DON'T LOOK AND IT WON'T HURT by Richard Peck

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Synopsis

"Out at the city limits there's this sign that says WELCOME TO CLAYPITTS, PEARL OF THE PRAIRIE, and if you'd believe that, you'd believe anything."

Sixteen-year-old Carol Patterson is a girl in the middle: in the middle of her sisters, in the middle of her adolescence, in the middle of her family's problems.

It is the early seventies and the world is in turmoil, but hardly anything from the outside ever seems to creep in to effect the Pattersons, who live in half a house at the wrong end of town. But there is turmoil enough in Carol's own life. The family is barely getting by on her mother's waitress salary. Carol's bookishness and shabby clothes make her an outcast. Then Carol's older sister gets pregnant.

Still, in the midst of it all there is hope: Carol's first fledgling romance; her unexpected friendship with the preacher's daughter. And suddenly a door opens, providing Carol with a glimpse of the world outside Claypitts and a glimpse of her own inner strength.

Originally published in 1972, Don't Look and It Won't Hurt was Richard Peck's first novel. It was adapted for the movie Gas/Food/Lodging in 1992.
 

About Richard Peck

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Richard Peck is the author of over twenty highly acclaimed novels for young readers, spanning nearly three decades. He was awarded a Newbery Honor in 1999 for A Long Way from Chicago. Born and raised in Decatur, Illinois, Mr. Peck now lives in New York City.
 
Published November 15, 1999 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 160 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for DON'T LOOK AND IT WON'T HURT

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Life on the wrong side of the tracks when the tracks are in Claypitts the "Pearl of the Prairie" isn't much to brag about, and Carol, with her ready self-deprecating wit would be the first to admit it.

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of DON'T LOOK AND IT WON'T HURT

Publishers Weekly

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In what PW called an "ingenious tale" by the creator of Corduroy (posthumously published), a groundhog always feels braver when his best pal, his shadow, accompanies him, but the two inadvertently become separated.

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Each season brings new adventures to 15-year-old Mary Alice as she becomes Grandma's partner in crime, helping to carry out madcap schemes to benefit friends and avenge enemies.

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Richard Peck's only picture book, Monster Night at Grandma's House (1977), illus.

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In this Newbery Honor book, Chicago-bred Mary Alice has been sentenced to a year-long stay in rural Illinois with her irrepressible, rough and gruff grandmother.

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The narrator, 13-year-old Rosie Beckett, isn't quite sure what inspired her mother to allow Rosie and her two siblings to visit rich Aunt Euterpe in a "place with a million or so people, most of them criminals," but she suspects it has something to do with her wanting to separate Rosie's older si...

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This affecting novel concerns a 16-year-old girl who faces personal adversities on many fronts. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

Mar 02 1992 | Read Full Review of DON'T LOOK AND IT WON'T HURT

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