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THE SEARCH FOR BELLE PRATER by Ruth White

THE SEARCH FOR BELLE PRATER

By Ruth White

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-30853-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

All of the readers who longed to know what happened to Woodrow Prater’s mom from the Newbery Honor Belle Prater’s Boy (1996) will be deeply satisfied by this elegantly conceived sequel with its tiny glints of magic. Told in the voice of Woodrow’s cousin Gypsy, they are both now in seventh grade, a new friend named Cassie has the second sight and Woodrow’s dad has gone off to get dried out, leaving Woodrow with his grandparents in Coal Station, Virginia in 1954. The three friends are determined to find Woodrow’s mom, Gypsy’s aunt Belle. They track her to Bluefield, WV, where they go on a remarkable daylong bus trip involving coincidences with the color blue, a maternal dwarf and Woodrow’s first encounter with segregation. Along the way, stories are told, jokes are shared and family rituals engaged. It doesn’t hurt to say that Woodrow finds his mama, and most—but not all—of the magic comes from loving and giving. (Fiction. 8-12)