The Barn Burner by Patricia Willis

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After a family disagreement, Ross Cooper leaves home with only a knapsack and the clothes on his back. He hopes to find work, but job prospects in the 1930s are dim, especially for someone as young and inexperienced as Ross. His troubles worsen after he is spotted fleeing a burning barn in a Ohio town where a number of barns have gone up in flames. Though a kind but destitute family takes Ross in, he yearns to hit the road again, especially when another barn is set afire and he falls under suspicion. But stronger than his wish to leave is his hope to discover the true identity of the barn burner and clear his name. This moving and fast-paced story captures the spirit of determination and hope boys like Ross needed to survive during the Great Depression.

About Patricia Willis

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Patricia Willis is author of several well-received historical novels for middle-grade readers, including DANGER ALONG THE OHIO, winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award. She lives in North Canton, Ohio.
Published April 17, 2000 by Clarion Books. 208 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In this compelling, well-written historical novel, peopled with beautifully realized characters, Willis (Danger Along the Ohio, 1997, etc.) explores the themes of finding oneself, of friendship, and of the true meaning of family and home.

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