EMMY by Connie Jordan Green


Age Range: 10 - 14
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 The author of The War at Home (1989), set on a Tennessee farm in 1945, moves back a generation to early union days in the coal country. At 11, Emmy--middle of six--is her mother's mainstay. Pa, who recently lost an arm in a mining accident, lies querulous in the front room; Ma is barely making ends meet by serving meals to boarders. Even Kate, six, helps by watching the youngest. When they are threatened with eviction (company houses are for workers), Ma summons oldest brother Gene (only 14) home from a good job and a chance for education, to go into the mines. It's a desperate decision, at first secret from Pa, whose worst fears are realized when Gene, too, is trapped in a tunnel. Meanwhile, despite their realistically portrayed troubles, this warmhearted family struggles against the odds. Emmy covers for brother Everett when he goes to ballgames, and everyone bears with Pa--who finally begins to emerge from his depression. Gene escapes, but not from his job; still, both he and Pa resolve to brave management retaliation and support the union. An old- fashioned story--with lively escapades, problems resolved, and problems endured--but also a believable picture of good people making the best of hard times. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-689-50556-6
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1992