THE HERMIT BOY by Ida Chittum


Email this review


Hiding out from the welfare investigators in his Ozark Mountain cave, the hermit boy is a self-sufficient and hardy local legend. But when Samme and Edith learn that his dead Granny's cabin is about to be sold for back tax money, these two girls decide to track him down and warn him of his peril. Their bait, a steaming platter of fried chicken, proves unsuccessful, but in the process of searching they get lost themselves and are rescued by the hermit boy (who's been watching them all along). They find that his home is a snug cave complete with ancient Indian relics and even Granny's old safe which has almost enough money to pay the tax bill. The remainder is made up by friendly mountaineer neighbors (who fortunately don't have to resort to the shotgun justice they threaten), and there's a final crowded scene with the auction stopped just in time, Aunt Rose's announcement that she has become the hermit boy's legal guardian, and the nosey social worker Mrs. Dinliddy and a bunch of city reporters lost in the woods. It's all as traditional as Aunt Rose's homemade blueberry pies, and the secret hideaways which city girls Samme and Edith discover are just the place to spend a perfect summer vacation.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1972
Publisher: Delacorte