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Billie Standish Was Here Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 5, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Proving that the heavily mined "child and elderly neighbor change each other's lives" premise isn't completely dry, Crocker's sturdy debut explores the deep and subtle reaches of a friendship that blooms between 11-year-old Billie and her across-the-road neighbor Miss Lydia. Set in a small town several generations ago, this is anchored by three pivotal acts—one driven by hate, one by love, and one a complex combination of the two.The story covers five years of Billie's struggles to get out from under the thumb of her spiteful, abusive mother, and Lydia's efforts to erase the guilt of two terrible secrets as, with agonizing slowness, her aging body fails. Crocker skillfully lays out the heart-deep regard that develops between these two perceptive, spirited females (Lydia is occasionally given to hilariously salty language) as life throws them severe challenges that they weather with each other's help. In Billie, the author creates a narrator whose credible mix of naïveté, resilience, and uncertain but budding sense of self-respect that will speak to young readers. This easily transcends its familiar themes and locale. Peters, John

About the Author

Nancy Crocker is a native of Missouri who started her career as a singer and appeared with Loretta Lynn at age thirteen. She graduated from Columbia College and since then has been acting and writing. Her work has appeared in the American Heritage Anthology, and she is the author of the picture book Betty Lou Blue, published by Dial. This is her first novel. Nancy lives with her husband and son near a lake in Minneapolis, where they enjoy fishing. You can visit Nancy at www.nancycrocker.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141692423X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416924234
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,498,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in Wakenda, Missouri--a town of 100 (then) and 3 (now). I studied at Columbia College, University of Minnesota, and The Loft Literary Center. I've published personal essays, one of which appears in "My Brush With History" (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2001); and three works of fiction: "Betty Lou Blue" (Dial Books, 2006), "Billie Standish Was Here" (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and "Seeing America" (Medallion Press, 2014).


I live in Minneapolis with my husband and son. We have two cats, one of which is nice.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This novel set in Missouri in the 1960's transports the reader to another time and place, where the problems faced by Billie Standish are just as real as those faced by teens today.

Billie's parents wanted a boy, hence the first name of William, and spend the majority of their time ignoring her. When the river starts to rise and threatens to flood, Billie's family is one of the few to stay. She forms an unlikely friendship with an elderly woman, Miss Lydia, who begins to show her that there is more to life than her parent's disappointment and that she is capable of far more than she thought.

When a horrible tragedy befalls Billie, Miss Lydia is the only one who can help.

Crocker tells the gentle story of Billie Standish with grace and sensitivity, contrasting the innocence of a time when space travel was astonishing with the dark actions humans are always capable of. The novel follows Billie's life as she grows from the age of eleven to graduating from high school, and as her friendship with Miss Lydia and the secret they share shapes and transforms her life.

**Disclaimer: This novel contains sensitive subject matter that is geared towards older, mature teens.

Reviewed by: Dena Landon
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Jo Marshall on January 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up in a time and place not so far from Billie Standish, I can say with some authority that Crocker has captured an American voice with an authenticity that makes the 1960's smack you in the face all over again. My daughter loved it. I loved it. It's not just a coming-of-age novel. It's a book about finding your way through life and the constant struggle to love and be loved; themes that last a lifetime. It may be considered a young adult novel but it had one of the most cynical adults I know (me) by the throat, pulling me along every step of the way. Young people may see Billie's life through one prism. Adults may see it through another. It's the kind of child/adult read that could lead to "teachable moments", although I won't tell my daughter that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah J. George on October 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Superbly set, written, and paced.
Simultaneously real and delicate.
A book readers can inhabit.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynne on July 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Amazing first novel from Nancy Crocker!
Just started reading this book yesterday and finished it today. The author has captured the voice of main character Billie Standish so well she seems like a real person, and you'll just have to keep reading to find out what happens to her.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen J. Brown on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing read.....This is one of the best young adult books that I have read in a very long time. The book will appeal to a multitude of readers. I hope this is the first in many to come from this talented new author.
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