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White, Ruth.
TADPOLE
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.
IL 5-8, RL 5.2
ISBN 0374310025

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Carolina is the youngest of four girls living in a small Appalachian town in the 1950s.  Carolina feels very small and insignificant next to her sisters.  She feels like nothing at all.  Now, meet her cousin Tadpole.  Wonder how he got his name?  Well, he got it by eating a live tadpole.  ICK!  Well, Tadpole is living in an abusive household.  In spite of this, he is optimistic and has a flair of making the best of everything.  He alternates between living with his uncle and living with Carolina's family.  When he runs away, he stays with Carolina's family who agree to help him.   Tadpole's effect on Carolina is electric.

Booktalk #2

Itís the summer of 1955 in rural Kentucky. Tadpole comes to visit his cousins - Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and Georgia. The girls were all named for states their father had visited.  Tadpole, well, he once swallowed a live tadpole and had been known by his nickname ever since! Tadpoleís talent for playing the guitar and making people laugh ensures his popularity with everyone. But then the family learns the terrifying truth:  Tadpoleís uncle has been abusing him.  Can the cousins and their mother keep Tadpole safe from future harm?  Read Tadpole by Ruth White to learn how this family deals with the tragedy of physical abuse. (Deborah Wolfe, South Carolina Book Awards, 2006)

Booktalk #3

In the summer of 1955, money is tight for the Collins family, but some how they manage to fit in cousin Tadpole when he shows up on their doorstep in rural Kentucky. With his good cheer and exceptional guitar playing, you would never know Tadís heartbreaking secret. Heís running away from abusive Uncle Matt, his legal guardian. Tad, never thinking of himself even in the greatest danger, becomes an inspiration to all. He brings out the best in everyone, including Carolina who never though she had talent. But Uncle Matt is determined to make life miserable for Tad and the Collins family. Will Tad be able to escape this horrible man? Greater things are yet to come.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2005-2006)

SUBJECTS:     Child abuse -- Fiction.
                        Orphans -- Fiction.
                        Cousins -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Kentucky -- Fiction.
                        Kentucky -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.

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