This unusual, sensitive story joins the growing list of YA titles featuring strong, influential grandmothers and older women. Fed up after being harassed and bullied at school, 13-year-old Mary hops in her mother’s old truck and drives from her Virginia home to her grandmother’s cattle farm in Alabama, where she knows she can be herself, even if that self is “a certain strain of peculiar.” Welcoming her are the farm’s manager, Bud, and his own peculiar children: mean and destructive Delta, and Dixie, who prefers neighing and cantering to human forms of communication. It is her grandmother’s nurturing that helps Mary learn that running away solves few problems. Amateau’s strong, deftly drawn, eccentric characters, combined with the idyllic rural setting, add depth to the familiar story of a teen’s gradual path to self-acceptance. Offer this to young teens who see themselves as outsiders and to those who love the peculiar among us. Grades 6-9. --Frances Bradburn
About the Author
Gigi Amateau is the author of Chancey of the Maury River and Claiming Georgia Tate. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.