Little Audrey

Ruth White

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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“What else would you wish for?” Daddy says. “If you could have anything in the world, what would you wish for?”
I shrug. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe . . .”
“Maybe what?”
“For us to live better than we do.”
He does not say anything.

 

In 1948, award-winning author Ruth White lived in Jewell Valley, a coal camp nestled between the hills of southwestern Virginia, with her mother, still mourning for a baby who died four years earlier; her father, who spent the weekends and most of his pay out drinking; and her three older sisters, Audrey, Yvonne, and Eleanor. Told in Audrey’s voice, this is how the author imagines Audrey’s experiences during a time of great trauma for the White family – and what happened before they were able to live a better life.

This snapshot of life in a coal camp, complete with everyday heartaches and joys – as well as stories, songs, and jokes – is Ruth White’s most personal work to date.
 
Little Audrey is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Little Audrey
1It is a golden day in May 1948. The air fairly sparkles with sunshine. The sky is hard and glassy like a marble, and the new green of the hills is emerald. I am eleven years old, but in November I will be twelve, which is nearabout grown up. I am in the sixth grade, and I am walking home from school with Virgil. He is the new boy, just moved here from Kentucky."I like the color of your eyes, Audrey," he says to me."Which one?" I ask him."What do you mean?""Which eye?"He is stumped."One of my eyes is blue, Virgil, like my mommy's and daddy's and the three little pigs', but the

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Reviews

Praise for Little Audrey

“Audrey’s voice is so vivid and believable that we see this world through her eyes, with her delicate mixture of innocence and experience . . . all the more poignant knowing that the real-life Audrey was the author’s oldest sister, and this is her own family story—lovingly and unsentimentally rendered.” —Newsday

“White offers a heartfelt story of what it’s like to be poor, hungry, and sometimes happy. . . . Fierce in its honesty. . . . The first-person narrative allows readers to see clearly, through Audrey’s damaged eyes, the real people who inhabit this world, a place where smiles come from a movie or a piece of candy, and how hunger or the fear of its taints everything. A tough, tender story.” —Starred, Booklist

“Characters are carefully drawn and nuanced . . . . A little gem.” —Starred, School Library Journal

“White’s precise words bring every character fully to life. Though the real Audrey died in 1993, she shines in these pages—a beautiful, quiet heroine who takes on the burden of remembering.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gritty details and hill-country vernacular skillfully evoke a sad, hardscrabble life.” —Publishers Weekly

“It’s got an immediacy and impact that should appeal to readers just getting the hang of family sagas.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The setting is perfectly portrayed and the characterizations ring true.” —VOYA


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About the Author

Ruth White

RUTH WHITE is the author of many acclaimed books for children, including the Newbery Honor Book Belle Prater’s Boy and, most recently, Way Down Deep, a Booklist Editors’ Choice. She lives in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania.

 

Ruth White

Photo by Beth Agresta
Ruth White

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Little Audrey
Ruth White

Award

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, Booklinks Lasting Connection, Booklist Editors' Choice, Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Master List

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
September 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429939089
ISBN10: 1429939087
Middle-Grade Fiction160 pages
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 4 to 8
$7.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
September 2008
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374345808
ISBN10: 0374345805
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 x 7 1/4 inches, 160 pages
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 4 to 8 Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


Lexile: 630L
AR Quiz Number: 100512 EN
AR Book Level: 5.9
AR Points: 9

$16.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
September 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250027504
ISBN10: 1250027500
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 3/16 x 7 5/8 inches, 192 pages
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 4 to 8
$14.99
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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