The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis
By Barbara O'Connor
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374370558, 160pp.)
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Nothing ever happens in Fayette, South Carolina. That’s what Popeye thinks, anyway. His whole life, everything has just been boring, boring, boring. But things start to look up when the Jewells’ Holiday Rambler makes a wrong turn and gets stuck in the mud, trapping Elvis and his five rowdy siblings in Fayette for who knows how long. Popeye has never met anyone like Elvis Jewell. He’s so good at swearing he makes Uncle Dooley look like a harp-strumming angel, and he says “So what?” like he really means it. Then something curious comes floating down the creek—a series of boats with secret messages—and it sends Popeye and Elvis into the big world on the hunt for a small adventure. With a healthy helping of humor and the signature Southern charm that has captivated children and critics alike, Barbara O’Connor’s newest tale is a heartwarming look at the joy that can come out of being a Royal Rule Breaker, and learning to find one’s own adventures.
Barbara O’Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia; Me and Rupert Goody; Greetings from Nowhere and How to Steal a Dog. She has been awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.
“With humor and authenticity, this beguiling tale of summer friendship mines the small, jewellike adventures of a rural childhood.” —STARRED, Publishers Weekly
“Elvis and Popeye’s journey reminds readers to look for and enjoy the small treasures in their lives. Save a spot on your shelves for this small adventure with a grand heart.” —STARRED, School Library Journal
“This small gem has the power to keep readers entranced.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED
“O’Connor captures South Carolina speech patterns; she quietly paces the narrative, often placing short sentences in a vertical sequence for emphasis. Yes, sometimes the best gifts come in small packages.” —The Horn Book
“The rich specificity of the experience should keep readers involved.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Interestingly offbeat characters, a clear narrative arc, and intriguing vocabulary . . . a satisfying read.” —Booklist