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Empty Places
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Empty Places
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It is 1932, in Harlan County, Kentucky. Times are tough in the mining community, especially for thirteen-year-old Adabel Cutler’s family. As they fight to survive, Adabel has to figure out her...
It is 1932, in Harlan County, Kentucky. Times are tough in the mining community, especially for thirteen-year-old Adabel Cutler’s family. As they fight to survive, Adabel has to figure out her...
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Description-

  • It is 1932, in Harlan County, Kentucky. Times are tough in the mining community, especially for thirteen-year-old Adabel Cutler’s family. As they fight to survive, Adabel has to figure out her own identity while dealing with her volatile father, her dutiful sister, her defiant brother, and her mother’s disappearance, which she can’t seem to remember. This is a beautifully written and deeply felt coming-of-age novel by the acclaimed author of Like a River. Includes an author’s note, bibliography, and archival images.

About the Author-

  • Kathy Cannon Wiechman's second novel, Empty Places (Calkins Creek, Spring 2016) is a beautifully written and deeply felt coming-of-age novel about a coal miner's family struggling through the Great Depression that takes place in 1932 in Harlan County, Kentucky. Her debut novel, Like a River: A Civil War Novel was published by Calkins Creek (Spring 2015) and earned a Kirkus star and the 2015 Grateful American Book Prize. She lives with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit kathycannonwiechman.com.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2016

    Gr 4-8-This is another fine work of historical fiction by the author of Like a River: A Civil War Novel (Calkins Creek, 2015). Set in Kentucky during the Great Depression, this book is written from the viewpoint of 13-year-old Adabel. With their mother gone, Adabel and her siblings must deal with an alcoholic father who works in the coal mines. She struggles to remember her younger days with her mother and yearns to fill in the empty places in her memory. In this emotional read, Adabel searches to uncover her past and what happened to her mother, discovering some deep secrets along the way. Adabel worries about her brother Pick, who leaves the family after a physical altercation with their father. Adabel also has concerns about her older sister Raynelle's plans to marry. Dramatic moments, such as when Adabel's younger sister Blissie reaches into a fire to retrieve a treasured doll, will have readers on the edge of their seats. Written in dialect appropriate to the time period and geographical region, the story is told through short chapters with believable dialogue and unforgettable characters. Closing sections with author notes accompanied by historical photos and a bibliography provide interesting background information. VERDICT Wiechman offers a moving look at life during the Depression, family relationships, and coal mining.-Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2016
    Secrets dog a motherless girl and her family. Adabel's mother has been missing for seven years. No one in the tiny mining town of Smoke Ridge, Kentucky, knows a lick about her; most figure she ran off to get away from her no-account husband, who gets drunk on moonshine now that Prohibition is the law of the land. Adabel's sisters, Raynelle and Blissie, and her brother, Pick, all recall a time just after Mama left when they were parceled out to neighbors, but Adabel has no such memories--and almost none at all of her mother. Now she's 13, and the secrets are starting to worry her. Times are so tight that Raynelle flirts with the grocer's boy to get food for them to eat; after a fight with their father, Pick lights out for parts unknown. Then Blissie is badly hurt. Adabel has to find her brother--and, in doing so, unravels the family secrets. Wiechman makes the interesting choice to tell Adabel's story in Appalachian dialect, and it works surprisingly well: "Onliest reason [remarks] was said in whispers was to make sure us Cutlers knew we wasn't fit to be spoke of out loud." Less successful is the denouement--the secrets being hidden are too large to have been plausibly contained in such a small world for such a long time. Still, Adabel is a sympathetic character, and the novel offers an unsentimental, accurate glimpse into an era's past. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus Reviews "Wiechman makes the interesting choice to tell Adabel's story in Appalachian dialect, and it works... well... the novel offers an unsentimental, accurate glimpse into an era's past."
  • School Library Journal "This is another fine work of historical fiction by the author of Like a River: A Civil War Novel (Calkins Creek, 2015). Set in Kentucky during the Great Depression, this book is written from the viewpoint of 13-year-old Adabel....Dramatic moments, such as when Adabel's younger sister Blissie reaches into a fire to retrieve a treasured doll, will have readers on the edge of their seats. Written in dialect appropriate to the time period and geographical region, the story is told through short chapters with believable dialogue and unforgettable characters.... Wiechman offers a moving look at life during the Depression, family relationships, and coal mining."
  • Booklist "In this coming-of-age story set in Harlan County, Kentucky, in 1932, tough, spirited 13-year-old mountain girl Adabel Cutler believes she knows all about hard times... the narrative voice is colorful and authentic, and the story is redolent with rich period details."

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    Astra Publishing House
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