CROSSWIRE by Dotti Enderle


Age Range: 10 & up
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“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” says the voice in Frost’s “Mending Wall,” which is certainly the sentiment of the free-range cattlemen in 1883, when drought made them desperate enough to cut farmers’ barbed-wire fences to get at water for their herds. Farmers reacted, setting off the Fence-Cutting Wars in Texas. Thirteen-year-old Jesse and his family are farmers, and when his father hires a mysterious man named Jackson to help in mending fences and fighting back, Jesse’s too afraid of guns to be counted a man in this conflict. It’s his coming-of-age story that will involve readers, who will feel the mounting tension as Jesse must eventually decide what it means to be a man in a conflict with no easy answers. A solid, unassuming prose style perfectly matches the Texas setting to tell a tale about a little-known but fascinating part of American history. Enderle writes with restraint, her research neatly woven into the story, her characters carefully drawn. A small gem of a story. (afterword, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10 & up)  

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59078-751-9
Page count: 141pp
Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2010