The Search for Belle Prater
By Ruth White
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374308537, 176pp.
Publication Date: March 24, 2005
List Price: $16.00*
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The sequel to the beloved Newbery Honor Book, Belle Prater's Boy
Since Belle Prater inexplicably disappeared about a year ago, her son, Woodrow, and his cousin Gypsy have been searching for answers. Then, on the stroke of midnight on Woodrow's birthday, the phone rings. No one is at the other end of the line, but Woodrow is certain it was his mama. They find out that the call was placed from nearby Bluefield, and set out to see if they can track her down. Joining them is Cassie Caulborne, the new girl in school, who is endowed with the gift of second sight. Unfortunately, they can find no trace of Belle. Once again, Woodrow realizes that perhaps even worse than not knowing where she is, is not understanding why his mama would leave him.
How Woodrow, Gypsy, and Cassie come to understand the truth, and Woodrow eventually finds Belle, fills this oftrequested sequel to Belle Prater's Boy with magic and suspense. The Search for Belle Prater is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
"Readers who have longed for a follow-up to White's Newbery Honor Book, Belle Prater's Boy (1996) will be delighted with this fine sequel. Characterization, dialogue, and setting are among White's many literary strengths, and she doesn't disappoint here. The friendship between story-telling Woodrow and joke-cracking Gypsy just grows richer."
-- Starred, Booklist
"A worthy sequel to Belle Prater's Boy (Farrar, 1996)...the warmth, love, and humor of that book are here as well." -- School Library Journal
"Wonderful." -- VOYA
"Readers...will be deeply satisfied by this elegantly conceived sequel with its tiny glints of magic." -- Kirkus Reviews
"The plot is well paced, and readers will be gratified when good things happen for Woodrow. The down-home warmth of the first book carries over through Gypsy's narration; her voice is as lilting and fresh as ever." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Retains the distinctive colloquial cadences of Gypsy's first-person narrative." -- The Horn Book
"A positive read in which wit and understanding illustrate a way of accepting human shortcomings." -- SIGNAL