The Search for Belle Prater

The Search for Belle Prater

by Ruth White

ISBN: 9780374308537

Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Published in Children's Books/Mysteries, Espionage, & Detectives, Children's Books/Action & Adventure, Children's Books/Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Belle Prater is missing. Since she inexplicably disappeared about a year ago, her son, Woodrow, has been living with his grandparents, next door to his cousin Gypsy. The two are best friends, joined by their adventurous sprits and shared love of stories and magic.

One night they receive a puzzling phone call, which provides a clue that sends Gypsy and Woodrow on a mission to find Belle. Joining them is Cassie Caulborne, the new girl in school, who, like Woodrow and Gypsy, has experienced the loss of a parent. She is also endowed with a valuable gift: she knows things, things that happened in the past and reveal themselves to her in dreams. Their quest leads them out of their sheltered life in Coal Station, Virginia, and eventually back to Woodrow's home in Crooked Ridge.

On the road they meet new people with their own stories to tell. One is Joseph, who has to sit at the back of the bus because he is black. The young people join him in the rear and learn that he, too, is on a search: for his father. They help one another to find what they're looking for and gain friendship along the way.


Sample Chapter

From The Search for Belle Prater

"Woodrow," I said. "I found the hole in the air you told me about."

"Huh?" he said, lifting his eyes from a cigar box full of papers and photographs.

"You know, the place where the two worlds touch. I felt it! Cassie did, too."

"Oh, that," Woodrow said, unimpressed. "Aunt Millie said it was some kind of natural phenomena having to do with the air currents coming down the holler between the hills."

"But you told me - " I tried to protest.

"Yeah, I know, I told you a lot of stuff," he said irritably. "Something's there all right. You can feel it. But it ain't no place where the two worlds touch. Me and Mama made that up to entertain ourselves. I told you we made it up!"

He turned again to his chore like he was dismissing the whole subject, and me with it.

"You usta think your mama was in that place," I said, hoping he would talk to me and not be so mad all the time.But my words had the opposite effect. He slammed the cigar box on the floor.

"That's stupid, Gypsy," he yelled at me. "You just don't get it, do you? I told you what happened. She dressed up in my clothes and snuck out of here. My daddy said she left him and she left me on purpose, 'cause she didn't love us anymore. And he's right. Case closed!"

Excerpted from "The Search for Belle Prater" by Ruth White. Copyright © 2005 by Ruth White. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Ruth White

Ruth White

Best known for her award-winning children's books, Ruth White grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Many of her books are set in that part of the world during the 1950's when she was a child. After finishing high school in Grundy, VA, Ruth attended college at Montreat and Pfeiffer, both in North Carolina, and worked as a teacher and school librarian in four Southern states. She has to date published fifteen novels for young people. Her young adult novel, Belle Prater's Boy, won a Newbery honor. Ruth has also written two novels for adults. Diary of a Wildflower is a fictionalized account of her mother's growing-up years on a mountaintop. Lily of the Valley (Mansions of Karma, book 1) a mystical soft sci-fi, involves children growing up alone on another planet. It is different from all her other novels, as it embodies Ruth's spiritual philosophy, gleaned through years of reading, writing, working and living. Today, after living in the South for most of her life, she resides in Hershey, PA, so close to the factories, she can smell the chocolate when the wind is right. She moved here to be near her daughter, Dee Olivia, son-in-law, William, and grandson Pate. She enjoys her roles as full time writer and grandmother.

View full Profile of Ruth White

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