PLENTY PORTER by Brandon Noonan

PLENTY PORTER

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Plenty Porter is the youngest of 11 children (“eleven is plenty,” said her parents) in rural Illinois, in this story told mostly in the first person in the years 1952-53 as Plenty approaches and then turns 13. Too tall in a family of tall folk (two of her brothers are sent back from the Korean War because they are too tall for standard uniforms), Plenty feels very much separate and on the outs. She worries about her sister Marcie, whose hair falls out and who tries to commit suicide; she is concerned with Mr. Darcey, her grandfather, who lives where the coloreds live and drinks too much, and with her motherless friend Ed, whose father owns the land her father works. Much of this tale unwinds in Plenty’s quirky voice, with its particular intonations, and much of it does not foreshadow the acts of violence and then tenderness at its climactic end. This first novel occasionally has the feel of a writing exercise, but it is also smooth and compelling reading for long stretches, even if the end doesn’t adequately match the beginning and middle. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8109-5996-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2006