Read Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White Online

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An alternate cover edition can be found here. When Belle Prater disappears, Belle’s boy, Woodrow, comes to live with his grandparents in Coal Station, Virginia. Woodrow’s cousin Gypsy is the town beauty, but she has hidden sorrows and secrets of her own. She wonders how Woodrow can accept his mother’s disappearance when she’s never gotten over her father’s death. That’s whAn alternate cover edition can be found here. When Belle Prater disappears, Belle’s boy, Woodrow, comes to live with his grandparents in Coal Station, Virginia. Woodrow’s cousin Gypsy is the town beauty, but she has hidden sorrows and secrets of her own. She wonders how Woodrow can accept his mother’s disappearance when she’s never gotten over her father’s death. That’s when Woodrow tells Gypsy the secret about his mother....

Title : Belle Prater's Boy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440413721
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Belle Prater's Boy Reviews

  • Lars Guthrie
    2019-05-18 01:55

    I ripped right through this fantastic book. Belle Prater is the aunt of the narrator, a pretty sixth-grader named Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster. Belle's son Woodrow is her seemingly ungainly and cross-eyed cousin. Apparently abandoned by his mother, who has mysteriously disappeared from "way far in the head of a long, isolated holler," Woodrow comes to live with the cousins' grandparents, residents of the tony part of Coal Station, Virginia. They live right next to Gypsy and her mother and step-father.Woodrow is such a surprising and endearing character, one of the best I've come across in children's books. And Gypsy has her own unexpected aspects as well. I really liked it that although we learn what happened to her father (needed a hankie there), other mysteries are left unresolved.Plus I'm a sucker for that time. It was my childhood, too. The references to politics and culture, and in particular, the music--"Tramp on the Street," "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain," "Oh My Pa-Pa," "Wings of a Dove" (oh how I love that song), even Dinah Shore singing "See the U.S.A. in a Chevrolet"--really resonated with me.Those allusions to a time gone by are just bonuses to a rich tale full of magic and emotion, a tale where the poetry of Rumi is as important an underpinning as the lyrics to a Ferlin Husky song.Highly recommended

  • booklady
    2019-05-24 00:08

    Belle Prater’s Boy is set in 1953 Coal Station, Virginia. Belle’s son, Woodrow, is known for his infamous mother and then mostly for what she did. Early one morning, after a trip to the outhouse, she mysteriously disappeared from the little shack where she lived with her son and husband without leaving a trace. She never returned. Some months later when nothing can be discovered about her whereabouts, Woodrow comes to town to stay with his maternal grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Ball. Next door is his cousin, Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster. They become fast friends, discovering each other’s secrets along the way. Although Gypsy is known for her beauty and seems to have everything Woodrow doesn’t, he is one of those old-young souls who bring joy wherever they go. Woodrow has a story or joke or prank for every occasion. He manages to be the life of the party without inciting envy except in the one person who refuses to surrender center stage. For the most part a fun look at a year in the life of two cousins, their family and sixth grade friends, getting to know each other and themselves. It’s also a tender story about how appearances can be deceptive and a nostalgic peek into bygone days. Great for young and old alike.

  • Linda Lipko
    2019-05-09 01:20

    Insightful, poignant, touching and sensitively written, this 1997 Newbery honor book is one I highly recommend. With shades of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, the reader observes small-town life through the eyes of a young, precocious young girl.In 1953 Belle Prater left her house, her near-do-well husband and young son and vanished from Coal Station, VA, never to be found.In 1954 Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster's view of life is about to change when she befriends her cousin Woodrow after he moves across the street to live with their grandparents. Years earlier Gypsy's father died, and she, like Woodrow knows the pain of loss.As the story unfolds, we learn that Gypsy's mother was the pretty one; Woodrow's mother, Belle, was plain and could not compete when Gypsy's mother stole the heart of Belle's suitor and married him.Cross-eyed and wearing hand me down clothes, Woodrow is Belle Prater's boy. Pretty like her mama, dressed in frills, Gypsy is about to learn that appearances are deceiving.Lonely and abandoned Belle Prater's boy experiences snitty comments, not only at the hands of the town bully, but in particular by the small-town, nasty society mavens.This is a story of multi-faceted layers, of looking past appearances, of sibling rivalry, of decisions that have a life-long impact and of small town life with its charm and chills.

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-05-10 23:55

    Ruth White has again created a novel with unique and interesting characters who grab your attention and compel you to read to the end. This is a story of children's fantasy vs. adult truth, of physical beauty vs. inner beauty, of broken family, extended family, and stepfamily. Gypsy Leemaster and her cousin Woodrow Prater both have an unforgettable year in which they not only get to know each other, but also discover truths about themselves and the adults around them. The time period, 1954, was interesting to me because I was born around that time, and reading about school and what was on TV was like revisiting my childhood. I would probably have given this the Newbery medal instead of honor book status. The strong characters and vivid setting and time period make this an unforgettable story. Highly recommended!

  • Dana
    2019-05-13 01:55

    This was a cute, quick read. It has a good message for younger kids- I wish the ending hadn't been so rushed, but it was still worth it.

  • Michelle Isenhoff
    2019-05-12 23:02

    Belle Prater’s Boy is just the kind of book I love – beautifully written, moving, and full of thoughtful conclusions. It’s 1953 and Gypsy’s Aunt Belle has disappeared without a trace. Her cousin, Woodrow, comes to live in Granny and Grandpa Ball’s house right next door. He looks rough, with his hand-me-down mining clothes and his crossed eyes, but the town finds that outward appearances don’t make the boy. Gypsy, on the other hand, is as beautiful as her mother, but no one ever sees the individual beneath the golden curls.Nobody knows what happened to Aunt Belle, but Woodrow has some secrets he’s told no one but Gypsy. Together, they sort through family history and build a picture of a woman who never accepted herself. A woman who wanted to be invisible. Understanding his mother’s hurt, Woodrow is able to come to terms with her abandonment.Gypsy has scars of her own. She’s always hated her stepdad, Porter, not because he’s cruel, but because he’s not her father. But who is she really mad at? Digging through the past uncovers memories Gypsy would rather leave buried, yet with Woodrow’s help, she finally faces her skeletons.Themes of beauty, individuality, and value weave in and out of the pages of this Newbery honor book and tie together in some important scenes. When Gypsy mourns that no one sees her for who she is, Porter tells her, “You’re a fine person in your own right. Nobody can outshine you if you can just be yourself. Belle never learned that, and it caused her a lot of grief…She actually vanished years ago, when she was about your age. Now she is out there trying to find herself again.”And in another crystal ball scene, Gypsy grieves her father’s death and cries to her mother: “Why did he do it? Why?” Her mother answers, “He was in a deep depression. He couldn’t accept his disfigurement. Do you remember that?” To which Belle replies, “I remember he had scars after the fire, but he was my daddy. I loved him and always saw him as handsome and wonderful.” Deep, powerful stuff with a myriad of lessons in it.And in a sweet, sort of wrap-up commentary, Woodrow writes in his English assignment, “…it is my belief that Blind Benny, even with his poor sightless eyes, is the only person I know who sees with perfect clarity. Because Benny is able to see beyond appearance.”Belle Prater’s Boy does get a little sappy in places, but it delivers a great story and an even better message. I give it a very high recommendation.

  • Makayla M.
    2019-05-04 01:11

    Belle Praters Boy by Ruth White is a very intriguing, modern realistic fiction book written about 12 year old Gypsy and her cousin, Woodrow Prater. Belle Praters boy. When Gypsy's aunt, Belle goes missing one morning, her son, Woodrow moves in with his grandparents that live right next to Gypsy, her mother and her stepfather, Porter. Gypsy and Woodrow create a everlasting bond that couldn't be broken, but Gypsy still could figure out why Woodrow took his mothers disappearance so steadily when she never got over the horrifying suicide of her father. She finds out that Woodrow may know where his mother disappeared too, just unsure how to get to her. Gypsy and Woodrow both share a similar issue of loosing one of their parents. Like for example, "My daddy was Aunt Belle's sweetheart first?" from page 19. Both Amos, who was Gypsy's dad and Aunt Belle who was Woodrow's mom both either left or died. Both where in the relation of the family, and they both share the same pain in losing a family member close to them.I really liked Belle Prater's Boy because it really captured my attention and it was hard to put down. I also think you can relate to it in many ways.

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    2019-05-16 03:14

    After reading it, (and, speaking as an author) I felt it was the sort of book I would write myself. I enjoyed the easy, flowing prose, the deep, round characters, and the gentle, but hardly calm, story line. It's a typical story, with not so typical characters or outcome. The reader's left guessing details until the last minute -- and it's those details we so desperately want the answers to. It's a smooth book, not knuckle whitening or thrilling, but written with depth and understanding. You'll finish this book, but it will stay on your mind. Personally, I loved the style, the first-person account, the description, and the vibrant characters. The novel is stuffed with different lessons for life, but none are too overpowering, nor overplayed. Don't be fooled. Even if Woodrow's mother has disappeared, he isn't the only one hurting from past events. Gypsy has secrets she won't tell either -- secrets she won't let go of...

  • Niken
    2019-04-28 06:07

    buku ini bikin mata gw bengkak dan sesenggukan edan di beberapa bab terakhir. tiap air matanya mulai mengering dikit, udah ada lagi cerita yang mengharukan. jadi, buat yang lagi pms, atau yang sedang sedih tapi susah ngeluarin air mata, atau buat yang lagi pengen bikin efek mata bendol, bacalah buku ini. oya, biar reviewnya lebih berbobot, yang bisa dipelajari dari buku ini adalah jadi cantik itu beban, jadi jelek juga beban, apalagi kalo tiap detik mikirnya adalah betapa jeleknya gw. hmm...begitu kira2. :P

  • Noelle
    2019-05-18 01:03

    This book fits all my favorite genres: mystery, fiction, Newberries, inspirationals, everything. Very artfully written book. I would recommend it to every girl 10 and up!

  • Helna
    2019-05-11 07:07

    Kehilangan berarti kesedihan tiada tara, derai air mata adalah buktinya. Namun, bagaimana jika kehilangan menjadi sebuah pembelajaran kehidupan. Akankah kesengsaraan itu sirna?Rahasia Embusan Angin – Belle Prater’s BoyEmbusan angin di waktu fajar akan menceritakan rahasia kepadamuJanganlah tidur kembali.Mintalah apa yang sungguh-sungguh kau inginkan.Janganlah tidurlah kembali.Orang-orang pergi dan kembali melalui ambang pintuTempat dua dunia bersinggunganPintu itu terbuka lebar,Janganlah tidur kembali- Jalaludin Rumi, abad ke 13Puisi di atas adalah karya Rumi yang membuat saya terkesan hingga sekarang. Tapi yang membuat saya lebih terkesan adalah ketika puisi ini menjadi bagian dari sebuah novel berjudul Rahasia Embusan Angin.Singkat cerita :Seorang perempuan yang sangat piawai bermain piano selalu iri dan ingin seperti kakaknya yang rupawan. Dia tidak pernah melihat bahwa kakaknya sama sekali tidak bisa bermain piano. Yang ada dalam benaknya adalah menjadi secantik kakaknya. Pergi ke sebuah tempat dimana dia berubah menjadi secantik bidadari. Pergi jauh meninggalkan keluarganya untuk sebuah impian. Pergi jauh meninggalkan anaknya untuk sebuah keinginan. Pergi jauh dan tak akan kembali.Seorang laki-laki yang gagah dan tampan memiliki istri yang paling cantik di kota. Laki-laki gagah yang sayangnya tidak memiliki hati segagah tubuhnya. Sebuah kecelakaan yang membakar wajahnya telah membuat dia mengurung diri di rumah. Tak ada yang diinginkannya selain wajahnya pulih seperti semula. Ketampanan adalah segalanya baginya. Kepedihan akibat berkurangnya ketampanan telah menghancurkan dirinya. Tidak pernah dipikirkannya bahwa dia memiliki istri yang paling cantik dan juga anak yang mau menerima dirinya. Ketampanan adalah satu-satunya impiannya. Lelaki itu tidak sanggup menghadapi kepedihan.^_^Sekitar pukul lima pada Minggu pagi yang hangat Bibi Belle meninggalkan tempat tidurnya dan menghilang dari muka bumi. Semua orang di Coal Station, Virginia memiliki teori tentang apa yang sebenarnya terjadi pada Bibi Belle. Kesempatan untuk mengetahui kisah yang sebenarnya datang bagi Gypsy ketika saudara sepupunya Woodrow -- yang juga anak tunggal Bibi Belle -- pindah ke rumah kakek yang terletak di samping rumah Gypsy. Woodrow sengaja diajak pindah oleh kakek dan neneknya setelah melihat sepeninggal Belle, ayah Woodrow sering mabuk. Sebuah lingkungan yang tidak baik buat perkembangan seorang anak.Satu hal yang sangat mengherankan Gypsy adalah Woodrow tidak gelisah karena kehilangan ibunya. Anak itu tenang-tenang saja seolah-olah tahu bahwa Ibunya baik-baik saja. Padahal Gypsy sendiri tidak bisa melupakan kematian ayahnya – yang membuatnya kini hidup dengan seorang ayah tiri. Seorang ayah tiri yang baik namun belum bisa diterima Gypsy sebagai ayah barunya.Gypsy adalah seorang anak perempuan menawan dengan rambut panjang keemasan. Satu hal yang sangat menjengkelkan bagi anak periang itu adalah rambut panjang-nya mengharuskannya dirinya merawat dengan hati-hati dan rumit. Dua kali seminggu dia harus mencuci rambutnya dan akan memakan waktu lama untuk mengeringkannya. Ibunya selalu menolak untuk memotong rambut, karena menurut si Ibu, membiarkan rambut Gypsy panjang dan menawan adalah pesan mendiang ayah Gypsy. Namun anak itu menganggap dirinya seperti tenggelam dalam bayang-bayang rambutnya yang selalu dikagumi orang-orang di sekitarnya.Woodrow adalah seorang anak-laki-laki dengan baju kedodoran dan topi kebesaran. Mata Woodrow yang mengalami kelainan kadang menjadi bahan ejekan. Namun Woodrow adalah seorang anak yang positif dan pandai bercerita. Kehilangan Ibunya juga bukan merupakan hal yang terlalu buruk bagi dirinya. Bagian buruknya justru dari pertanyaan-pertanyaan dari orang-orang yang ingin tahu kisah tentang kepergian Ibunya. Woodrow juga cukup tabah menerima keberadaan dirinya yang tidak semenawan Gypsy. Kedua saudara sepupu itu berteman baik, dan bersama menjalani kehidupan sekolah & keseharian di kota kecil dekat area pertambangan batubara.Woodrow gemar menceritakan satu puisi favorit ibunya. Puisi Jalalaudin Rumi ini ditafsirkan sebagai penggambaran peralihan antara dua tempat. Antara masa kanak-kanak dan dewasa. Antara musim panas dan musim dingin. Antara pergantian hari. Juga saat jernih antara tidur dan terjaga. Menurut Woodrow Ibunya tergila-gila dan ingin pergi ke tempat peralihan tersebut. Sebenarnya Ibu Woodrow yang ingin secantik kakaknya – yaitu Ibu Gypsy – ingin pergi ke tempat dimana keinginannya akan terkabul. Sebuah tempat yang menjanjikan Bibi Belle mendapatkan sesuatu yang benar-benar dia inginkan – yaitu kecantikan—bila dia memintanya.Perlahan-lahan Gypsy berhasil mengorek keterangan tentang kepergian Bibi Belle dari Woodrow. Anak itu banyak bercerita tentang Ibunya, juga tentang keinginan Ibunya untuk menjajaki operasi mata Woodrow. Satu-demi satu kartu terbuka. Kebenaran tentang perseteruan Ibu Gyspy dengan adiknya, yaitu Bibi Belle mulai terkuak.Gypsy mendapati kenyataan bahwa Ayahnya adalah bekas pacar Bibi Belle yang kemudian beralih menjadi suami Ibunya –- karena kecantikan si kakak telah memikatnya. Sebuah kenyataan pahit yang membuat Bibi Belle pergi meninggalkan rumah dan kawin dengan laki-laki pertama yang mau menerima dirinya. Jadilah Bibi Belle kawin dengan seorang laki-laki pekerja tambang yang kemudian melahirkan Woodrow.Cerita mencapai puncaknya ketika misteri kematian ayah Gypsy terkuak. Sebuah kenyataan pahit yang bertahun-tahun tak pernah dapat diterima oleh Gypsy dan juga orang-orang sekitarnya menghindari untuk membicarakan hal itu pada Gypsy. Kabur dari kenyataan pedih yang justru kemudian muncul dalam bentuk mimpi-mimpi buruk yang sering dialami Gypsy.^_^Pada akhirnya kedua anak itu berani menghadapi kenyataan. Bibi Belle telah sengaja meninggalkan Woodrow, seperti halnya ayah Gypsy pergi meninggalkan gadis itu. Kepergian mereka bukan karena mereka tidak mencintai anak-anaknya. Tetapi karena mereka tidak tahan menderita. Tidak cukup tabah untuk menghadapi kepedihan. Derita mereka lebih besar daripada cinta mereka.

  • Teresa
    2019-05-10 06:08

    "Around 5:00 a.m. on a warm Sunday morning in October 1953, my Aunt Belle left her bed and vanished from the face of the earth."This was wonderful. Two cousins brought together by tough circumstances: Woodrow's mother, Belle Prater, has disappeared from their home in a Virginia holler, and he comes to Coal Station to live with his grandparents, next door to his cousin Gypsy, whose father died years ago -- and whose mother has remarried, to Gypsy's dismay. Gypsy, like her mother, is a beauty, with long, gorgeous hair, but sometimes she feels that's all people see of her. Her family is pretty well off, hosting THE town's social event of the year, etc. In contrast, Woodrow wears old clothes, and his eyes are crossed, but he tells wonderful stories and jokes, and is a quiet trickster. The two become close friends, bound by their family history (Gypsy's mother stole Belle's boyfriend and married him) and by their secrets: Woodrow has some ideas about where his mother has gone, and Gypsy suffers from terrible nightmares. The year of their sixth grade and the summer after unwinds, through family stories and dealing with bullies, exploring tree houses and the night streets with a local character, Blind Benny. Bit by bit, the truth of some old family secrets is revealed, until the final shocking truth about Gypsy's dad comes out. Gypsy discovers that her stepfather is a good guy. We find out more about what might have happened to Woodrow's mother--no complete answers, but that's not the point (and there's a sequel.) The Search for Belle Prater This is about looking beyond the surface, about family, loyalty and friendship.Notes: Woodrow pretending to spike the punch,getting bully to sit on chiggers, beating him up for revealing her father's suicide."Don't look in the window!" (Show clip of Rear Window)Chapter 13: How important is appearance? Blind Benny, Woodrow, Gypsy's hair, and of course, her father's scarred face.Gypsy has measles, dreams that blind Benny tells her,"it's not so bad being blind, then you can't see ugly things."Is it better to be attractive or talented?Dixie Pixie--coming into her own"A beautiful place can't shelter you from hurt any more than a shack can."Gypsy learns about her father (and mother)'s kindness to blind Benny--room over hardware storeWhat one day would you choose to relive

  • Umma
    2019-05-08 06:58

    Rahasia Embusan Angin adalah novel transisi anak-anak menuju dewasa yang menggambarkan kisah bagaimana seorang anak bisa menghadapi suatu kenyataan yang sulit.Dalam menulis novelnya,Ruth White menyuguhkan kepada pembaca bahasa yang mudah di cerna sehingga pembaca akan selalu ingin membca kelanjutan kisahnya yang sudah disetting bagus oleh Ruth White runtutan ceritanya.Seolah-olah kita menjadi detektif kecil yang memecahkan sebuah kasus dengan bukti-bukti yang berurutan.Kisah ini di awali pada suatu pagi yang dingin,tiba-tiba bibi Belle menghilang tanpa jejak seperti ditelan bumi.Nah dari sinilah pembaca termasuk saya mulai tertarik untuk mengetahui kisah selanjutnya.Dimana sih sebenarnya bibi Belle Peter pergi? Semua orang di Coal Station,Virginia punya teori apa yang terjadi dengan Belle Prater,namun Woodrow (anak Belle)ingin mencari bukti.Setelah kejadian itu Woodrow pindah kerumah saudara perempuannya yaitu Gypsy yang kebetulan juga mengalami suatu kenyataan bahwa ayahnya meninggal.Woodrow mempunyai mata juling dan hal itu membuat dia sebagai bahan ejekan dan hal itu berbeda sekali dengan Gypsy yang mempuyai wajah cantik dan rambut indah.Meskipun Woodrow terlihat aneh namun dimata Gypsi ia adalah anak yang menyenangkan.Dan mereka melewati masa-masa sulit mereka dengan berbagai pengalaman yang menarik.Pada akhirnya kedua anak itu berani menghadapi kenyataan.Bibi Belle sengaja meninggalkan Woodrow seperti halnya Gypsi ditinggalkan ayahnya.Kepergian mereka bukan karena mereka tidak menyayangi anak-anaknya namun,karena mereka tidak tahan menderita.Mereka kurang sabar dalam menghadapi cobaan.Derita mereka lebih besar daripada cinta mereka.Selain kesemuanya itu yang menarik bagi saya,dalam novel ini Ruth White berpijak pada puisi Jalaludin Rumi abad ke-13.Puisinya-lah yang mendorong Belle Peter untuk meninggalkan rumah.Namun Ruth White kurang jeli atas argumen awalnya mengenai tak adanya jejak kaki bibi Belle yang tak berbekas. Padahal diceritakan kalau Belle Prater kabur di pagi hari mengenakan baju milik Woodrow yang kebesaran menuruni bukit Coal Station dan menumpang kereta karnaval. Wodroow tahu kalau hari itu ada karnaval yang berangkat ke kota. Bibi Belle juga mengambil tabungan Wodroow Prater yang sengaja disiapkannya untuk biaya operasi matanya.

  • Kristi
    2019-05-08 03:15

    I read this book for the first time with a co-teacher to a sixth-grade class (11-12 year old kids). Even while it was being read in that strange not-monotone, patronizing way some teachers have, and in spite of the NUMEROUS interruptions that teachers love to intersperse in oral reading, I and the students enjoyed it greatly. I decided to read it with my own classes. In order to avoid the temptation to do the interrupting thing (explaining vocabulary, plot structure, character development, etc.) and thereby disrupting the flow of the story, I bought the book on CD. Thankfully, it was very well done.To sum up the reactions by students: I was informed this year that it is "beast." They begged to have reading time every day. As a teaching tool, it was lovely - great plot structure, just enough action to keep it fun, and the protagonists were the students' age and (in spite of the 1950's setting), they felt really connected. An added bonus: most literature out there is set in some city or distant (from us) location. My students' school is in a town in Appalachia very like the setting for this book - or it would have been very like it in the 1950's. There were references to real towns nearby where they've visited.Note: the sequel was a severe disappointment. I rather wish Ms. White had chosen to not give in to her readers' demand for a follow-on.

  • jounseen
    2019-05-10 00:58

    The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep.You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep.People are going back and forth across the doorsill, where the two worlds touch.The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep. -Jalal al-Din Rumi, 13th centuryI really like this story because it has so much to tell you in just one book. I learned lots of things which in some way, I have all thought and felt about before but I just couldn't put them into words. The story teaches us not to be too worldly and not to give importance on appearances. And also not to be impulsive. We all have our wants and desires in our life and we must plan carefully and pray for them to unfold well. The story taught me that even though a person lives in a beautiful, serene, big place, it cannot shield or protect the person who lived in them. Just like Woodrow, I have learned a beautiful place can't shelter you from hurt any more than a shack can. It was also in this book that I've first encountered lots of funny stories and jokes. It was a good way to soften the mood. A part of me still longs for Woodrow to find out what really happened to his mom.Book Read last July 27, 2010.

  • Andrea
    2019-04-26 00:12

    Date read is today, but this is actually one I owned and read repeatedly as a kid. I was thinking about it the other day and decided to re-read to see if it was still as good as I remembered. Short answer: oh yes. The prose is lovely, the descriptions are gorgeous, the setting is vivid, and the main characters are smart and sympathetic but still believable as twelve-year-old kids. The story mostly alternates between sweet (but not saccharine) childhood scenes and Important Conversations about the themes of the book (forgiveness, looking past appearances, dealing with sadness and change); the balance between fun and serious is good, and the Important Conversations feel realistic, not stilted or forced. There is tragedy and darkness in the book, but no one suffers a Death by Newbery Medal, and the ending is more sweet than bitter, which I appreciate. Overall, it's a lovely book that I think kids and adults alike can appreciate.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-26 04:08

    Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White is children's literature at its best. It tells the story of two 12-year-old cousins, Gypsy and Woodrow, who in addition to friendship share a painful common bond--the absence of a parent. White deftly handles her two young protagonists, slowly developing their characters and revealing their pasts. By the end of the book, Gypsy and Woodrow have faced--and accepted--the truth, that their parents loved them, but that "their pain was bigger than their love." Despite coming from the mouths of 12-year-olds, this moment of forgiveness rings true. In the hands of White, Gypsy and Woodrow have earned their wisdom.

  • Emry Acton
    2019-05-16 01:07

    In class we just finished this. The theme is clearly appearances. They talk about it in the whole book. With Gypsy's hair and Woodrow's cross-eyes, also how blind Benny see's everyone by whats inside. This book was very interesting. It was set in early 1900's I believe. This was a very good and interesting choice that the author made. 4 stars!

  • Melody
    2019-05-24 00:18

    I listened to this on CD, and loved it. Uproariously funny and touching too. Woodrow's mother, Belle, has disappeared. Story is told from the point of view of Woodrow's cousin Gypsy, and her voice stays with you. Full of delightful expressions, many of which I've adopted as my own. Which is to say, yes, I'm more broke than the ten commandments.

  • Katie
    2019-05-23 06:59

    I enjoyed this book very much. It started off a bit slow but picked up tremendously. I liked the concept of it too.

  • Sandy Jiang
    2019-05-07 06:17

    A deep and moving novel that is at once addresses maturity but through such heartbreaking and poignant examples of being lost and never found, Belle Prater's novel impresses me in that it is a child's novel. The themes are so heavy to handle, that I've begun to realize why I love deep and sad novels where there is much internal struggle but the character emerges with a universal truth, despite the story not being a happy one. This is definitely the kind of novel that delivers that kind of catharsis if you're seeking one. Complete novel analysis and summary: COMPLETE spoiler, so don't read. The visible characters The novel first starts with the disappearance of a woman from a small town- really the edge of the mountains where if someone nightgown in the middle of the night left, people would have noticed. We later learn that this woman leaves behind a son (Woodrow)and her husband. We find out that the boy is shipped to live with his grandmother and has a cousin whom he becomes best friends with. Gypsy is her name and she has the most beautiful hair in the whole city, despite her despising that her mother uses that hair as her main identity in the whole city. Gypsy does not understand that the reason her mother is so vain of the hair, having her sleep in curlers and washing it and brushing it and it becomes a central theme that comes back revisiting identity and what society sees you as, and living the expectations of something you did not ask for. Gypsy's father passed away years ago when she was a child, and her mother has remarried to a Gypsy's stepfather, who is resented by Gypsy throughout the novel, despite his bewildered persistence in becoming a central father figure. We are slowly introduced to the "invisible characters". We find out that Woodraw's vanished mother (Belle) is the sister of Gypsy's mother (Love). Love was the town beauty and Belle was deeply jealous of her sister's attentions from boys, the town, and having a lovely life and wanted to be beautiful, but was homely. When a handsome gentleman comes around the mountain (Amos) and sweeps Belle into a romance, it looks like everything is about to become nice for the lonely girl since her older sister, Love has left for college. However, with her father's predictions, when Love comes home, Amos leaves Belle for Love immediately. Belle is a whipped dog and hides in her room for weeks. When she emerges, she is slightly manic and leaves the house in a loud red dress, too much make up, and determined to find a beau. She elopes with the first mane she meets and spends the rest of her life too proud to admit her misery and regret at her decision. The marriage is loveless and they live in poverty, but Belle is adamant about putting her misery behind her in her hometown. We are introduced to Amos, Gypsy's father who has passed away. We find out it is he, who has asked Love to never cut Gypsy's hair, and due to memories, Gypsy has to bear the burden of a memory and expectations. When she finds out that her father had committed suicide and her repressed memories flood back, we learn Amos was a firefighter who became disfigured in a fire. He was so ashamed of his face that he shot himself in the face. Gypsy was the one who found out, and throughout the novel she has recurrent nightmares of "faceless" animals/phantoms. We finally find out that all this Time, Woodrow knew that his mother had ran away. Despite police reports of no footsteps, clothes missing, she had taken her son's clothing and snuck off as a boy and ran away from her miserable past and life. I found this ending strangely satisfying. Yes, none of it was happy but both children are able to have closure to the repressed memories and sadness in their past. Despite being a children's novel, it didn't detract from deep and dark explorations. I really liked this novel and thought it was a good hook and not too cliched. The characters were identifiable and I am glad the author did not give any particular quirks to the main characters forcing the reader to have a gnawing thorn in the whole novel but forcing to deal with it b/c of "excusable past circumstances making them the way they are." I think that conveys the themes cleaner and better.

  • Logan
    2019-05-01 05:09

    This was such a sweet book. It reminded me a bit of Anne of Green Gables, which I absolutely love and a bit of To Kill a Mockingbird. I seem to just really enjoy books about middle-school aged characters and their adventures. For a middle-grade book, this story definitely touched on some heavy topics. Both Woodrow and Gypsy have suffered from the loss of a parent. There's an understanding between them and they both spend time healing from their losses. Gypsy's anger was so understandable, as was Woodrow's denial. The book did a really great job of capturing how grieving can be different for different people and sometimes anger and denial are necessary to cope initially. I absolutely loved both Woodrow and Gypsy. Woodrow was so charming and wonderful and it's no surprise that he earned himself quick popularity. While Woodrow was being given more opportunities, Gypsy felt constricted. Her anger at the unfairness of things was so relatable; it really resonated with me. I could understand her anger at only being seen as "pretty" as well as her resistance to Porter. I also really loved that the book addressed that while Gypsy would rather be anything but pretty, there are people out there who would do anything to be beautiful. This book just did such a great job of showing how nuanced emotions can be. Gypsy and Woodrow's relationship was perfect. They clicked so well and their personalities really complemented each other. They knew when to be serious and when to be goofy and what was important to the other without needing to ask. Even when things got rocky between them, it was realistic. Having both had traumatic losses, it's no surprise things would eventually get tense. Even so, when worst came to worst, they stoutly defended each other. This was just such a great story about love and healing without explicitly saying it's about love and healing. Nothing felt pushed. It was just real. This is absolutely a new favorite for me.

  • Haryadi Yansyah
    2019-05-20 23:06

    Aku jadi ingat tokoh Jeffrey di Keluarga penderwick , kenapa? karena tokoh Woodrow di buku ini sama menyenangkannya dengan Jeffrey. Bedanya, dibalik keceriaannya, Woodrow menyimpan sebuah kesedihan yang besar. Ia terpaksa pindah ke Coal Station, Virginia, karena sang Ibu, Belle Prater mendadak hilang disuatu subuh. Hilang begitu saja. Lenyap.Ayahnya -Everett kurang memperhatikannya (disuatu bagian digambarkan suka mabuk dan selingkuh dengan wanita lain), karena itulah ia pindah dan tinggal bersama nenek dan kakeknya. Di Coal Station juga, ia bisa berjumpa dengan Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster, sepupunya yang sangat jarang ia temui. Masa lalu kelam ibunya, menuntut Woodrow untuk jarang meninggalkan rumahnya di sebuah bukit yang jauh.Gypsy tinggal tepat di samping rumah nenek mereka. Ibu Gypsy –Love Ball Dotson, dan Ibu Woodrow adalah saudara kandung. Tapi hubungan keduanya sempat renggang, dikarenakan itulah Balle akhirnya memutuskan pergi meninggalkan saudara dan orang tuanya, dan memilih hidup terpencil di bukit.Ayah Gypsy, Leemaster (seorang pemadam kebakaran) telah meninggal, sedangkan Ibu Woodrow mendadak menghilang. Karena kesamaan itulah hubungan mereka menjadi erat. Gypsy kerap menumpahkan kekesalannya terhadap ayah tirinya –Porter Dotson, kepada Woodrow.”Dia bukan ayahku. Tidak akan pernah jadi ayahku! Aku benci dia!” (hal 106)Woodrow pandai sekali membuat lelucon. Aku ingat kisah mengerikan mengenai seseorang yang bisa memakan biji matanya sendiri, dan penemuan jari tangan disebuah makanan kaleng bisa diceritakan dengan lucu oleh Woodrow. Karena itulah ia makin disukai tidak saja oleh Gypsy dan keluarga besar mereka, tapi juga oleh teman-temannya yang lain. Woodrow, walaupun juling, tidak pernah merasa malu, ia selalu bisa menghadapi anak-anak nakal yang suka mengejeknya.”Yaaa, begini,” kata Woodrow cerah, ”waktu itu sedang ada pembagian ketampanan dan kecantikan. Aku salah dengar, kukira yang dibagikan itu buku, Jadi aku bilang ’Aku minta yang lucu!” (hal.117)Menyenangkan sekali bisa mengenal Woodrow di buku ini. Ia bahkan punya teori khusus mengenai ibunya yang hilang. Ibunya punya kebiasaan aneh sebelum menghilang. Ibunya suka membaca sebuah puisi, dan Woodrow yakin kesanalah ibunya pergi. Sebuah tempat yang disebut-sebut dalam puisi ini, Orang-orang pergi dan kembali melalui ambang pintu // tempat dua dunia bersinggungan.Kisah dibalik pertengkaran ibu Woodrow dan ibu Gypsy sangat mengejutkan. Lebih mengagetkan lagi adalah penyebab meninggalnya Leemaster, ayah Gypsy. Mengharukan sekali. Aku suka buku ini. Buku ini mendapatkan Newbarry Medal tahun 2003. Oh ya, karena ini buku lama, dan penerbit Kaifa udah gak kedengeran lagi gaungnya, mungkin agak susah kalo mau mencari buku ini. Jadi kalo mo baca, pinjam aja sama Helna. Hehe.Kekurangannya hampir tidak ada, aku hanya kesulitan mengingat nama tokoh-tokoh lain, yang ditulis oleh Ruth White secara lengkap. Juga nama-nama jalan di sana yang panjang dan aneh. Hihi, yah gak mungkin juga di sana ada jalan bernama Sudirman, A.Yani Dll. Hehehe.”Kalau begitu, mengapa orang masih juga berkomentar soal mata Woodrow? Semua tahu, dia amat baik budi. Dia lucu, pintar bergaul, dan tahu cerita banyak sekali. Selain itu, dia selalu memperlakukan orang lain seolah orang itu istimewa (Hal.122) Komentar Gypsy terhadap WoodrowMerged review:Aku jadi ingat tokoh Jeffrey di Keluarga penderwick , kenapa? karena tokoh Woodrow di buku ini sama menyenangkannya dengan Jeffrey. Bedanya, dibalik keceriaannya, Woodrow menyimpan sebuah kesedihan yang besar. Ia terpaksa pindah ke Coal Station, Virginia, karena sang Ibu, Belle Prater mendadak hilang disuatu subuh. Hilang begitu saja. Lenyap.Ayahnya -Everett kurang memperhatikannya (disuatu bagian digambarkan suka mabuk dan selingkuh dengan wanita lain), karena itulah ia pindah dan tinggal bersama nenek dan kakeknya. Di Coal Station juga, ia bisa berjumpa dengan Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster, sepupunya yang sangat jarang ia temui. Masa lalu kelam ibunya, menuntut Woodrow untuk jarang meninggalkan rumahnya di sebuah bukit yang jauh.Gypsy tinggal tepat di samping rumah nenek mereka. Ibu Gypsy –Love Ball Dotson, dan Ibu Woodrow adalah saudara kandung. Tapi hubungan keduanya sempat renggang, dikarenakan itulah Balle akhirnya memutuskan pergi meninggalkan saudara dan orang tuanya, dan memilih hidup terpencil di bukit.Ayah Gypsy, Leemaster (seorang pemadam kebakaran) telah meninggal, sedangkan Ibu Woodrow mendadak menghilang. Karena kesamaan itulah hubungan mereka menjadi erat. Gypsy kerap menumpahkan kekesalannya terhadap ayah tirinya –Porter Dotson, kepada Woodrow. ”Dia bukan ayahku. Tidak akan pernah jadi ayahku! Aku benci dia!” (hal 106) Woodrow pandai sekali membuat lelucon. Aku ingat kisah mengerikan mengenai seseorang yang bisa memakan biji matanya sendiri, dan penemuan jari tangan disebuah makanan kaleng bisa diceritakan dengan lucu oleh Woodrow. Karena itulah ia makin disukai tidak saja oleh Gypsy dan keluarga besar mereka, tapi juga oleh teman-temannya yang lain. Woodrow, walaupun juling, tidak pernah merasa malu, ia selalu bisa menghadapi anak-anak nakal yang suka mengejeknya.”Yaaa, begini,” kata Woodrow cerah, ”waktu itu sedang ada pembagian ketampanan dan kecantikan. Aku salah dengar, kukira yang dibagikan itu buku, Jadi aku bilang ’Aku minta yang lucu!” (hal.117) Menyenangkan sekali bisa mengenal Woodrow di buku ini. Ia bahkan punya teori khusus mengenai ibunya yang hilang. Ibunya punya kebiasaan aneh sebelum menghilang. Ibunya suka membaca sebuah puisi, dan Woodrow yakin kesanalah ibunya pergi. Sebuah tempat yang disebut-sebut dalam puisi ini,Orang-orang pergi dan kembali melalui ambang pintu // tempat dua dunia bersinggungan. Kisah dibalik pertengkaran ibu Woodrow dan ibu Gypsy sangat mengejutkan. Lebih mengagetkan lagi adalah penyebab meninggalnya Leemaster, ayah Gypsy. Mengharukan sekali. Aku suka buku ini. Oh ya buku ini juga mendapatkan Newbarry Medal tahun 2003. Oh ya, karena ini buku lama, dan penerbit Kaifa udah gak kedengeran lagi gaungnya, mungkin agak susah kalo mau mencari buku ini. Jadi kalo mo baca, pinjam aja sama Helna. Hehe. ”Kalau begitu, mengapa orang masih juga berkomentar soal mata Woodrow? Semua tahu, dia amat baik budi. Dia lucu, pintar bergaul, dan tahu cerita banyak sekali. Selain itu, dia selalu memperlakukan orang lain seolah orang itu istimewa (Hal.122)

  • Allyson
    2019-05-25 04:11

    760L --Newberry HonorThis book balances simplicity with depth. It is only 196 pages and has a story line that is engaging and easy to follow, but there are many ideas worth exploring and discussing. The book has relatable characters who keep things interesting with jokes and stories that the students would enjoy reading, but it also deals with deeper emotions and issues that will make the students think. The students will be able to relate to many of the issues and themes as they include appearance vs. substance, loss, and acceptance.

  • Ron
    2019-04-26 02:55

    I got this book at a used book sale because it was Newbery Honor book. I really liked it, but I suspect that most people would just describe it as ok. It is the story of a mom (Belle Prater) who just disappears. Her son (the boy) goes to live with his grandparents (father was an alcoholic). They live next door to their other daughter (the boy's aunt) who also has a daughter about the same age as the boy. They spend time together navigating school and life.

  • Caroline
    2019-05-01 01:11

    I thought the book was good. The ending was excellent because it had a lot of emotion but then it resolved and you were satisfied. This book was about a girl named Gypsy and her cousin named Woodrow. Woodrow comes to live with his grandparents (they are Gypsy's too) because his mom disapeared one night. They try to figure out what happened to Woodrow's mom and the truth about how Gypsy's dad really died. At times this book can get a little boring but, overall it is a good book.

  • Ben
    2019-05-19 04:14

    The puzzle about the $30 hotel room split three ways is still tickling my brain. The silly jokes are delightful, as are the imaginative yarns the characters spin along the way. They do well to paint a full picture of the people in Coal Station, Virginia as Gypsy and Woodrow slowly come to terms with their unspeakable griefs. Mix in the few poems/songs from Blind Benny and you get a compelling, if sometimes sobering, story with enough ornamentation to make it rather interesting.

  • Diane Lynne
    2019-04-30 06:10

    This is one of those quiet kinds of books where, if you're waiting for lots of action and a spectacular climax, you're going to be disappointed. It's set in a time and place where life happens at a slower pace (for most of the characters) and involves a mystery that takes a couple of books to solve. It's a nice story and worth the read.

  • Raesa
    2019-05-21 05:22

    Overall I believe it was a good and educational book about friendship. White made it so you know how the character feels by making sure Woodrow and Gypsy knew that their parents loved them but their hurt was greater. I would recommend this book to someone who is okay with this book being sad and having some sensitive topics.

  • Katelyn
    2019-05-24 23:59

    I loved this book as soon as I finished the first page.I got so interested in it that I could not put it down. I would definitely recommend reading this book.i read this in school and I read the front cover to my friends and some of them wanted to read it and some didn't.JUST TELLING YOU I LOVE THIS BOOK