By Sharon Darrow
(Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763626242, 148pp.)

Publication Date: August 2006

List Price: $16.99*
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Two teen siblings run from foster life — and find new expression as graffiti artists — in a stark but hopeful poetic novel.

For sixteen-year-old Sissy and her brother Boy, trash is a reminder of one too many sorry foster placements they've endured, a way of life they can't wait to escape. Now on the run in search of their big sister Raynell, ironically they are forced to rely on their trash-picking skills for sustenance and shelter. Reunited at last with Raynell in St. Louis, Boy and Sissy shed their old identities, reinvent themselves as graffiti artists, and splash their new names on city bridges and walls. But one night's expedition goes horribly wrong, and Sissy looks again to trash, this time as the beginning of something artful and beautiful.

About the Author
Sharon Darrow says that THE PAINTERS OF LEXIEVILLE had its start when she was seventeen and working one summer in an Arkansas county welfare office. "A man and his son came in one day to begin their county jobs, all dressed in white painter's clothing," she recalls. "As the summer wore on, the father and son held themselves with more confidence and pride, and their laundered painting clothes grew as colorful as confetti from drips and drabs of paint." Many years later, Sharon Darrow awoke dreaming of a girl's face, her serious eyes half-covered by long bangs, and the heroine of THE PAINTERS OF LEXIEVILLE was born. The author of THROUGH THE TEMPESTS DARK AND WILD: A STORY OF MARY SHELLEY, CREATOR OF FRANKENSTEIN, illustrated by Angela Barrett, Sharon Darrow teaches in Vermont College's M.F.A. in Writing for Children program. She has three daughters and lives in Chicago.
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