Dowell, Frances O’Roark Anybody Shining, 228 p. Atheneum (Simon), 2014. $17. Content: G.
Arie Mae is pretty lonely in the deep mountains of North Carolina, so she tries to use letters to connect with her cousin, whom she has never met, who lives down in the big city of Raleigh. Some folks have come from the city to start a school of sorts for the mountain community and this summer they have brought along more families and children. But these city folks seem to think they know exactly how the mountain people should live their lives, and aren’t willing to see that their lives have a richness of their own. The city boy Tom, who is near Arie Mae’s age seems to be a good prospect for a friend, and she means to show him that mountain living is full of excitement.
Through a mix of letters and narrative, Arie Mae’s life unfolds. I felt like I wanted to be one of her friends and live in the mountains myself. Dowell does a nice job of sketching out lives that are nor famous, but are just lives and that makes them interesting.
EL, MS - OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS.