TEETONCEY by Theodore Taylor


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Teetoncey is the North Carolina Banks people's word for little and that's what they name the frail blond girl of ten or eleven who, as sole survivor of an 1898 shipwreck, is washed ashore on ""The Graveyard of the Atlantic"" and found by Ben, twelve or so, who lives alone with his mother, a sea widow who tried until he was five to raise him as a girl so he wouldn't meet the common fate of the island's male population. Tee is near death and takes a few days to come to; even then she is mute and Ben resents the attention his mother lavishes on this creature the doctor says will probably remain a ""vegetable."" But he too grows to care for her and at last, one stormy night when Tee is notably restless, Ben's mother forces him to take Tee to the shore where she relives the experience and regains her memory and speech. This prescription ending is a bringdown when we've been prepared for drama and astonishment, but as usual Taylor has the scene and the accents right (the unique landscape, speech and culture of the Outer Banks is intriguing in itself) and his usual skilled handling of an unpromising outline makes it possible to share Ben's involvement with the castaway.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 1974
ISBN: 0152052941
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Doubleday