THE STONES OF MOURNING CREEK by Diane Les Becquets
Kirkus Star

THE STONES OF MOURNING CREEK

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

On the heels of Kimberly Willis Holt and Kate DiCamillo comes another notable Southern voice. Like the others, Les Becquets deals with a small-town community. Spring Gap, Alabama, in 1966, however, is not a heart-warming or quirky town, but an insidious one, where civil rights have not yet reached and in which residents remain silent out of fear of retaliation from the sheriff and his posse. This silence hides the secrets of 14-year-old Francie Grove’s mother’s death. As Francie pieces together how her mother died, her life also becomes a struggle to deal with the town’s rampant discrimination and racism. African-American Ruthie Taylor and her family become Francie’s new family after saving her from a snakebite and while Francie’s alcoholic father spends many nights away from home. For her friendship, Francie suffers taunting and even violence. Rooted against the hatred bred within the small town are Francie’s resilience and her commitment to her friendship with Ruthie; to her first love, Earnest, the town bastard; and to the truth about her mother. Although Francie is 14 and not yet in high school, the story’s realism, intensity, and violence make it more appropriate for older readers. This finely polished and suspenseful tour de force, with its shocking ending, will haunt readers long after the story is finished. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-58837-004-6
Page count: 306pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2001




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