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Paterson, Katherine
New York : Clarion Books, 1999.
IL 5-8, RL 5.6
ISBN 0395838975
It's not easy being the son of the local minister. Mischievous and lively, redheaded Robbie Hewitt feels constrained. Set in turn-of-the-century Vermont, the small town where Robbie lives is VERY Republican and steeped in family values. In the summer of 1899 when people are predicting the end of an age, maybe the end of the world, Robbie finds it difficult to please his father and God. Robbie decides to become "a heathen, a Unitarian, or a Democrat which ever was the most fun," because he "ain't got the knack fir holiness." After yet another incident where his intentions are misinterpreted, he runs away. Maybe, he reasons, once he is gone, everyone would feel sorry for him and realize what a good fellow he was. Then he meets up with Violet and her drunken father. To help Violet, he  hatches a scheme worthy of Tom Sawyer, and learns a lot about himself. Will his father finally appreciate him? Can he finally feel good about his own life and choices? While the story touches on larger moral issues, there is a lot of good, old-fashioned fun.  (Jeannie Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)
SUBJECTS:     Family life -- Vermont -- Fiction.
                        Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
                        Christian life -- Fiction.
                        Vermont -- Fiction.


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