Monday, January 4, 2010

Days of Little Texas by Nelson

Nelson, R.A. Days of Little Texas, 386 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf (Borzoi Book), 2009.
Ratings : PG13 for sexual content (breasts, swelling loins, etc) and language (short scenes of foul language from town kids) ; PG for violence.
At sixteen, Ronald Earl is no longer the cute boy-wonder preacher he was at 10. He's having improper thoughts about girls in his dreams, and can't always get himself in top form for a performance. But people still flock to him, and call out Little Texas in praises to him. When a girl in a blue dress is brought to him at the end of another tent revival, he feels the familiar jolt moving through him and into her, but this time it is not another miraculous healing. When Wanda Joy comes up with the idea to hold a huge revival meeting on the grounds of an old plantation, visits from the girl in the blue dress increase. She is trying desperately to get Ronald Earl to understand something about the island they will be preaching on. This is a very captivating story that combines ghosts and the evangelist tradition with the coming of age of an earnest young man who wants to be doing the right thing.
MS, HS - Advisable.
Reviewed by P.K. Foster, teacher-librarian.

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