In the tradition of Marry Cal Luther (Where the Lillies Bloom), Littabelle Lee at sixteen rices up to the whys and...

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THE WHYS AND WHEREFORES OF LITTABELLE LEE

In the tradition of Marry Cal Luther (Where the Lillies Bloom), Littabelle Lee at sixteen rices up to the whys and wherefores of inherited responsibility with gutsy resolution, Littabelle Lee's parents had drowned when she was an infant, her uncle Hutchens and aunts Ora and Estie (three ""shitepokes"") won't send a penny home to Paw Paw and Maw Maw (their parents and Littabelle Lee's grandparents), and now sympathetic Aunt Sorrow, heretofore the local herb doctor and family mainstay, runs off after a blow on the head to live with the man she'd given up for duty twenty years before. But even after the house burns down, the cows wander off, and Paw Paw comes down sick from living in the barn, Cleaver regulars won't doubt Littabelle Lee's copability. Though she names Canada as a state and can't figure one fourth of 60, she lands a deputy teaching job (chiefly by virtue of her sensational first aid to a choking pupil whose chalk-blocked windpipe she opens with a knife on the classroom floor) and later successfully pleads her own case against the shitepokes whom she is suing for ""parent neglect"" (the judge cites ""the Decalogue"" as precedent). We appreciate the absence of Delpha Green's astrological trappings here, and Littabelle Lee demonstrates once more that there is plenty of mileage left in the Cleavers' archetypal gritty heroine. . . but we're beginning to get the feeling that only the names have been changed.

Pub Date: March 21, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1973