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Reviewed by:
  • A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins
  • Elizabeth Bush
Higgins, Carter A Rambler Steals Home. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017 [224p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-544-60201-4 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-544-60203-8 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys         R Gr. 4-6

Different seasons find Garland Clark and his children Derby and Triple in different places, hauling a food grill behind their mobile home. Summer brings narrator Derby to her favorite place in Ridge Creek, Virginia, where the Clarks flip burgers for the fans of the town’s minor-league baseball team, and Derby gets some one-on-one time with June, the park owner who has become something of a stand-in mom to the motherless girl. This season opens on a sad note—June lost her beloved husband after a sudden illness last winter, and although the show goes on in Ridge Creek, there are unmistakable signs beneath June’s customary warmth that suggest she’s not keeping it together as well as she projects. Derby notes the deterioration of June’s home and makes a plan to spruce it up, but she’ll need the assistance of other young June supporters, some of whom she doesn’t much like. This story is about as feel-good as they come, with new friendships grounded on old ones, poignant adolescent growth, and insights into family stories. Derby’s mission is convincingly small scale and could reasonably be implemented by a bunch of warm-hearted kids, and Higgins wisely refrains from matchmaking the numerous spouseless adults around and lets the kids’ efforts hold center stage. At the heart of the story is a message that it’s okay to be sad, but with the support of friends, that sadness need not overpower your life. Oh, and farm teams, sweet potato fries, and reliable buddies rule the summer. [End Page 315]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-6766
Print ISSN
0008-9036
Pages
p. 315
Launched on MUSE
2017-02-23
Open Access
No
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