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With A Hammer for My Heart Hardcover – September 15, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Deep in Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains live a handful of down-to-earth, loving, zealous, confused folks. All of them are in search of a shade of truth (though some seek deeper shades than others) and the right to live their lives according to particular rhythms. Lawanda, a teenager who is afraid she'll get stuck in the Appalachian hills, wants to go to college. Come hell or high water, she'll go--even if she has to sell magazines to get there. As George Ella Lyon gloriously reveals, that's where things start to go haywire in this small Kentucky town. On her magazine route, Lawanda meets a crazy old man named Garland. Who could have foretold that the two would become such good friends? More important, is it proper? Lyon allows these fine Kentucky folks to ring in with their opinions, and a few of them reveal their hearts and secrets to us, too. Along the way, readers will discover what shades of truth are necessary to help the crazy to become sane, the young to become strong, the zealous to be believed. Older teens and adults will appreciate the subtle awakenings revealed in With a Hammer for My Heart.

From School Library Journal

YA. Lawanda Ingle, 15, is determined to go to college and get out of Pine Mountain, but there's no money, so she decides to earn her own way. While trying to sell magazine subscriptions, she meets Garland, an alcoholic veteran who lives in two old school buses crammed with books. They become friends in spite of her family's disapproval, but when Garland's bus is broken into and his journal is recovered by the sheriff, its rambling entries include incriminating descriptions of the innocent Lawanda. Garland is arrested for public drunkenness, but is held for corrupting a minor, and when Lawanda's father finds out, his rage sends him to Garland's buses with a can of kerosene. The girl follows and becomes the unintended victim of the fire. The story is told in the voices of the major characters, including Lawanda, her father, Garland's daughter, and Lawanda's grandmother Mamaw, who had a vision of Jesus as a woman and formed the Little Splinter Creek Church of the Mother Jesus. Mamaw has powerful healing hands but is helpless against Lawanda's burns. The dialogue in this wonderful story is moving, often funny, and always true to life. YAs will find in Lawanda a revealing picture of a young woman struggling to become her own person in the midst of a loving family whose members think they know what's best for her.?Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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