Around 5:00 a.m. on a warm Sunday morning on October 1953, my Aunt Belle left her bed and vanished from the face of the earth.
Everyone in Coal Station, Virginia, has a theory about what happened to Belle Prater, but twelve-year-old Gypsy wants the facts, and when her cousin Woodrow, Aunt Belle's son moves next door, she has her chance. Woodrow isn't as forthcoming as Gypsy hopes, yet he becomes more than just a curiosity to her-- during their sixth-grade year she finds that they have enough in common to be best friends. Even so, Gypsy is puzzled by Woodrow's calm acceptance of his mother's disappearance, especially since she herself has never gotten over her father's death. When Woodrow finally reveals that he's been keeping a secret about his mother, Gypsy begins to understand that there are different ways of finding the strength to face the truth, no matter how painful it is.
Belle Prater's Boy is a 1996 Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards Honor Book for Fiction and a 1997 Newbery Honor Book.
In The News
“Gypsy, the 12-year-old narrator, is all excited when her cousin Woodrow moves in with their grandparents next door--Woodrow's mother . . . has disappeared without a trace, and Gypsy hopes that Woodrow will divulge some new clues. Instead, she gets a best friend. . . . White creates vivacious, memorable characters.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“An admirable, stirring book.” —The New York Times Book Review