When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt

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Synopsis

The red words painted on the trailer caused quite a buzz around town and before an hour was up, half of Antler was standing in line with two dollars clutched in hand to see the fattest boy in the world.


Toby Wilson is having the toughest summer of his life. It's the summer his mother leaves for good; the summer his best friend's brother returns from Vietnam in a coffin. And the summer that Zachary Beaver, the fattest boy in the world, arrives in their sleepy Texas town. While it's a summer filled with heartache of every kind, it's also a summer of new friendships gained and old friendships renewed. And it's Zachary Beaver who turns the town of Antler upside down and leaves everyone, especially Toby, changed forever.


With understated elegance, Kimberly Willis Holt tells a compelling coming-of-age story about a thirteen-year-old boy struggling to find himself in an imperfect world. At turns passionate and humorous, this extraordinary novel deals sensitively and candidly with obesity, war, and the true power of friendship.


When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is the winner of the 1999 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

 

About Kimberly Willis Holt

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Kimberly Willis Holt is the author of the other books in the Piper Reed series and has written many acclaimed novels, including The Water Seeker. She lives in West Texas. kimberlywillisholt.com Christine Davenier has illustrated many books for young readers, as well as the books in the Piper Reed series. She lives in Paris, France. piperreed.com
 
Published July 19, 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 244 pages
Genres: War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

Kirkus Reviews

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A master at finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, the author peoples her town with a quiet postmaster/worm-raising father, aspiring country-singer mother, watchful sheriff, eccentric judge, town historian Miss Myrtie Mae, flirt Scarlett, and, at the center of it all, sensitive narrator Toby ...

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Kirkus Reviews

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Holt reinvents the coming-of-age story, breathing life into a quirky cast of characters that inhabits the enervated town of Antler, Texas.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

Publishers Weekly

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When ""the fattest boy in the world"" rolls into Antler, Tex., in a trailer, 13-year-old Toby's perspective can't help but change.

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Publishers Weekly

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Holt (My Louisiana Sky) sets her heartwarming and carefully crafted novel during 1971, but her message of tolerance is one that contemporary readers will appreciate. The moment Zachary Beaver, the f

Oct 13 1999 | Read Full Review of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

Kidz World

643-pound Zachary Beaver spends his life traveling from small town to small town letting people traipse through the trailer to stare at him for money.

Dec 27 2006 | Read Full Review of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

Austin Chronicle

Following Austin resident Louis Sachar's 1998 National Book Award victory for Holes in the young person's literature category, Texas once again came away with a winner when Amarillo's Kimberly Willis Holt claimed the prize in 1999 for this moving novel.

Jan 07 2000 | Read Full Review of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

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