Amanda Snow's Reviews > With a Name like Love

With a Name like Love by Tess Hilmo
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Sep 25, 11

bookshelves: 2011, middle-grade, review-copy

Originally published at www.apatchworkofbooks.com

13 year old Ollie is used to living on the road. Her daddy, Reverend Everlasting Love, is a preacher, leading tent revivals all across the country for a living. Ollie, along with her parents and sisters, live in the travel trailer they pull along from town to town, being homeschooled and teaching the country about God.

When the family arrives in Binder, Arkansas, Ollie expects the three days to be like every other revival time. Passing out flyers, singing, collecting the offering, and packing up. However, she meets Jimmy Koppel, a troubled boy whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy knows his mother didn't commit the crime and Ollie wholeheartedly believes him.

Convinced her family needs to help Jimmy, Ollie must prove to her father that they have to stay in Binder for longer than their usual three days, whether they're wanted in Binder or not.

This little book was such a heartwarming example of friendship and kindness that I smiled through almost the entire thing. Ollie has such a brave and strong persona, that even cruel townspeople are no match when she puts her mind to helping Jimmy, even when everyone else has simply cast him aside as a troublemaker.

A colorful cast of characters adds to the richness of the novel and the added bit of mystery will appeal to those that like more meat to their story.

Though Ollie and her family are driven to Binder by their faith and their are moments of quoted Scripture, I would definitely not be classifying the book as religious fiction. Simply a plot point and an added character trait in Ollie, I thought it was beautifully woven into the realistic fiction nature of the overall story. No need to be wary if you typically stray away from books mentioning God.

Ollie and her story carved a little place in my heart and I would love to get this in the hands of kids, as it has a great message of compassion. Though Ollie is 13, I would recommend this for the middle grade age range of 9-12ish. Nothing objectionable, easy to read, etc. Would make a nice family read too.
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