THE NIGHT THE BELLS RANG by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

THE NIGHT THE BELLS RANG

Age Range: 7 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Long plagued by Aden, a relentless bully, Mason is so taken aback when the older boy suddenly retrieves a drawing that Mason has made for his father (it has blown onto dangerously thin ice) that he doesn't even thank him. Mason's father is a wise, kind man who has explained to Mason that Aden's character is a response to his own abusive father; Aden's single generous act is motivated by his observation that Mason's father is ``real gentle with [horses]. Didn't beat `em or anything.'' Before Mason can follow up his new insights, Aden goes off to WWI. News of his death and of the Armistice arrive together, leaving Mason to make peace with himself by taking a more charitable attitude toward Ira, his little brother. It's unusual for an author to follow an ordinary beginning with such a strong conclusion. The circumstances here--the bullied boy passing on the contempt he endures, the conscientiously described period details of farm life in Vermont, are clearly presented but predictable. Still, they serve their purpose well, setting the scene for the dramatic incident on the ice, Mason's subsequent confusion and grief, a touching encounter with Aden's mother, and his eventual reconciliation with little Ira. A fine early chapter book by the author of The Canada Geese Quilt (1989). Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 7-11)*justify no*

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-525-65074-1
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991




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