WHO NEEDS AN OIL WELL? by Ruth Unrau

WHO NEEDS AN OIL WELL?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Model T's, Pretty Boy Floyd, the Chicago World's Fair--thoughts of thirteen-year-old Matt Rempel in Tansy, Oklahoma, 1932. More than anything else he wants to go to high school but his father needs him on the farm and both parents fear he will renounce the Mennonite ways and go ""English."" The boy figures that money to pay a hired hand would help his case so he writes twenty-five words for a contest; but instead of winning $500 he receives a fine lamp--for a house with no electricity. The Depression is on but the family is generally in good humor (""The soles on my shoes are so thin that when I scratch a match on them, I tear my socks"") and there is the possibility of oil on the Rempel land. Windy John Boston, seventh son of a seventh son, doodlebugs for oil with a peach branch, and a hopeful company even invests in a drill. They find only gas but one brother ingeniously hooks it up to the house for lighting. Threshing and butchering, a tornado, controversy (buttons vs. hooks and eyes): not gusty but a tasty bite.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1968
Publisher: Abingdon