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Fred Field, The Hardcover – May 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385310706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385310703
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,776,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Picking up where the powerful Oren Bell left off, this remarkable sequel follows the members of the Bell family through the summer after young Fred Lightfoot's murder in the crack house next door. Once again Burgess turns her penetrating eye on a cast of unforgettable characters: in addition to Oren, there's younger sister Brenda, whose self-constructed world of ghosts and omens has its own complicated set of rules that even she is finding are too hard to live by; Grandpa Bell, only recently dried out; Latonya, Oren's bossy twin, kept busy planning the wedding of their mother to veterinarian Jack Daniels; and the Goon Eye, a onetime bully who holds a terrible secret and wants more than anything to be loved. On the surface, the book centers on the attempts of Oren and his friends to find Fred's killer and ease the pain of his death. But Burgess weaves intricate patterns beneath the surface, and underlying the mystery are the compelling stories of a family facing the joy and terror of imminent change and of a troubled urban community struggling to maintain its identity. Throughout, the voices of the characters sing out loud and strong, filled with wit and wisdom--the result is a beautiful, haunting look at individuals who confront life with open arms. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-Inner-city Detroit in summertime is the setting for this sequel to Oren Bell (Delacorte, 1991). In that book, 14-year-old Oren's homeless best friend was murdered in the crack house next door. Now that the house has been razed, the boy resolves to create the Fred Lightfoot Memorial Ball Field in the empty lot. The large number of characters introduced early in the novel may confuse readers at first, but distinct personalities gradually emerge. Jack, Mama's boyfriend; and Granddaddy, once a great trumpeter, now a recovering alcoholic, are decent male role models in this extended family struggling to help rebuild a sense of community. Through a street-art project and rehearsals for a Fourth of July band concert, Oren, his sisters, and friends embody the positive attitude that his highly organized twin tirelessly advocates. Meanwhile, Oren seeks to unravel the mystery of Fred's murder and finds an unlikely ally in a tough older kid whose gang is attracted to the new ball field. Momentum gathers with the upcoming marriage of Mama and Jack, the identification of a likely murder suspect, and the impending move of the Bell-Daniels family from their condemned and possibly haunted house. Burgess brings humor and heart to a tale in which Oren realizes "how fast things you cared about could be swept away."-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex on February 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
A Murder Unsolved
This book was great to read. It starts off in an inner - city Detroit, Michigan neighborhood. Oren and his friends are going to play "Taps" to commemorate their friend's death in the opening of Fred Field. But that's not enough for Oren. He is upset that he will never know how his friend died that one night in the crack - house next door. So he and his friends go around asking people who they thought knew what happened to Fred Lightfoot that night he was killed. This goes on for a while until a member from a rival gang named Skyler who was also known as the Goon Eye confesses to them he saw the murder occur. Next the gang plots out how to convince the murderer's wife that Tony had killed Fred. You will have to read the book to find out what had happens next. I thought Barbara Hood Burgess explained how the inner - city group of kids can do if they put their minds to it. I would give this book six wonderful stars out of five. The reason why I said that is that is was difficult to set the book down after reading sections at a time. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a good mystery.
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A Kid's Review on March 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My book is about a black kid who has a friend whose name is Fred and who gets murdered at a house. Oren has three friends: Dink, Latoya, and Jim. They think they should give Fred another ceremony. But Oren (the black kid) is still wanting to bring down his friend's murderer. Oren gets an idea to turn Fred's grave into a baseball field with lots of music. And Oren decides to let all of his friends and family play the music. And then Oren finds out that his enemy, Tom, comes to town. Tom is a spoiled kid who does nothing for anyone but himself. And his mom hates everyone except the richer people. And Oren's family is poor. So Tom and his mom come into town, and Tom practices his tuba at Oren's house. But then a noise comes from the house Fred was murdered at. So Oren decides to spend the night at the house and see who is making that noise. I will not spoil the end for you, so you better read the book and see if they catch Fred's killer. I liked the book for many reasons. The book is one of my favorites. It is exciting and suspenseful, and it kept me reading until the end. If you do not belive me, look how much I am writing. Not many books are like this one; it is one of a kind!
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A Kid's Review on March 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My book is about a black kid who has a friend who's name is Fred who gets murdered at a house. Oren has three friends: Dink, Latoya, and Jim think they should give him another ceremony. But Oren (the black kid) is still wanting to bring down his friend's murderer. Oren gets an idea to turn Fred's grave into a Baseball field with lots of music. And Oren decides to let all of his friends and family to play the music. And then Oren finds out that his enemy, Tom, comes to town. Tom his a spoiled kid who does nothing for anyone but himself. And his mom hates everyone except the richer people. And Oren's family is poor. So Tom and his mom come into town and practices his tuba at their house. But then a noise comes from the house Fred was murdered at. So Oren decides to spend the night at the house and see who is making that noise. I will not spoil the end for you so you better read the book and see if they catch Fred's killer. I liked the book for many reasons. The book is one of my favorites. It is exciting, suspenseful, and kept me reading until the end. If you do not belive me, look how much I am writing. Not many books are related to this because it is one of a kind.
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