JIP, HIS STORY by Katherine Paterson

JIP, HIS STORY

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Set in the 1850s, this story centers on a boy named for his supposed abandonment by gypsies and for his swarthy complexion. Jip lives on the local poor farm, doing chores and caring for the animals. He befriends a caged lunatic, "Put"; a menacing stranger appears who inquires about Jip's background and turns the boy's life upside down. As he straggles to find answers, he is given the opportunity to attend school and is befriended by the teacher, whom readers will recognize from Lyddie (1991), and her Quaker sweetheart. Through this friendship, Jip is able to face his ancestry and the fact that he must escape or suffer dire consequences. As usual for Paterson, all the characterizations are penetrating--even the villains are interesting. An epilogue lets readers in on Jip's success in reaching Canada and his decisions as the Civil War begins. Unfortunately, the ending is abrupt: Put is sacrificed, and it is not clear what lesson Jip derives from putting his friend in harm's way. Regardless, this is fine historical fiction. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-525-67543-4
Page count: 180pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1996




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