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Letters From a
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The Keeper of Ugly Sounds
“An engaging and beautiful book, highly recommended.” -ForeWord, October 1998

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Rooster
Written by Beth Nixon Weaver


teenreads.com, 8/23/2001
Set in the citrus growing area of Florida in the 1960s, ROOSTER tells the story of a boy named Carlos and a girl named Kady. Carlos is a boy semi-obsessed with chickens, hence the nickname Rooster. Kady is Rooster's madrina (godmother), even though she is a mere two years older than him. This year Kady is entering high school --- and we all know what that means: She wants Rooster to get out of her face, and he seems to be even more clingy. Just when Kady thinks all hope is lost, she meets Jon, who's everything she's hoped for --- cute, rich and exactly what she needs to escape Rooster.

In ROOSTER, Beth Nixon Weaver shows just how hard citrus farming is. More importantly , though, is the relationship between neighbors. Rooster must face the facts --- he cannot always depend on Kady, he must look to himself for support.

Nixon Weaver's book is revealing and startling at once... Just as Kady learned, there are some things that are important, no matter who they are, how they act, or what they're about."


Kliatt, 7/1/2001
"Set in 1969, this is a convincing portrait of a girl first trying to escape her background and then coming to appreciate what she has--living in her real home, rather than fantasizing about life across the lake, or in the fancy dollhouse she has made. It's a strong story...[that]will keep readers turning the pages."


Booklist, boxed review, 7/1/2001
“A teenager's struggle with family, class, and the environment is harsh and personal, bursting out of the pages of this rich first novel. The setting is rural central Florida in the late 1960s, where Kady, 15, lives a hardscrabble life in a tiny house, helping her dad start an orange grove. Their neighbors are a Cuban refugee family with a brain-damaged son, Rooster, who idolizes Kady and follows her everywhere. When Kady falls for a rich boy, she lies to her parents and hangs out with the privileged hippy crowd, getting high on marijuana ‘brownies' and loving it. Then one night Rooster follows her, eats a brownie, ‘flies' off a tree, and injures himself badly. . . . Weaver is honest about how enticing it is for Kady to go out with the rich kids, how dreamy it is to be stoned, how Rooster is a nuisance and an embarrassment. . . . The final section about trying to save Papa's orange trees from an untimely frost . . . is a graphic and moving climax. Readers will recognize how you can love a garden, even one tree, and help it grow, and find your life in its flowering and fall.”



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