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3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The night before his thirteenth birthday, Billy Christmas runs away from home in stodgy St. Louis and rides off to the Wild West, where he becomes Scrib, letter writer for lovelorn cowboys and wild-eyed outlaws.

Here is Scrib's own story, told in bubbling prose and babbling epistles, an ambling tale set in 1863, as Scrib travels his rounds on his horse Gabe, befriending all
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 15th 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 2005)
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Scott Volz
A comical Western aimed at middle graders, Scrib recounts the adventures of teenager Billy Christmas, better known as "Scrib"--a subversion of the word "scribe," as he's in the business of writing letters for the illiterate. Having run away from his overbearing mother and his St. Louis home when he was thirteen, Scrib has headed west and established a base of operations in a circuit around a flat, sinkhole-filled town called Hill City. While not exactly thriving, Scrib is doing pretty well for h ...more
Jun 18, 2009 Jessi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people of all ages who are looking for a funny, amusing read
School Library Journal:
Grade 6-9 - Fans of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the humor in Terry Prachett's The Wee Free Men (HarperCollins, 2003) will be "pertickly" pleased with Scrib. Its full and apt title sets the stage for this Western story. Teenager Billy Christmas (nicknamed Scrib because of his occupation as a letter-writer and deliverer) describes his hilarious adventures using "inventive grammer" and language that, although "crooshal," some folks might "take a fence at." Major
Summary: My book is about a boy, Scrib and his adventure hiding from the man that is trying to kill him.

Passage: p.123 2nd Paragraph-last paragraph
"I thought they was going to hang you." "I thought so too," he said. "And I woulda been hanged, but for your mother." "My mother?" says I. "Well, she is part of the Network." He said. "What network?" I said. "The railroad. She helps black folks to safety all the time." He said. "No," I said. "Gods truth. She got me out of jail. She first asked of me
It took me a while to get into this book. The dialect slowed me down and while I knew it was funny intellectually, I didn't laugh much while reading it. However, in retrospect, many of the scenes and images have really stayed with me. There is a lot of action that would appeal to young readers. However, there are a few racy scenes in it, which make it for upper elementary rather than primary grades. (most notably a run-in with a whore)It also has lots of curse words with dashes in them.
This is a Western YA book which is why it interested me. But that is where the interest ended. It's must redeaming feature was the unique regional dialect the writer used to have the main character tell his story. I did not know that there were traveling "letter writers" in thge 1800's who made a living writing for those who could not write. But mostly, the plot was boring and anti-climactic.
This YA-level western--by highly regarded playwright David Ives--follows the adventures of Scrib, a young love-letter scribe in the Wild West. An absolute delight. The dialect is inventive and hilarious, and one of the most convincing I've ever seen on the page. The pacing nearly takes your breath away. You'll be finished before you even realize that you don't want to be finished yet.
Light and diversionary. I found it charming. Reading the author is a primarily a playwrite goes a long way to explain the lack of dimension in all the secondary characteristics. The novel is something more like a one-man show, with Scrib as its star.

Anyway, recommended.
Don't count the stars on this one, I'm still considering my actual response to the book. I'm going to need to sleep on it a few weeks. It was nicely cinematic with moments of great language, but every once in awhile went off wrong.
It's about a letter-writer who is called "Scrib". He journeys into a mysterious plot in which there are murders, Texans, liar, romance, and more.
Terri Floccare
I liked the story and the characters a lot. I didn't care for the use of colloquial language and the invented/phonetic spelling the author used.
Some profanity; not for children, despite it's childish cover. The story is fun, and the writing is cute. I liked it.
Spectacularly hilarious. His humorous vocabulary includes WAY too much swearing though.
What a laugh-riot! Scrib is dear to my heart.
It's was right level for me.
Juliane Kauffman
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Oct 28, 2014
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A contemporary American playwright whose plays often consist of one act and are generally comedies. They are notable for their verbal dexterity, theatrical invention, and quirky humor.

He earned his MFA in Playwriting from The Yale School of Drama. A Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting, David is probably best known for his evening of one-act comedies called "All In the Timing". The show won the Outer
More about David Ives...
All in the Timing Venus in Fur Time Flies and Other Short Plays Voss Sure Thing

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“I felt flattered to be the kinda person one would kick out of a saloon. That takes some character.” 2 likes
“He might have thought white people was coyotes, but he still shared food with me. Long as people do that, I guess it don't matter what they think of you.” 1 likes
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