A BOY CALLED PLUM by Darrell A. Rolerson


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Children who are willing to share Rudyard's quiet, uneventful summer on an isolated Maine island will be rewarded with another of Rolerson's honest, low keyed recreations of a lonely country boy's spare experiences with old people and animals. When Rudyard (his grandparents call him Plum) steals a baby great blue heron from its nest and takes it home to raise on top of Parpy's water tower, Marmie says the bird is a bad omen. Then when Kite (the bird) flies off, the boy -- who has ""an awful urge to be off gallivanting"" like his absent parents -- takes it as a sign that he too should run away. Told that sea captains and gypsies no longer exist, he decides to be a hippie, but before he can grow his hair for the role Kite returns and Rudyard ties him to the tower. But the contrast between spiteful Aunt Lucy's revelation that Plum is illegitimate and the summer's end ""celebration"" at home, with Marmie at the organ, Rudyard pumping underneath, Parpy demonstrating the hy-biddy-woodchuck and rhubarb wine all around, moves the boy to climb the tower and cut the string. Rolerson never violates his sensibilities to seduce a reader and there is not a false note in his intimate observation of a boy and his rural world.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1974
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: Dodd, Mead