wedding, 1996) return in this deep-South, mountain-valley duel of the sexes. Mandy Searcy tells about the arrival of a Model T on the farm. Mr. Long, Mandy's stepfather, has just purchased the vehicle and is showing it off to the extended family. He calls the boys over for a closer inspection of the wondrous machine. "Cars are for boys," chirps one boy, looking for trouble. "Girls just ride," chides another. Mrs. Searcy thinks otherwise. She brushes past the protesting Mr. Long, commandeers the car, and races off with Mandy in the death seat. "We bobbed across a stump at the edge of the yard and ran over a crape of myrtle bush—Mama flattened a pine sapling before tearing through the pasture fence and shimmying over a hill." It is one lovely rural landscape Mrs. Searcy explores at high speed, depicted in autumn splendor in Rand's watercolors. This boisterous tip of the hat toward equality of the sexes is as fit and funny as a family story ought to be. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 26, 1997

While visiting his grandparents, Mike sits on the porch with them and other relatives one dark night, listening to their stories about ``haints'' and other backwoods phenomena: a boy chosen to be a teacher by a ghost, a quilt that shows pictures of the results of wishes, and a necklace that brings bad luck. Gibbons (Mountain Wedding, 1996, etc.) gives the stories the atmosphere and feel of those told on hot summer nights—loosely structured, meandering narration, vague endings, only modestly creepy—and pulls readers in with vividly imagined scenes and a persuasive intimacy: The stories all happened ``hereabouts.'' It's difficult to conjure up the power of oral storytelling on the page, but in many ways, Gibbons succeeds. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Short stories. 8+) Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1996

A perky tale of a backwoods Brady Bunchstyle wedding as told by one of the young'uns. Widow Searcy has five kids and Widower Long has seven. The book opens on their wedding day; the children can't stop squabbling and wrestling long enough to let the ceremony proceed peacefully. When a swarm of angry bees arrives, the Searcy mules bolt and take off, trailing a full wagon. In the rough-and-tumble aftermath all the kids pitch in to stop the runaways, gentle the mules, and gather up the far-flung belongings. In the end, ``Mr. Long's young'uns looked at us Searcys and then at one another, and all of us began to laugh.'' The wedding takes place with them gathered together in more ways than one. Rand's watercolors are particularly fine; prettily evoking the Georgia mountains of a few decades ago and well matched to the text, they add sly humor to an already rousing tale. (Picture book. 5+) Read full book review >
NIGHT IN THE BARN by Faye Gibbons
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

``Bet you're afraid to spend the night in the barn,'' challenges a boy to his younger brother and two visiting city cousins. Not them, they retort, though the younger brother's stutters reveal his hesitation. It's one dark barn, full of shrouded drop cloths that appear ghoulish in the gloomy light. Creaks and groans keep the boys alert, and the older brother gives his sibling a fair dose of grief, testing him, looking for weakness. By the time the sleeping bags are unfurled, the night sounds have spooked all. When the family dog galumphs into the picture, they are happy to have so stalwart a companion among them. Gibbons (King Shoes & Clown Pockets, 1989) composes a realistic story of young boys strutting their stuff, parading their courage, provoking but not tormenting one another. Ingraham (Mary Calhoun's Henry the Sailor Cat, 1994, etc.) provides varnished watercolors of closely observed nightscapesskeletal trees stark against a dusky sky only a full moon can bring to effect, moving shadows, terrifying dark cornerswith a delicacy of line that brings to mind the works of the Wyeth family. (Picture book. 5+) Read full book review >