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The Madman Of Piney Woods (2014)

by Christopher Paul Curtis(Favorite Author)
4.02 of 5 Votes: 5
0545156645 (ISBN13: 9780545156646)
Scholastic Press
review 1: Because I absolutely adored "Elijah of Buxton" SO much, I was quick to jump at this title. It is a companion novel to the first title that takes place in the town of Buxton. Benji and "Red" are the two main characters whose stories start of as separate, but become endearingly intertwined by the end. Benji comes from an African American family and Red comes from an Irish family. Both boys' families know what it's like to have to flee their homelands for a better life and the struggles that come along the way, and yet there are still great divides between them. Both boys know about the madman who lives in the woods between Buxton and nearby Chatam, but the stories vary just a bit. The Madman from Piney Woods is famous and greatly misunderstood. He's wildly feared, espe... morecially by children who roam the woods. It's ironic that he is the common factor among various groups of people in the area. As Benji and Red become closer friends, they learn about their differing views of the madman and ultimately have to come together to try and save him. This is a story of adventure with loads of historical character. It has a mysterious edge to it as well, much like "To Kill a Mockingbird." The main characters are forced to grow up, in a sense, and see the world in a different light. I highly recommend this book for 5th and 6th graders, especially boys. Its momentum is a bit splotchy at times, but wraps up nicely. It is funny, endearing, heartfelt, and profound.
review 2: I think there are some authors that maybe I just can't be a very good judge of - I simply love every book I have ever read by Christopher Paul Curtis. I love his characters, his settings, his writing style and the themes and history in his books. I have had die-hard CPC fans in my classroom, but not many. I think that they will enjoy this return to Buxton and having some new perspectives to consider. There are a couple of graphic descriptions of violence and death, that had me flinching a bit, but I am not concerned about my 6th grade son reading any of it. Read October, 2014. less
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Started slow but had a good end.
Masterful. Review to come.
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