STICK AND WHITTLE by Sid Hite

STICK AND WHITTLE

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

=Two lone travelers help each other their achieve hearts’ desires in this leisurely, character-rich western from an always interesting author. Melvin Fitchett has spent the eight years since the Civil War’s end haunted by battle nightmares, and searching for his sweetheart Evelyn, who believes him dead. On the North Texas plains he hooks up with young Melvin Smyte, a Chicago orphan with a guilty secret and a profound need for friendship. Dubbing each other Stick and Whittle, respectively, the two Melvins set off for Kansas, discovering when they reach Wichita City that Evelyn, now a governess, and her 11-year-old charge have been kidnapped by a feared desperado. Hite (Cecil in Space, 1999) develops a fizzy chemistry between saturnine Stick and his garrulous, mercurial sidekick as they lope across wide prairies, conversing on topics deep and silly, finding sturdy allies in an old Cheyenne warrior and his beautiful daughter, risking their lives in a quixotic rescue. Though the climax is a wild, fiery, horse-stampeding shoot-’em-up with a generous body count at the end, the overall tone here is just this side of serious. Whittle not only survives a sudden brief ride in a tornado, for instance, but earns Stick’s awed respect when he admits to having started an accidental fire that sent his entire hometown up in flames. Because the good guys are so likable, and the bad guys little more than cardboard figures, readers will find this an amiable ramble, finished off with a heartwarming double romance. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-439-09828-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2000




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