Sarah W's Reviews > The Nine Pound Hammer

The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis
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's review
Jun 14, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Read in June, 2010

When twelve-year-old Ray abandons his sister Sally to the care of Miss Corey on the orphan train, he thinks he is increasing her chances of finding a good home. After he recovers from jumping off the movie train, Ray wanders through the woods, guided only by a lodestone his father gave him before disappearing eight years earlier. During his wandering, Ray rescues a strange man named Peter Hobnob.

Ray finds himself trapped between two bear cubs and their mother. A tall young man named Conker carries the injured Ray to the traveling medicine show he is a part of. Ray discovers many new things about the world and his family while traveling with the show run by Peg Leg Nel, including the fact that John Henry is Conker's father. Ray struggles to discover what happened to his father while also trying to keep Jolie, a siren, safe from the danger now pursuing the show.

I enjoyed the use of American folktales and history in this book.

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