MORIAH'S POND by Ethel Footman Smothers


Age Range: 9 - 11
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 The author of Down in the Piny Woods (1992) returns to the pre-civil-rights era of her youth and a rural family based on her own, marvelously capturing the rhythms and cadence of spoken language in the narrative of ten-year-old Annie Rye. As in the previous work, the theme is racial hostility. Great- grandmother Moriah works for Ralph Daniels, a white landowner; his lonely daughter Betty Jean often makes friendly overtures toward Annie Rye and her older sisters, Brat and Maybaby. Annie Rye views Betty Jean with suspicion, and her antipathy intensifies after Daniels order Moriah to whip Brat--for drinking from his daughter's soda bottle. In the end, advice from older, wiser heads prompts an awkward but sincere reconciliation. The plot may wander, the supporting cast is not well visualized, but Annie Rye's vivid, captivating voice will draw readers as a griot draws listeners. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-84504-6
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1995


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