Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Walking Mary by James VanOosting
VanOosting, James Walking Mary, 130 p. HarperCollins, 2005. As far as Pearl Keenan knows, Walking Mary, an old black woman, has been meeting every passenger train entering their town since World War I. Though Pearl has seen Walking Mary all her life, only now, when Pearl is 16, does mild interest become a passion, maybe even an obsession. Pearl's younger brother, Frankie, is worried about Pearl, but more for what he dimly suspects is happening to her inside their own home, then for his sister's preoccupation with Mary. When Frankie realizes that it is time to take action, it may just be too late for his sister. I am may be doing the youth of my school a disservice, but I wonder if the deeper action in this book is too subtle for them to actually catch. They may just think that Pearl is a freak and is ready to go off the deep end any way. A large, active library might find this book getting some circulation, but I don't see it making a huge splash. MS, HS - OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.