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by Ruth White

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2004
ISBN: 0-374-35112-0
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Ten-year-old Piper Berry of Buttermilk Hill, North Carolina, knows better than anyone how important it is to follow one’s dreams. Her father gave up his early dream of being a baseball player and forever regrets it. Her mother, Tiny Lambert, dreams of a world beyond household chores and sacrifices her marriage to study to be a music teacher. Piper dreams of the Wild Girl in her grandmother’s stories, of silky horses’ manes, and, most important, of being a poet. These dreams, her friends Lindy and Bucky, and her own poetry (peppered throughout), help her transcend the difficulty of her parents’ divorce, accepting her father’s new family, and her mother’s busy new schedule that leaves little time for her. Piper’s adventures fishing, lounging in the cemetery, and romping with her new puppy offer a wonderfully languid, down-home look at childhood, but more powerful still is White’s poignant, compassionate exploration of the hopes and dreams that burn in the hearts of a small-town community in 1970s America. (Fiction. 8-12)