Preacher's Boy

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9780064472333: Preacher's Boy

A new century is fast approaching ...

... but will the year 1900 mean the end of the world, as some say) Robbie Hewitt isn't certain. What he does know is that he wants to get in as much living as possible between now and the new year, just in case-which includes running Mabel Cramm's bloomers up the flagpole on Decoration Day, and taking a ride in a real motorcar. Robbie doesn't care that his antics leave his preacher father and the upstanding citizens of Leonardstown, Vermont, heartily unimpressed. But when his high spirits and hot temper entangle him in a scheme that damages far more than his father's reputation, Robbie must choose whether to take responsibility for his actions -- a decision that holds the life of a man in the balance.

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About the Author:

Katherine Paterson was born in China, where she spent part of her childhood. After her education in China and the American South, she spent four years in Japan, the setting for her first three novels. Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards for her writing, including National Book Awards for The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins, as well as Newbery Medals for Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia. Ms. Paterson lives with her husband in Vermont. They have four grown children.

From Booklist:

Paterson is arguably the premier author among children's book writers today, and Preacher's Boy is another in a long list of titles (but not so long as to dilute her talent) that shows why. In this story, she takes a serious philosophical topic--what God wants from us and what we want from God--and shapes its profundity with irony and wit. It is the turn of the twentieth century, and Robbie, son of a preacher, is tired of trying to please God. Moreover, although Robbie's father is kind and gentle, it's not that easy to do what he wants, either. So when a fire-and-brimstone minister suggests that the world may be ending soon, Robbie decides that whatever time is left will be more fun without God in the equation. Like Huckleberry Finn (of whom there are many overtones), Robbie is willing to take his chances with eternity for the opportunity to do what he wants. But before long, Robbie has put his mentally disabled brother in danger, almost choked another boy to death in a fury, and masterminded a harebrained kidnapping hoax that might result in a man's execution. At every turn, Paterson splendidly balances Robbie's moral choices with pure entertainment, especially as it twists the plot. And though there are a couple of stereotypical characters, including a dirty vagabond girl and her drunkard father, even they are elevated because Paterson writes about them with humor and compassion. As the public demands more books with moral issues at their core, here's one that envelops readers with its principled reflections, instead of pounding them over their heads. Ilene Cooper

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