FINDING DAY'S BOTTOM by Candice Ransom


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Jane-Ery (11) is living in rural Virginia during the Depression when her father dies and her grandfather leaves his mountain to help her and her mother survive. Jane-Ery rejects having Grandpap take her father's place: "I would brave all the ghosts in the Blue Ridge just to walk beside my father again." Grandpap's southern phrases abound, and his comment that one finds what one needs when one finds "Day's Bottom" sets Jane-Ery to thinking about her own search. He tells southern tales to which Jane-Ery replies, "The youngest daughters in these stories are dumb," and encourages Jane-Ery in pine-needle basketry. Headed to Richmond in December to sell baskets and black walnuts, Jane-Ery worries over unpaid bills, still missing her father terribly. By Christmas, she explodes at her mother, crying, "All you do is work and tell me to do my chores." After a heartfelt conversation, she realizes that she has found "the bottom of the day" and she is, as the Cherokee's believe, a young swan "protected-like." Wonderful description, hill-country language, appropriate grief and honesty combine to offer a new take on an old story. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-57505-933-9
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda