Cover image for Down in the Piney Woods
Title:
Down in the Piney Woods
Author:
Smothers, Ethel Footman.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, [1992]

©1992
Physical Description:
151 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
The joys and frustrations of family life are portrayed through the eyes of Annie Rye, the ten-year-old daughter of a black sharecropper.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780679803607

9780679903604
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

The joys and frustrations of family life are portrayed through the eyes of Annie Rye, the ten-year-old daughter of a black sharecropper.


Summary

The joys and frustrations of family life are portrayed through the eyes of Annie Rye, the ten-year-old daughter of a black sharecropper.


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. With the feel of family reminiscence, yet with no nostalgia or sugarcoating, Smothers' colloquial storytelling is rooted in the daily life and vivid idiom of a strong black sharecropper family in rural Georgia in the 1950s. Ten-year-old Annie Rye is happy playing with her brother, slopping the hogs, hunting possum, and "gitting in devilment" in the piney woods--but she's jealous and angry when her half-sisters move into her home. "Chicken guts" is what she thinks they are. Her meanness at home is mirrored in the community outside when Daddy is threatened by a white racist. But within her family, Annie Rye transcends her ugly feelings, just as Daddy saves the life of the racist's child--he "just went ahead and did what needed to be did." The story doesn't have the tight drama of Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Like the Yiddish stories of Sholem Aleichem, the pleasure is in the rhythm of the narrative voice, in the sense of place, and in the characters. This would be a great choice for reading aloud across generations. (Reviewed Dec. 15, 1991)0679803602Hazel Rochman


Publisher's Weekly Review

This zesty first novel is chock-a-block with fresh, authentic language. Peppering the narrative are singsong teasing rhymes, which one senses the author herself chanted as a child. The outspoken heroine, Annie Rye, has a number of intertwined tales to tell. First, there's the trouble that starts when her three older half-sisters move in with her family. Then, when a bigoted white man and his children start sharecropping the nearby land, the family faces a different sort of vexation. Alongside these larger issues are a range of smaller pleasures and adventures: the arrival of the ``rolling store,'' a long-awaited possum hunt, a nearly disastrous invasion of poisonous snakes and the baseball game in which Annie Rye's father is a star pitcher. Footman's chronicle of a bit of bygone America has the sort of honesty and immediacy that put it in the same class as the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Sydney Taylor's All of a Kind Family series. Ages 10-14. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-- Ten-year-old Annie Rye Footman, the oldest of three children, narrates this glimpse of her black family's life in rural south Georgia at mid-century. Her father sharecrops and oversees Mr. Myszell's cane mill at harvest time. Nothing is more fun for Annie Rye than going possum hunting with little Brother and their Granddaddy; nothing upsets her world more than learning that their three older stepsisters are coming to live with them, and she is set on being disagreeable. She especially dislikes Maybaby and constantly sputters back at her. Then a white widower and his two children move onto Mr. Myszell's land, bringing intolerance, tension, and violence with them. Characterizations are revealed mainly through Annie Rye's perceptions, some less distinctly than others. What does come across clearly is her discovery that, in working through the racial threats and financial crisis, she and Maybaby have overcome their own animosities. They are all of a family, all pulling together toward the same goals. The evocative speech patterns, so redolent of red clay and pine woods, are easily read. Add this title to a growing number of warm reminiscences of the pre-civil rights South. --Katharine Bruner, Brown Middle School, Harrison, TN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. With the feel of family reminiscence, yet with no nostalgia or sugarcoating, Smothers' colloquial storytelling is rooted in the daily life and vivid idiom of a strong black sharecropper family in rural Georgia in the 1950s. Ten-year-old Annie Rye is happy playing with her brother, slopping the hogs, hunting possum, and "gitting in devilment" in the piney woods--but she's jealous and angry when her half-sisters move into her home. "Chicken guts" is what she thinks they are. Her meanness at home is mirrored in the community outside when Daddy is threatened by a white racist. But within her family, Annie Rye transcends her ugly feelings, just as Daddy saves the life of the racist's child--he "just went ahead and did what needed to be did." The story doesn't have the tight drama of Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Like the Yiddish stories of Sholem Aleichem, the pleasure is in the rhythm of the narrative voice, in the sense of place, and in the characters. This would be a great choice for reading aloud across generations. (Reviewed Dec. 15, 1991)0679803602Hazel Rochman


Publisher's Weekly Review

This zesty first novel is chock-a-block with fresh, authentic language. Peppering the narrative are singsong teasing rhymes, which one senses the author herself chanted as a child. The outspoken heroine, Annie Rye, has a number of intertwined tales to tell. First, there's the trouble that starts when her three older half-sisters move in with her family. Then, when a bigoted white man and his children start sharecropping the nearby land, the family faces a different sort of vexation. Alongside these larger issues are a range of smaller pleasures and adventures: the arrival of the ``rolling store,'' a long-awaited possum hunt, a nearly disastrous invasion of poisonous snakes and the baseball game in which Annie Rye's father is a star pitcher. Footman's chronicle of a bit of bygone America has the sort of honesty and immediacy that put it in the same class as the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Sydney Taylor's All of a Kind Family series. Ages 10-14. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-- Ten-year-old Annie Rye Footman, the oldest of three children, narrates this glimpse of her black family's life in rural south Georgia at mid-century. Her father sharecrops and oversees Mr. Myszell's cane mill at harvest time. Nothing is more fun for Annie Rye than going possum hunting with little Brother and their Granddaddy; nothing upsets her world more than learning that their three older stepsisters are coming to live with them, and she is set on being disagreeable. She especially dislikes Maybaby and constantly sputters back at her. Then a white widower and his two children move onto Mr. Myszell's land, bringing intolerance, tension, and violence with them. Characterizations are revealed mainly through Annie Rye's perceptions, some less distinctly than others. What does come across clearly is her discovery that, in working through the racial threats and financial crisis, she and Maybaby have overcome their own animosities. They are all of a family, all pulling together toward the same goals. The evocative speech patterns, so redolent of red clay and pine woods, are easily read. Add this title to a growing number of warm reminiscences of the pre-civil rights South. --Katharine Bruner, Brown Middle School, Harrison, TN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.