SPOTTING THE LEOPARD by Anna Myers

SPOTTING THE LEOPARD

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 It's back to the bucolic Oklahoma landscape Myers (Fire in the Hills, p. 161, etc.) evokes in her newest novel, a sequel to Red- Dirt Jessie (1992), set in the era between the Depression and the outbreak of WW II. H.J., now a teenager, narrates; Jessie is finishing up high school in town; Mama holds down the homefront while Pa, lucky enough to be hired by the WPA, spends weeks away from the family he loves, earning enough for the luxuries of an extra homemade pie and marbles for Christmas. When Jessie announces that she wants to study to be a veterinarian, sparks fly between her and her father, who can't raise the tuition. The manner in which money fulfills dreams: H.J.'s Uncle Delbert, who owns a successful motel, loses everything to a con man. When a leopard escapes from a nearby zoo to their green pastures, H.J. identifies strongly with it, and tries to help the animal remain free; Lucky is shot and H.J. reels in pain. The novel ends with a zoo official's offer to help Jessie so that she can study at a nearby college. Just as readers of the first book may have suspected, neither H.J. nor Jessie will be trapped by their circumstances; love, support from parents and friends, and their own determination will lead to the fulfillment of their dreams. Myers has created another bittersweet tale that celebrates average people and the courage they muster to follow their hearts. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8027-8459-3
Page count: 142pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996




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