The premise: Belle Prater mysteriously disappears. Most people believe she was murdered, but her son has other ideas. Belle's boy, Woodrow, moves in with his grandparents when his father starts drinking too much. When he meets and becomes best friends with his girl-cousin Gypsy, they teach one another about family and friendship and getting through hard times.
What keeps readers reading: Ruth White's believable and beautiful portrayal of a cross-gender friendship. Although Belle Prater's Boy is told through Gypsy's eyes, Woodrow is revealed in a marvelous manner, crossing that boundary of boy/girl reading. Woodrow is cross-eyed and wears funny clothes. Gypsy is popular and pretty. But both harbor sadness. Through their adventures together, sticking up for one another, and understanding each other in ways no one ever has before, we are led into 1950's Virginia. But 1950's Virginia disappears and timelessness appears through White's tale of confronting tragedy with a friend at your side.
Other regular MMGMers:
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Shannon Whitney Messenger at Ramblings of a Wanna Be Scribe
Ally Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy
Joanne Fritz at My Brain on Books
Myrna Foster at Night Writer
Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Sherrie Petersen at Write About Now
Deb Marshall at Just Deb