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Otherwise Known as Possum

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Possum Porter has had it with change. First she lost Mama, leaving a hole nothing can fill. And now, instead of trying to return to some kind of normal, Daddy's sending Possum to school. A real school, where you have to wear SHOES. Where some Yankee teacher will try to erase all the useful things Mama taught Possum during their lessons at home.

So Possum comes up with a pla
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Scholastic Press
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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jv poore
Possum, to me, is kind of a country Pippi Longstocking. Both young girls are wise to the ways of the world, if not properly educated. Tough, fiercely independent with lasting loyalty and a heart bigger than her small body should be able to hold, Possum is another exemplary young lady.

Certainly a smile-through-tears kind of story combining spunk, mischief and intuitive, undeniable kindness, I thoroughly enjoyed the bitter-sweet reflections from the late 20th century in this captivating Juvenile
Miranda Reads
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One the one hand, really well done.

On the other hand, I think I died of metaphor-overdose.

Review to come.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
This is a wonderfully touching story. It has much depth. A great book for discussion. I loved all of the characters. I felt their sadness and rejoiced as they found their way. Lovely lyrical writing. A terrific sense of place. I am crushed to know that this is all we will ever have from this talented author. I feel very lucky to have found it. I am forever grateful to Scholastic for sharing this beautiful book with me in exchange for an honest review.
Great line: "It's better to expect something good than to fear something bad."

I need to remember this quote when I am having a rough day. 😉
Mary Sanchez
Regular school is the last thing LizBetty, also known as Possum wants. Her Momma taught her at home before she and Baby died, and Possum wants to prove to her Daddy that she doesn't need school. She needs to be home, taking care of Daddy, especially since Possum thinks the new teacher has her eye on Possum's daddy.

The words were lyrical and put me in the midst of the Appalachian Mountain people.
When Possum is thinking about a boy, the author wrote: "Also, had his voice always been like July ho
Dawne Knobbe
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possum is a delightful character, full of spunk and mischievous fun. A heart felt tail of growing up during the depression. Rich in history. Maria D. Laso writes with extraordinary vision. Don't miss this beautiful and fun story. There are phrases that will stay warm in your heart forever.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
There are books that steal into your heart, and OTHERWISE KNOWN AS POSSUM caught me today as I finished it. I slipped easy-like into the language, the locale, the world of plucky, tomboy, sad-hearted LizBetty, AKA Possum. A bewildered girl who has had enough change after her Momma died, fights off schoolin' and fears both she and her Daddy will lose the memories of their happy home if everything is different. But, of course, it is new and scary to be a young tween trying to navigate the world w/ ...more
I have to start with the caveat that I don't really connect with books in which the narrator speaks in the vernacular. They just don't work for me. Possum uses a lot of slang which makes the book fun, I suppose, but for me it's just a bit of a distraction. I think kids might enjoy it, although my ELL students may struggle with it. I'll probably add it to my collection, because there are students who do enjoy these types of books.

Possum lost her mother and baby brother, and she and her father are
LizBetty Porter, who prefers being called Possum, is still mourning the loss of her mother and baby brother during the Great Depressions. Times aren't easy in the Appalachian Mountains where she and her father and their dog Traveler live, but they get by. However, when the local busybodies decide that it's time for Possum to attend school, she is completely disinterested. After all, didn't her Mama teach her everything she needs to know? Despite her disinclination to attend school, she reluctant ...more
Karen • The Book Return
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this Review and more on my blog.The Book Return Blog
‘Otherwise Known as Possum’ is a middle-grade historical fiction novel. The story takes place in the deep south during at the height of the great depression. The titular character, Possum Porter’s, mother and baby brother recently died in childbirth. Adding to Possum’s grief, her father decides to send her to the town school (up until then she had been homeschooled). Possum’s goals become to show her daddy that she is too smart for school
Karen Arendt
I loved the dialect and Possum's character. Possum is feisty, determined, and a good friend. While she wants life to never change after her mom passes away, she finds that life is not lived by standing still. A good choice for 3rd and 4th graders. Encourage readers to look at the author's note before reading. I was saddened to learn that Maria Laso has passed away and will not be able to write more stories. I would have liked to read more.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 50-17, middle-grade
The writing is lovely, with pitch perfect language that rolls off the tongue.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a little too hokey for my tastes, but the story was good and I enjoyed it overall.
Cyndi Shinn
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book!!!
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely read!
Lisa Nagel
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Otherwise Known as Possum

I am very sad that this debut author's voice will not have a chance to be heard from again, but this one is special. With a down home country style, Possum's voices shines. Possum lost her sunshine and joy when she lost her mother, and she is desperate to keep things from changing any further. When her dad insists she start going to school in town, it feels a bit like a betrayal to all her mom taught her at home. Somehow Possum keeps moving forward, and with a unique spi
Ms. Yingling
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

LizBetty Porter doesn't want to be called by her name-- she wants to be called Possum, which is what her deceased mother called her. Even after a number of years, both Possum and her father are struggling with the death of her mother and baby sibling. Now, the local busybodies in their Depression era Appalachian community think that Possum should go to school and occasionally wear dresses. Possum does not share this opinion, and tries everything she can to
I fell in love with Possum Porter from day one. A young girl growing up in a small town that doesn't have much but gossip. Still reeling from the death of her mother and baby brother, I was instantly thrust into Possum's world and didn't want to leave. Possum is quite the tom-girl, more comfortable in her cover-alls and bare feet, running through the woods and learning from the world around her.

But her father is lost without her mother. Deciding she needs to go to school, against her wishes he t
Josie Stewart
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Thank you to Scholastic Press for the ARC of this book received at NCTE. I started the book right after the conference in mid-Nov. and then put any chapter book reading to the side until winter break when I could truly focus and enjoy this book. The timing of reading the book - as the last chapters are during the Christmas holiday, was perfect!

Possum is a character you will love. The entire book is about helping our neighbors, education, and love. I've read a few reviewers saying that they coul
Scott Fillner
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is so much to love about this book from its main story, to the background about the author, to the acknowledgment from her husband. Just an amazing book filled with strong characters and wonderful words of wisdom.
Steve Sarner
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very cute story that I can see being a movie one day. Touching story about the author too.
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