My dream of becoming a writer is like a fallen leaf swept up by the wind—dancing inches from my reach, teasing, never letting me touch it. But somehow I hope that my life will have meaning one day.
The story begins in 1939 with Rose, who takes a job driving a bookmobile when she moves with her family from rural Texas to the Louisiana bayou. Two decades later, Merle Henry, Rose's son, is more passionate about trapping mink than reading, although there is a place in his heart for Old Yeller. In 1973, Merle Henry's daughter, Annabeth, feels torn between reading fairy tales and a crush on her own real-life knight in shining armor. And in the present day, Annabeth's son, Kyle, finds himself in a bind: he hates reading, but the only summer job he can get is at the library. Touching, lyrical, and always intriguing, this family's story reveals how a love of books creates a powerful bond that spans generations.
Part of Me is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Catholic Library Association Award, St. Katherine Drexel Award, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI)
Praise for Part of Me
“* [An] atmospheric novel. . . . Economical, evocative prose reflects the leisurely pace of Southern living and movingly conveys family tensions, family love, and the power of stories to bring generations together.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“[An] affectionate multigenerational portrait. . . . Homespun dialogue and descriptive language . . . add to the narrative's comfortable charm. A thoughtful study of how everyday life may have twists and turns but can still take us where we want to go.” —The Horn Book
“Holt sketches a broad range of characters with verve and sensitivity.” —Booklist
“Lyrical . . . Holt once again excels at creating character and an evocative sense of place.” —School Library Journal
“[A] lyrical, touching saga.” —Voice of Youth Advocates
“There is drama, humor, rebellion, despair--but understated for the most part, quietly moving the reader.” —KLIATT