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Days of Little Texas Days of Little Texas

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  166 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
A ghostly love story from the author of "Teach Me.
Welcome, all ye faithful-and otherwise--to a ghost story, a romance, and a reckoning unlike anything you've read before. Acclaimed YA author R. A. Nelson delivers a tantalizing tale set in the environs of the evangelical revival circuit and centered around Ronald Earl, who at ten became the electrifying "boy wonder" preach
ebook, 400 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jul 22, 2009 Melodye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cross-over appeal for YA and adults
Brothers and Sisters, please put your hands together for Ronald Earl Pettway, aka Little Texas--the faith-healing child evangelist who takes the spotlight in R.A. Nelson’s latest novel, DAYS OF LITTLE TEXAS (Knopf, 2009).

Ronald Earl's youth is scarred by tragedy. His father is sent to prison for growing marijuana in the crawl space under their trailer home. Soon afterward, his mother’s corpse is discovered among the wreckage of a meth lab explosion. Miss Wanda Joy King—his great aunt, a sturdy
Bronwyn Parhad
Feb 13, 2010 Bronwyn Parhad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ronald Earl Pettway, AKA Little Texas, has been the wonder boy preacher since he was 10 years old. Now at 16, Little Texas doesn't have quite the same brightness, but still draws huge crowds of the faithful on the tent revival circuit. He is beginning to get doubts, to wonder about the real world of teenagers, and feel things physically and emotionally that he's never felt before. But at a revival, he heals a young girl, and a powerful jolt goes through him like never before. This healing is dif ...more
Jul 25, 2009 Christianne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I was excited about the premise, but disappointed with the book. The middle section of the book really dragged. The main character seemed like he was growing up and questioning his path, but I never got a sense of resolution or what his next moves would be. He confronted evil in a dramatic fashion but never seemed to process it afterward. The book seemed torn between being about slavery and about a boy's coming of age and spiritual growth but didn't do justice to either.
Mar 14, 2010 Kelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
R.A. Nelson has officially been established as one of my favorite authors. I loved his other book Breathe My Name and I loved Days of Little Texas as well. It was such a unique topic and one I’ve never read about before. Ronald Earl was a fantastic main character and his first person narrative was great, it really kept the story moving. I’m not a religious person so a book about a prodigal minister made me a little unsure. I actually learned a lot about the Bible and religion in general that I p ...more
Jul 15, 2009 Eleanor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is one of those times I wish GoodReads would allow us to award half stars, because this is better than a ***.

R.A. Nelson got my attention a couple years ago with Breathe My Name, so I was anxious to start this one when the ARC made it to the store.

Little Texas is a preaching phenom who travels from revival to revival with an unlikely group of handlers. At one of these stops he heals a young woman who continues to "haunt" him throughout the remainder of the story.

My radar for anti-religious
Teresa Garrett
A good versus evil story with a built in history lesson. A young man, Little Texas, finds himself living with some rather distant and eccentric relatives that travel across the country as evangelicals. They pause in smaller towns to hold tent revivals. Little Texas has garnered a following as a spiritual healer. After one very odd healing he feels he is being haunted by the girl he healed and strange things begin happening. Having lead a sheltered life Little Texas is confused by what is happeni ...more
Aug 10, 2010 Tahleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, religion, horror
Little Texas is not a place, but a person—16-year-old revivalist preacher Ronald Earl, hailed as a boy wonder and a faith healer. Since the age of 10, he has been preaching as part of the Hand of God ministry, headed by his great-aunt Miss Wanda Joy and in the company of Sugar Tom, an old evangelist preacher, and Certain Certain, descendant of slaves and Ronald Earl's confidante and best friend.

During one healing, he is struck by a girl in a blue dress he heals. She looks like a girl from dreams
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Little Texas is a sixteen-year-old evangelist preacher. Early on, readers learn his back story. Born Ronald Earl, he started life living in a trailer. His father raised pot underneath their home, but when his secret crop was discovered, he was carted off to prison. That left Ronald Earl with his mother, who "entertained" gentlemen callers until one night when she had the misfortune of visiting the local meth lab on the night it expl
This novel is a complex mix of tent revivals, spirit-filled fervor, ghosts, pubescence, love, temptation, slave stories, haunted plantations, and demonic activity. I've never read anything quite like it.

Little Texas is a 16 year-old kid from Alabama who meets with fame by bringing a man back from the dead and has been healing people at tent revivals across the South ever since. He begins to feel like a fraud when a sick girl he lays hands on dies rather than recovers. The ghost girl, Lucy, begi
Sep 08, 2009 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost sixteen years old, and it seems Ronald Earl’s life is laid out before him. For nearly as long as he can remember, he’s been the boy wonder preacher, better known as Little Texas. People drive hours to see him and shout his name in reverence; all they see is a vessel of holiness. And for the most part, that’s how Ronald Earl feels too, because the sensation of the Holy Spirit filling him is like no other. But when he heals a blonde girl in a blue dress, something happens that isn’t quite r ...more
May 23, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok I don’t really know how to categorize this book a little horror, a little humor, a little "realistic" fiction but you know what? It doesn’t really matter because the book is great regardless even though it is very, very odd.

Set now, it follows a travelling preaching family called Church of the Hand. The main attraction is Little Texas, a wonder boy preacher (about 15 or so) who actually appears to maybe have some sort of magical powers or at least thinks he does. He travels with 3 old folks,
Abby Johnson
Jul 13, 2009 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blogged
Summary from publisher: Welcome, all ye faithful—and otherwise—to a ghost story, a romance, and a reckoning unlike anything you’ve read before. Acclaimed YA author R. A. Nelson delivers a tantalizing tale set in the environs of the evangelical revival circuit and centered around Ronald Earl, who at ten became the electrifying “boy wonder” preacher known as Little Texas. Now sixteen, though the faithful still come and roar with praise and devotion, Ronald Earl is beginning to have doubts that he ...more
Feb 23, 2014 Kkraemer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most interesting books I've read in a long time.

Ronald Earl ("Little Texas") is a 16 year old prophet on the tent revival circuit, a kid who's interest is in how life and the universe fit together. When he's up front, on stage, wisdom seems to channel through him and his listeners find solace and healing. He is an innocent, and they're drawn to his words of hope. When he's not up front, when he's actually mingling with the world, however, things are not so clear cut, and he s
Shylock Books
May 15, 2011 Shylock Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a few trepidations about Days of Little Texas. It didn't get a lot of publicity when it was first published in October of 2010, and the theme of a “paranormal romance” was already a worn out subject.

Days of Little Texas surprised me in the best way.

First, Ronald Earl, a.k.a Little Texas, had such a unique and powerful voice that I hadn't seen in YA fiction in quite a while. He was honest, innocent, and had the purest of intentions on what he did with his ministry. He was a truly heartfelt
Diane Ferbrache
This book about a teenage preacher, "Little Texas". Since he was very young, Ronald Earl has travelled with a tent revival company, preaching, testifying, and healing the sick. As he approaches his 16th birthday, he begins to question his "call" and wonder about the strange dreams and feelings he is having. Into this confusion comes an ill girl that he is unable to heal. When she begins to appear to him in ghostly form, things take a turn for the worse.

This is part coming of age story, part fai
Nov 23, 2011 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book about Ronald Earl, a young evangelist with a traveling ministry, was better than I thought it would be. He is a gifted preacher who has the ability to heal those in the congregation by laying his hands on them. Then at one event he lays his hands on Lucy; a girl about his age that caught his eye. Then as he travels on from town to town he sees her at every location. This bothers him because he likes her and shouldn't be having those types of thoughts. Then he realizes that she is not e ...more
Jan 19, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Little Texas is a teen preacher traveling the US in tent revivals with The Church of the Hand. His days are rarely suprising until two frightened parents bring their ailing child to him for healing. Little Texas does what he can for the girl that he finds strangely aluring. This act is the catalyst for an amazing coming of age adventure in love, redemption, and pure faith.

This book is billed accurately as a romantic ghost story, but turned out to be a much different book than I thought it was go
Cathy Hall
Aug 01, 2012 Cathy Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SUCH a surprising read! I'm not sure what I expected, but I think that's what I really liked about DAYS OF LITTLE TEXAS--it's so unexpected. And so good.

It's the story of Little Texas, a teen evangelical preacher, and the religion is incredibly overt-- and yet not preachy. It's drenched in Southern life, Southern speak--and yet it's pitch perfect. The characters who fill out the story are so over-the-top--and yet never caricatures.

And there's a ghostly love story, intertwined with a deeply-roote
Apr 19, 2010 Sherrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ronald Earl is taken in by a relative following his mother's death in a meth lab explosion and his father's prison stint for drug sales. With this relative, he finds his calling as the child evangelist and faith healer, Little Texas. As time passes, now sixteen year old Little Texas still draws crowds but is haunted (literally) by one young girl that he was not able to save with his faith healing. The story is part romance, part Southern gothic supernatural tale, and is very compelling. I listen ...more
May 10, 2013 Hannah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, young-adult
Not what I expected, in a bad way. I guess I should have paid attention to the whole YOUNG ADULT part. The description appealed to my love of the southern gothic and grotesque, especially when involving religion. Think Flannery O'Connor, for example. I was expecting something with more substance, not just a lot of religious traveling with a boring ghostly romance thrown in. So yeah, I think teens will like this, maybe some adults. But for me, it was an immature take on a serious theme.

Also, the
Erin Sterling
This strange ghost story follows Ronald Earl, otherwise known as Little Texas, a 16-year-old tent revival boy preacher and healer who has been doubting his faith and powers lately. When he starts seeing a beautiful teenage girl ghost at night when he's all alone, he doesn't know what to make of her until he arrives at Vanderloo Plantation, a place of evil history where she speaks to him, urging him to free the souls. I didn't realize the book was set in present-day at first just because I don't ...more
May 26, 2009 Jessi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, mystery, scary, slavery
Little Texas is an evangelist and healer with the Church of the Hand. He is only 16 when he heals the girl in the blue dress and he can tell right away that something was different this time. Soon after he sees her at service, around corners and in his window at night. Who is this girl that chases his dreams?

Well written and thoughtful. It does not make fun of a way of life that still lives and breaths in parts of the United States, and adds back story as necessary and leads to the chilling endi
Gah! This book irrtated me so much- it started out so great! I loved the traveling revival portion of the book and I was so sucked in to the story at that point and then...BAM! We completely switch gears when they go to the plantation and the story takes one weird turn after another. I don't mind a ghost story, but couldn't that have been built up more during the tent revival portion? And the slave part of the narrative seemingly came out of nowhere. All that being said, I did enjoy many parts o ...more
Sep 05, 2009 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a weird book. Good, though at times distressing and possibly confusing. The author says it was a mixture of a ghost story and southern revivalist preaching - a good description, for the most part. Its also about a young man with a limited view of the world who begins to see beyond the narrow boundaries he has lived within, and about the danger of abuse when God becomes a commercial enterprise, how churches walk that narrow line. It was often hard to tell what was real, what was not, but ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty weird book in the beginning. I hadn't really looked too closely into it before picking it up at the library. I haven't read too many books dealing with a lot of religious/preacher things or ghosts, surprisingly, either. At first I was just kindof so-so, 3 stars, but then as I started getting further along, it really had me hooked. The ending was very very surprising and a thriller! If you want something different, try Days of Little Texas!
Dec 20, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice somewhat creepy Christ-haunted tale. Not Christian fiction as the title might lead you to believe. My sister read this and I thought it sounded interesting. There wasn't a blurb on the back of the book really so I looked at the summery on the publisher's page. This showed me that the font was called "Parable," which is absolutely hilarious. Anyway, it's an enjoyable little book.

Obligatory obscure reference: The novel is like Marjoe Gortner meets Kolchak.
Alethea A
Oct 09, 2009 Alethea A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't mind a little religious irreverence
Recommended to Alethea by: Ingram catalog
Great book! Thoughtful and funny, and the creep-factor of the ghost story is well-executed. This made me want to hunt down copies of his previous two novels (should be here in a week or so) and watch what he does next. Did I mention the cover art is just lovely?

I don't normally seek out books with a religious theme, but this one's an entertaining exception.

My full review:
This book is a good mystery/ghostly love story between a boy who is becoming a man in a religious world that has never allowed for sexuality, nor does the book. A light romance novel that intertwines the history of an old slave worked plantation of the South and a young couple of the present. Can they free the spirits that haunt this place or rid them of the evil that is trapping them there? You'll have to read it to find out, but the ending is worth the journey for young adults and teens.
Anastasia Tuckness
Hard to classify. Readers who question where there's something more to our world than what appears--that we may interact with ghosts and ghosts with us--may be drawn to this book. It has a little of the same feel as the Peretti books, though not as compelling. Though I wouldn't classify it as having a completely traditional conservative Biblial outlook on things, the ending is pretty ambiguous so would not likely offend anyone.
Part love story, part revival meeting, part psychological thriller and horror tale, this book keeps you riveted with its unforgettable characters and powerful story about taking on the Beast with nothing but the Lord by your side. Constant praise of the Lord can be a bit much in certain places and Lucy’s haunting is truly baffling but the book is a determined effort.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Days of Little Texas 1 2 Sep 03, 2012 08:00PM  
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R.A. Nelson's work was selected as a finalist for National Public Radio's list of the "Best Young Adult Fiction Ever Written." He was chosen a Horn Book Newcomer and his books have been nominated to the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults list and recognized by the Parents' Choice Awards, the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list, Booksense Kid Picks, the Miami Herald Best Books of the ...more
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