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BILLIE STANDISH WAS HERE by Nancy Crocker Kirkus Star


by Nancy Crocker

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 8th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4169-2423-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A lonely girl in rural Missouri develops a friendship with her elderly neighbor that transforms her life. Adrift and isolated, 11-year-old Billie Marie has no friends and feels invisible to her self-absorbed parents until she meets her neighbor, Miss Lydia. Miss Lydia may look like “every grandma in the world,” but she’s more interesting than anyone Billie has ever met. Soon the two are inseparable. But Billie’s childhood ends when Miss Lydia’s son, Curtis, brutally rapes her. In the days and years that follow, Miss Lydia and Billie share a terrible secret as they continue to love and protect one another. Mentor and surrogate mother, Miss Lydia provides Billie with the love and support she needs while Billie gives meaning to Miss Lydia’s life. When Miss Lydia ages and eventually fails, Billie knows exactly what she must do. Set in the late 1960s and early ’70s, this tender, touching account of intergenerational friendship provides rich historical context for two memorable female characters who redefine the meaning of family and love. (Fiction. 14-18)