Maureen Milton's Reviews > Defiance

Defiance by Valerie Hobbs
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Aug 08, 11

bookshelves: intermediates, seniors
Read in August, 2011

I picked this up as a possibility for my Intermediate readers who want accessible realistic fiction with a few tears at the end and "Defiance" proved to be just that. It opens with 11-year-old Toby, who has undergone treatment for cancer, meeting a neighboring cow. He is away on vacation with his mother, while his dad comes in on the weekends from work.

Toby develops a fondness for Blossom the cow, and eventually gains a job as her milker and as a house-helper to Blossom's aged, infirm owner, Pearl, a poet with failing eyesight who refuses to relinquish her independence and her farm. You can envision the trajectory of the story with the overprotective parents, the children who want to institutionalize their ailing mother, Toby's secrets to protect both himself & Pearl from loss of freedom, and (spoiler!) the eventual demise of Blossom. Pearl lives to be 100 & Toby lives on to become a doctor.

It delivered what I had hoped and I already have a list of readers lined up with the tissue box.
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