Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Up Molasses Mountain

Up Molasses Mountain

Fall 2002 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Julie Baker
ISBN: 0385729081
Hardcover Price: $15.95
Review:
In an amazingly skilled first novel Julie Baker uses two narrative voices to tell her tale of a coalmining town on the cusp of John L. Lewis' union organizing. One voice is Elizabeth's, an objective, bright young woman whose family is divided politically. The other voice is Clarence's. He is her classmate considered "a retard" because of a birth defect, a hare lip, that has twisted his voice and face. Even his father sees him as the others do. In alternating chapters each young person responds intellectually, morally, emotionally to community events that are economically convulsive in a one company town. Here are good plain people whose struggle is rooted in hope and dignity. Baker's technique is courageous.
Diana Huss Green   ©2002 Parents' Choice

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