A PLACE TO BELONG by Emily Crofford


Age Range: 9 - 12
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 In 1935, sixth-grader Talmadge McLinn (see also Stories from the Blue Road, 1982) and his family, having lost their Tennessee farm, are working on an Arkansas cotton plantation. Handicapped by a club foot, and his ``hillbilly'' background, Talmadge wins acceptance from his peers and the right to stay in school in the face of opposition from his mother and resentful older brother Dwight. When little sister Missy is stricken with polio, the family recognizes that another move, this time to Memphis, will benefit Missy and be good for them all. Papa's anger and frustration, older sister Roseanne's piety, and Dwight's hostility are all skillfully drawn. The tension between illiterate Mama, clinging to their Tennessee past, and determined Talmadge, looking to a future in medicine, is particularly effective. Crofford's spare prose evokes a vivid sense of time and place. She portrays the struggle for survival without sentimentality. A well-wrought slice of rural Depression life. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 12th, 1994
ISBN: 0-87614-808-9
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1994