SYLVIA & MIZ LULA MAYE by Pansie Hart Flood

SYLVIA & MIZ LULA MAYE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

A move to the South Carolina countryside brings two unlikely African-American characters together in an ever-deepening friendship that has more consequence than one of them can foretell. Ten-year-old Sylvia Freeman, new to this country road with only three houses, befriends Miz Lula Maye, who is almost 100 years old. Told in Sylvia’s first-person voice, the story reveals a burgeoning fondness between the two, as they spend more and more time together. Despite her age, Lula Maye shares the child’s sense of vivacity and engagement with life. Sylvia, never the dispassionate observer, offers her editorial comments on everything. Most of this is delightful, but debut novelist Flood sometimes has the girl slip from a little girl’s vernacular to a more knowledgeable narrator’s voice, with words like “savory,” or constructions like “As I drifted off into a much needed and deserved sleep.” Meanwhile, the pair’s friendship takes an unexpected turn one morning after Sylvia spends the night at Lula’s, only to find a strange man staying with her momma. It turns out that blood is thicker than tearful water when all is revealed at church that day. Sylvia’s world is temporarily turned upside down, but friendship wins out after all. This story is more complicated than the narrative first suggests and too much must be explained at the end—its abruptness maybe because the momma character has not been developed enough to foreshadow the revelations of the story. Or perhaps, because more of Sylvia’s adventures are planned and the author was concentrating too much on introducing the major recurring characters. Marshall’s pencil drawings dramatically complement this pivotal moment in a young girl’s life. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-87614-204-8
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2002




MORE BY PANSIE HART FLOOD

ChildrenSOMETIMEY FRIEND by Pansie Hart Flood
by Pansie Hart Flood
ChildrenSECRET HOLES by Pansie Hart Flood
by Pansie Hart Flood

MORE BY FELICIA MARSHALL

ChildrenSOMETIMEY FRIEND by Pansie Hart Flood
by Pansie Hart Flood
ChildrenSECRET HOLES by Pansie Hart Flood
by Pansie Hart Flood
ChildrenKEEPERS by Jeri Hanel Watts
by Jeri Hanel Watts