Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White

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Synopsis

Around 5:00 a.m. on a warm Sunday morning on October 1953, my Aunt Belle left her bed and vanished from the face of the earth.

Everyone in Coal Station, Virginia, has a theory about what happened to Belle Prater, but twelve-year-old Gypsy wants the facts, and when her cousin Woodrow, Aunt Belle's son moves next door, she has her chance. Woodrow isn't as forthcoming as Gypsy hopes, yet he becomes more than just a curiosity to her-- during their sixth-grade year she finds that they have enough in common to be best friends. Even so, Gypsy is puzzled by Woodrow's calm acceptance of his mother's disappearance, especially since she herself has never gotten over her father's death. When Woodrow finally reveals that he's been keeping a secret about his mother, Gypsy begins to understand that there are different ways of finding the strength to face the truth, no matter how painful it is. Belle Prater's Boy is a 1996 Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards Honor Book for Fiction and a 1997 Newbery Honor Book.
 

About Ruth White

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Ruth C. White, PhD, is assistant professor of social work at Seattle University in Seattle, WA. She received her doctorate in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked in mental health for many years, and for the last seven years has taught and trained social workers as a member of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences of Seattle University. She is a member of the National Speakers Bureau of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.The guiding principles of Dr. White's scholarship are that it is to be rigorous, relevant, useful, and integrated into the other aspects of Dr. White's career. During Dr. White's almost 20-year career as a scholar and practitioner, her research has focused on social determinants of health and well-being, HIV/AIDS, community development, international social work and maternal and child health. Dr. White's research is community-driven with the community as equal partners throughout the research process. Dr. White has also begun to create a body of work that expands her study of stigma into the mental health arena which grew out of her own experience with mental illness. The goal of this aspect of her work is to use her multiple positions as social work educator, researcher, author and person with mental illness to reduce the stigma of mental illness, empower those with mental illnesses to strive for mental well-being and advocate on their own behalf, and, to improve the quality and accessibility of services to the mentally ill.Dr. White's expertise has been called upon by her colleagues to review work in the area of HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health for organizations such as the American Public Health Association, the American Journal of Health Behavior, AIDS Care, and the National Science Foundation
 
Published March 26, 1996 by Farrar Straus Giroux. 208 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Belle Prater's Boy

Kirkus Reviews

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All of the readers who longed to know what happened to Woodrow Prater’s mom from the Newbery Honor Belle Prater’s Boy (1996) will be deeply satisfied by this elegantly conceived sequel with its tiny glints of magic.

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Publishers Weekly

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Gypsy cannot understand Woodrow's self-possession in the wake of his mother's desertion, but Woodrow, on the other hand, understands Gypsy's pain at her father's long-ago suicide better than Gypsy does.

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Publishers Weekly

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PW gave a starred review to this Newbery Honor book about the friendship between a sorrowing 12-year-old girl and an unusual boy in 1950s Western Virginia: ""so fresh that readers can practically smell the lilacs and the blossoming fruit trees."" Ages 10-up.

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Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

Woodrow Prater and Gypsy Leemaster are cousins, but they couldn’t be more different if they shared no family connection at all.

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https://muse.jhu.edu

Ever since Woodrow Prater moved to Coal Station, Virginia, to live with his grandparents, the mystery of his mother's disappearance has haunted him, as it has no doubt haunted readers who...

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