Theodore Roosevelt
Letters From a
Young Coal Miner.

Tobias, the Quig and the Rumplenut Tree
“The playful text and fanciful art make this book appealing.” -School Library Journal, October 2000

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The Stones of Mourning Creek
Written by Diane LesBecquets

Voice of Youth Advocates, 2/1/2002
"Six months ago, fourteen-year-old Francine's mother died. She and her father are grieving still and unable to communicate with each other. Francine has no friends until she meets Ruthie, a black girl of her own age. They become inseparable, despite the warnings of Francine's father. Gradually, Francine and Ruthie realize that they have the key to discovering what really happened the night Francine's mother died. Did she really lose her way in the woods? Or did something else happen?

This story of girlhood friendship and growing up is also one of grief, loss, adventure, and mystery. It touches on issues of racism, dishonestly, the effects of war, and poverty. The writing is warm and sympathetic, handling these complex issues deftly. . . . This book is a natural choice for girls who might not be quite ready for To Kill a Mockingbird or who enjoyed Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1964…"

Publishers Weekly, 12/3/2001
"This first novel, set in 1966 Spring Gap, Ala., pegs Les Becquets as a writer to watch. She orients readers in the deep South, where whites gamble on the outcome of bare-hand boxing between young black boys; the sheriff's buddy runs the town's gambling and drinking establishment; and the blossoming friendship between white narrator Francie and Ruthie, a black girl, labels Francie an outcast. The... novel is told from 14-year old Francie's perspective, an intelligent, fair-minded viewpoint that will keep readers hooked."

School Library Journal, 10/1/2001
"In the dramatic prologue to this novel set in 1960s rural Alabama, 14-year-old Francie Grove's mother is murdered while attempting to save a black girl from rape. Around this pivotal event, the story unfolds of a town in the grip of an evil and powerful man, Harvey Mansfield, and the complicity of the local law-enforcement establishment that allows racism and violence to go unpunished. In her loneliness following her mother's death and subject to her father's alcoholic neglect, Francie grows increasingly attached to the black Taylor family, particularly Ruthie, who becomes her best friend after saving her from a deadly snakebite."