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BILLY CREEKMORE by Tracey Porter

BILLY CREEKMORE

A Novel

By Tracey Porter

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-077570-4
Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Billy’s voice is distinct and engaging as he relates his story of being left as an orphan at the Guardian Angel Home for Boys, even though he gets postcards from his father regularly. Friendship with the cook Peggy, his own reputation for communication with the spirit world and an ability to eavesdrop give him the edge as events at the end of the 19th century unfold. Rufus, whose Pa is in jail, starts a “Robbers Club,” which helps spark that distrust of authority Billy needs to survive. Rescued from the home by the propitious appearance of a long-lost uncle, Billy ends up in a mining town in West Virginia with a chance for schooling and a healthy family life. As Billy’s life is propelled by events, his energy and cheerful outlook are balanced by his fear of the unknown and his beliefs about his past and his connection to the departed. His values and courage are tested by the reappearance of his father just as Billy takes up circus life. Learning what makes life worth living and how to cope during a time when child labor seemed to be expected gives this historical narrative impact and charm. (Fiction. 9-12)