Grade 7 Up–Despite the Great Depression, 17-year-old Moss Trawnley, introduced in Airfield (Harcourt, 1999), thinks he has it made–a decent job, a girlfriend, and admittance into radio school with almost enough money saved to pay for it come fall. He is even able to help his mother support his younger siblings. All this changes when he is fired in order to give the job to a man with a family who is related to the boss. Moss leaves Texas by hitching a ride on a freight train. Trying to locate his father, he finds him in Montana–drunk, jobless, and homeless. He himself is picked up for vagrancy. With neither job prospects nor money and to avoid another arrest, he joins the Civilian Conservation Corps. The work is hard, but it provides a place to live, food, and money to send home. Hitch is essentially a coming-of-age story. Moss, who from the beginning has shown a sense of responsibility, must now make adult decisions about how to react to adversity and discord within the CCC as he assumes a leadership role, albeit reluctantly. His growth from an impulsive teen into a thoughtful young man is told in a compelling manner. Plot and description transport readers into another time and place with accuracy and interest as Moss's true character is revealed. A good read from a masterful storyteller.–Janet Hilbun, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
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Gr. 8-11. Ingold does something quite interesting here. She takes a topic, the Civilian Conservation Corps, that few teens have heard of and even fewer are interested in and works a credible, involving story around it. Moreover, both her writing style and her 1930s setting feels totally true to the time. Often teens in historical novels seem like today's youth, merely plunked down in a different era. That's not true of protagonist Moss Trulawany, who seems utterly of his time. After being laid off from his job at an airstrip, Moss sets out to find his father, who is supposed to be working to help his family. But Mr. Trulawany is really an unemployed drunk, so it's up to Moss to find work. Through a string of fortunate events in which some people care enough to help him, Moss finds a job in Montana with the CCC, where, to his surprise, his leadership qualities surface. Some of the characters and situations are stock (as they might have been in 1930s books or movies), but the good versus bad simplicity of many of the incidents works in context. The story is often moving as Moss, through the CCC, changes lives, especially his own. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I liked this book more than I thought I would. I didn't really dislike anything about the book. It was a great book.Published on June 9, 2013 by Angel
Times are tough when 17-year-old Moss Trawnley loses his job. It's the Great Depression years, and work is hard to come by, so Moss packs up and leaves, searching for his shiftless... Read morePublished on March 29, 2012 by C. Hall