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My Last Days as Roy Ro...
Pat Cunningham Devoto
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My Last Days as Roy Rogers

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  275 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
In an Alabama town in the early 1950s during the last polio summer before the Salk vaccine, ten-year-old Tabitha "Tab" Rutland is about to have the time of her life. Although movie theaters and pools have been closed to stem the epidemic, Tab, a tomboy with a passion for Roy Rogers, still seeks adventure with her best friend Maudie May, "the lightest brown colored person" ...more
Published January 1st 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1999)
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Mar 17, 2009 Rosemary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up in the 1950s and 1960s in Tennessee, this book, set in Alabama, was particularly poignant for me. It is the story of a summer in the life of ten-year-old Tabitha "Tab" Rutland and of a world on the verge of change. I found it amusing that Tab's mother was considered a Northerner because she was from Knoxville, Tennessee. Themes of the book include fear of the polio epidemic, the dilemma of not quite fitting in, appearances not being what they seem, the uncertainties that come wit ...more
“You know, I think sometimes we expect too much of other people. In a small town like Bainbridge, we trap them in roles that they never intended to play. Only the strongest ones can break out and survive.”

Set in Alabama in the early nineteen-fifties, when Roy Rogers was cowboy-king of the silver screen and polio was the devil incarnate, Tabitha “Tab” Rutland wants nothing more than to break-free from parental polio-manic fears and humid-summer doldrums.

Tab finds in Maudie May exactly what she'd
Linda Johnson
Jul 07, 2015 Linda Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit, what originally attracted me to this book was the title. As a kid, I was a huge Roy Rogers/Trigger fan! I think I may have even written a fan letter or two! In many ways the stories main character, Tabitha aka Tab, reminded me of myself, a tomboy who just didn't quite fit in.
My Last Days As Roy Rogers was a sweet coming of age story set in Alabama during the early 1950's Polio Epidemic. With the pool and movie theater closed for fear of contracting Polio, Tomboy Tab and her BFF Maud
Cindy Carpenter
Mar 09, 2012 Cindy Carpenter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
remember catching fire flys in a mason jar, building forts, going inside while the city sprayed ddt all over town, polio ?...some yes.....some was before my time ( not by much though )...set in the 50's , ( think To Kill a Mockingbird )....this story is told from the perspective of a tomboy named Tab( think Scout) and covers a summer that she will never forget ( remember those?? )... and warning....have some tissue ready....i sure did cry at the end.
Jul 17, 2015 Massy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my languge isn't english but when I read it in 2000 I cry with it! I LOVE children in it.
Sep 21, 2012 Brigitte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A year and a half later, I finished it! Started it on the island, but left it there. Bought another copy at the lil' book store in AR. Then put it in storage, dug it out again.

I throughly enjoyed it. All throughout I loved reading about these characters. The fact it took me so long to read it wasn't a reflection on the book.

Only when I got to the end did I realize it was a book about nothing. It was a girls summer, and memories, but it ended with no resolution. Just a story that stops. I liked i
Kathy McC
This book is laugh out loud entertaining. It is also thought provoking and endearing. The characters realistically portray life in the 1950s. It was a time of polio scares and discrimination. But it was also a time of discovery. It is the story of young Tab Rutland who is growing up in Alabama. This book is a quick, enjoyable read.

"Of course I blamed my lack of social skills on my mother. A person could not possibly get popular and sophisticated with a mother like mine."
"Having just graduated
Jun 06, 2010 Darla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this one in a solid day. I think the author was seeking for her inner "To Kill a Mockingbird," but instead turned out a book that felt like the written sequel to the movie "The Sandlot." It was based on a good idea, telling the story of fear that pervaded America in the pre-Polio vaccine era, and how that fear affected the lives of children and parents of the day. Unfortunately, the characters were never really developed in such a way that made the reader care about them. The tension that w ...more
Grandpa Joe
A heartwarming story about the life of a young tomboy growing up in the deep south when fears of polio abounded. Bold, brash, and somewhat mischievous - and certainly not above lying to achieve intended purposes - Tabitha "Tab" endears us to her in the course of her summer adventures. To some extent, she and especially her Mom, as a newcomer to this tradition-bound small southern town, do not fit in. But they still manage just fine. Tab, who is white, becomes friends with Maudie, who is black. M ...more
Mar 26, 2012 Maude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story set in Alabama in the early 1950 summer when polio is still a fear of adults and children alike. Our heroine here is Tabitha "Tab" Rutland who disregards many of her mother's admonitions and continues to go to the river with Maudie May and Maudie's two brothers. Her mother is the "Yankee" from Tennessee who doesn't quite fit in but is one of my favorite characters because she always does the right thing regardless of the circumstances. Not all is pleasant, but it is a wonderful b ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Ginny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

As a child of the 50's, I remember the polio epidemic and 2 friend who contracted it. I felt the pervasive fear again as I read the book.
I found the character development wonderful, especially that of Tab and Maudie, who was a leader in her own right, but stifled by the prejudice and segregation of the time in Alabama. Although I laughed at many points in the book, the end was tragic with 2 females, one a white older woman and the other an African-American girl leaving town each under different
Sheila Hansberger
Sep 22, 2014 Sheila Hansberger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle grade; Young adults and up
Recommended to Sheila by: my cousin
Set in the south, this story is an enjoyable peek into a simpler time of life. With more freedom to roam than today's child, ten year-old Tabitha manages to stay out of trouble . . . until her new friend Maudie May expands her horizons.

The book is a delightful read, filled with lots of little details indicative of the 1950's. Even though you're transported back to a time when everyone worried about contracting polio, you still get to experience the naiveté of growing up in one of the most popul
Jun 12, 2008 Mia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
There's always a problem with an unreliable narrator like this, but it often stretched belief, since one would expect there to be some reflectiveness in a narrator looking back, especially considering the time, place and circumstances of the novel. To remain oblivious to real racial issues in Alabama, or draw a world where it was all harmless seems irresponsible. I can't decide if the book's reach exceeded its grasp, or if it didn't reach as far as it could have.
Susan Adkins
Aug 16, 2012 Susan Adkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this novel by Pat cunningham Devoto Tabitha, Rutland is going to have the time of her live with her best friend Mattie. The story is set in the Summer of the early 1950's in a small Alabama town. It is just before the polio vaccine comes into being. During this summer, sets out to be a hero and comes of age in an unforgettable confrontation with human frailty, racial injustice, and the healing power of love.
Kay Carman
Feb 01, 2016 Kay Carman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Summer We Got Saved by Devoto and decided to try another book by her. The happenings in this story take place several years before those in Summer. It tells how Tab and Maudie come to be friends, gives more background on Tab's parents, and sets up some of the dynamic within the town. Where Summer dealt with civil rights issues, Roy Rogers uses the ever present scare of contracting polio as a back drop.
Another "just ok" selection from my book group. The best and most memorable thing about this book was the period detail. As for the rest, it dissipated from my memory as soon as I closed the back cover.
Jan 23, 2008 Lorrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to sit down and talk to the author about this book. I feel in love. The characters are not as developed in this book as "out of the night"... but you HAVE to read it for the background and it is entertaining!!!
Sheryl Hoppe
This book was just ok. I honestly would not have probably finished it if it wasn't a book club book. The beginning was good, got a little slow in the middle, but picked up towards the end. Overall, not a bad book. Similar to "To kill a mockingbird".
Glenda Byars
Great easy read! I'm moving on to the next in the trilogy: The Summer We Got Saved and Out of the Night that Covers Me.
Aug 19, 2010 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really related to this story because Roy Roges was my hero also. However, kids do get themselves innocently into trouble. good story
Jul 20, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Jan 31, 2015 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant!!! Tab reminds me of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. How did it take me so long to discover this author?
Patti Best
Jul 27, 2013 Patti Best rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A top 20 best book ever. Read this, then read the companion, Out of the Night That Covers Me
Sep 21, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book every Southerner should read.
Lynne Laino
May 15, 2015 Lynne Laino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charming tale of growing up in a small town in the late 50s/early 60s and an almost carefree barefoot summer! This really is my favorite genre.
WCC bk gp
Sep 18, 2007 ~mad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksiveread
I tried and tried and tried to finish this book - I just couldn't. It moved so slowly. I have not read a book since September 18 because of it.
I hate to "quit" a book!
Jul 23, 2009 Leanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brought me back to the 50's
Feb 09, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a nice book club read.
May 23, 2010 Kw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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