Get a free SCARS short story. Sign up for News & Goodies from YA Author Cheryl Rainfield



My Books
See Next Book
STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

See Previous Book

Love my books?
Join my Street Team!

You'll have my deep gratitude, hear book news first, get swag, and enter to win private contests

Teen Books That Have Something to Say


The Search for Belle Prater

Review

The Search for Belle Prater
by Ruth White
Farrar, Straus and Giroux,(April 2005)
ISBN-10: 0374308535
ISBN-13: 9780756972745

My rating:



While everybody was laughing at my joke, Grandpa's German shepherd, Dawg, nudged me from under the table, and I slipped a piece of turkey to her. She had been creeping back and forth between me and Woodrow to gobble up our scraps.
Granny, mama, and Irene had been cooking all day, so we were blessed with not only turkey and the fixins but also ham, salads, four kinds of vegetables, hot rolls with real butter, and sweet iced tea. Grandpa said some people don't see this much food in a month.

The Search for Belle Prater is a sequel to Belle Prater's Boy. Woodrow Prater has lived with his grandparents in a small town for almost a year, ever since his mother disappeared. On his thirteenth birthday, Woodrow gets a hang up call that he is sure is from his mother—her way of telling him that she is thinking about him. Woodrow, along with his cousin Gypsy (who the story is told by), and their new friends Cassie and Joseph, go looking for his mother.

On their first trip out, it's Joseph who finds some family. But his aunt thinks she may have seen Woodrow's mother somewhere. Eventually, Woodrow and Gypsy find a letter from Woodrow's mother that helps him see that she really does love him, even if she isn't with him.

This book is written using the strong, vibrant voice of Gypsy. The beginning is a little slow to start, however, the characters and story grow on you. Each character has a unique voice and way of being, and the dialogue makes you feel like you are in the room with the characters, truly listening to them talk. There is also a strong sense of place and time throughout the book, with details sprinkled throughout to make this even more real to the reader.

Some plot threads, even ones that were stressed (such as Cassie's second sight) seem to go nowhere, to be only loosely related to the rest of the story, or to be dropped completely. At times, too, it feels as if the narrator and main character, Gypsy, disappear while she recounts certain events. Although the characters are very unique, for me there was not enough in the plot to keep me riveted to the book or to care deeply. There is some emotion, especially in Woodrow's search for his mother, but at times the story felt like vignettes strung together, with not a complete story or forward thrust to the plot.

When we finally read about the news that the book seems to build up to—Woodrow's actual conversation with his mother—the information is told to us, not played out as it happens in a scene, so there is a lessening of dramatic tension, and not as much emotional payoff as there might have been. This book does not feel like it has as much heart or depth as the previous book, so it may not work as well as a stand-alone book. However, readers who enjoyed the first book may be satisfied with this one.

The strong sense of place and time, and the unique voices of the characters are enough to pique many readers' interest, and as you read, you slowly come to care more about the characters. There is also a kindness in many of the adults in this book, like the previous one, that is refreshing to read. This is a good read, especially for those who read the first book.

-Added June 07, 2005


Want more books?

Go back to Dealing With Life: As It Comes to find great Teen Books That Have Something to Say.

Or, go to Teen Books That Have Something to Say to see all of the books.