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The Literacy Bridge - Large Print - A Fine White Dust (The Literacy Bridge - Large Print)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  791 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
A Newbery Award Nominee
An ALA Best Book for Young AdultsPete slipped right out of the world he'd shared with his parents, and, for a time, none of them knew it. After all, Pete was still 13, mowing lawns, hanging around with his best friend, Rufus. Who would have known? James W. Carson, for one. From the moment their eyes met along the 19-21 bypass, Peter Cassidy was his.
Board book, 167 pages
Published March 2nd 2005 by Thorndike Press (first published 1986)
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Sara Williams
A Fine White Dust follows our main character Pete who has devoted himself to God and to church since a very early age even though he doesn't necessarily come from a religious family. One day his whole life insight change when a man he calls 'Preacher Man' arrives in his town.

The story is very brief and certainly never gets to the core.
Personally, I had no clue what the story would hold when I got to it but it seemed to me as it was mostly, very flat.
The execution was supposed to contain some hi
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-lit
I went to the library today, and the book I wanted to pick up was already checked out. I had two young children with me, so I didn't want to wander the stacks aimlessly looking for a book to read. Instead I just headed down to the children's area. It was story time. I looked around the Newberry Award section halfheartedly and grabbed this one. I've been reading a lot of nonfiction lately, so I thought a good bit of juvenile lit would be good for me. This one was especially appealing because it w ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book served as a wonderful distraction during several of my recent exercise sessions on the treadmill (and I needed the distraction, believe me). I picked up this audiobook on a whim at the Green Valley Book Fair ( several years ago. It is a well-deserved Newbery Honor Book. The protagonist in the book is an 11-year-old boy named Pete who becomes totally enamored with a traveling evangelist who comes through their town one summer. The Man ends up inviting Pete to l ...more
This is an extremely brief book that sort of expands in your head once you've read it. It's a deceptively simple story: Pete, a thirteen-year-old boy who is discovering his Christianity, meets and itinerant revival preacher, who sweeps him off his feet with his religious fervor. Pete decides to leave town secretly with the preacher, feeling called by God to carry out His work. While making this decision, Pete is forced to deal with his less religious parents, as well as with his openly atheist b ...more
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ryland does a great job telling a compelling story in little over 100 pages. The subject of religion and revivals (and how our faith is sometimes affected by the people we meet) would certainly make for good discussion. I have to admit, though, that I was creeped out by the main character's obsession with the evangelical preacher. It was like he, at 13, was in love with Preacher Man. Somehow, fire and brimstone mixed with the hint of homosexuality hit a little too close to home here in the South ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-honor
This book packs a lot in a few pages. Peter's search for faith, truth and religion takes him on a most interesting journey as he meets and interacts with a traveling preacher. I appreciated the process of how easily Peter rationalized leaving all that was familiar behind to accompany the traveling preacher; this is precisely the justification young teens employ when facing such a dilemma. I equally liked the unconditional relationship between Peter and his best friend, Rufus; many valuable lesso ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this book because it was funny but true cause it was talking about hell and heaven and diffrent features in the book how it was being explained.
A touching, powerful book. In a mere 106 pages, Peter makes the journey from naive "believer" to a more mature spiritual place.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Self Sacrifice for Personal Growth”

Thirteen-year-old Pete relates the poignant summer events which helped him come of age. Seems like all his life he has been fascinated with the Church—just waiting to be dramatically Saved. But why are his parents just superficial Christians; how can he justify to himself or a serious adult being best friends with a cocky atheist? And why can’t he bring himself to throw out of the dusty shards of a ceramic cross which he has hidden in his bureau drawer—in fr
Linda Lipko
No stranger to writing award-winning books, Rylant hails from the Appalachian mountains and many of her books have a small-town, back woods feel to them. Fundamental religion is part and parcel of Appalachia and while the setting of A Fine White Dust is a tiny town in North Carolina, threads of Rylant's history appear to be woven throughout.

Dealing with teen aged obsessiveness and the need to worship and honor a hero, Rylant creates the character of 13 year old Peter Cassidy who longs for a heav
Jun 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Never again would he look at me like he knew me inside out, blood and bones and cells and soul. Never again would anybody look at me and know how I felt..."

—Pete Cassidy, "A Fine White Dust", P. 47

"I had been living my life trying my best to do right, to please God, so I wouldn't be sent into the fire. And never knowing that all it takes is one person, one earthly person, to put you there."

—Pete, PP. 96-97

This book was very different from what I expected it to be. Cynthia Rylant writes abo
Eddy Wood
This book presents a young 13 year old boy from North Carolina, and the hard lessons he learns about trusting a stranger - even a “Preacher Man”. The characters are rich, and the setting is very quaint, but I take a different lesson from the book than it tries to push on the reader.
I saw the “Preacher Man” as a young zealous man who was totally committed to God, but was still like other men and succumbed to temptation. We don't know what eventually happens to the young preacher, since the boo
Pete has always felt comfortable with religion and is worried that his parents aren't more concerned about their souls. Pete attends church regularly and spends his free time during the summer with Rufus, his atheist best friend.

When a traveling preacher arrives in town for the town revival, Pete finds himself entranced by the man with the piercing blue eyes. The revival is set to last 5 nights and Pete attends every night. Each night Pete finds himself more and more emotionally attached the tra
Nov 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler alert!!!

13 yr old Pete gets "brainwashed" by a traveling revival preacher in the south. A boy who was already smitten with religion, Pete was an easy target because of his yearning to find something deeper in his faith. I think it's funny how Pete's first impression seemed to be dead on about the preacher, that the man was strange and a little creepy. I also find it interesting that his best friend, as well as his parents are not religious at all; his parents only attend Xmas & Easte
Christopher McQuain
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book broke my heart and opened my eyes to several things (myself, the World, "life") when I read it as a youngster. Surprisingly, what I thought would be a sentimental or even bemused revisit (part of a little detour into my reading past) shows it to retain that power.... It's a book meant for children, and would be highly recommended by me to any kid old enough to handle it. But it works no matter when you read it. I did happen to read it as a child, though, as I mentioned, and it may have ...more
Bobby Parker
This is a story about a young man named Pete. He's naturally very spiritual even though his parents aren't nor is his best friend Rufus. Just when he feels like he couldn't feel anymore alone, a stranger hitch hikes into town. This stranger turns out to be a preacher who gives Pete a confidence and feeling he's never felt before: saved. Pete becomes obsessed with the Preacher and when the preacher asks him to leave town with him to help him preach, Pete agrees to leave his family and friends beh ...more
Mary Pellecchia
Nov 03, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: religious fanatics?
I read this as part of my quest to read as many Newbery winners as possible. Why this one won is a mystery to me. I found it a very ordinary and unsatisfying manuscript. An impressionable, very religious boy feels alienated from his unworshipping parents. He attends church religiously, and when a new itinerant preacher comes to town, he is immediately attracted and plans to run away from home to travel around with this guy. The guy is a charlatan and the boy realizes that closeness to God can be ...more
Rachel Parker
This book is about a 13 year old boy named Peter. He lives in North Carolina with his parents. He is very religious even though he is still pretty young. His parents on the other hand could do without church in general. Ironically his best friend Rufus is an atheist, but they still get along great. Peter's life is really great and going well until one day his mother says he should go to a revival meeting. This is where his life changes because he meets Preacher Man.

I really enjoyed this book. It
Pj Armentrout
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a fine white dust was a great book which is coming from a person who doesnt like to read books at all. at first i had the feeling that it was going to be a cheesy book but then i got farther into the book and the story opened up more and more. it was very religious. carried the aspects of who you should really love and stand by which is family, friends, and god! it opens your eyes and makes you realize whats important in life and what you should charish in life as well. they were distinctive in ...more
Logan liked this book okay, but it didn't engage him the way some other books (such as Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and Treasure Island) did. We aren't religious in any way and this book is about religious fervor. I had to pause and explain a lot of things, which made for slow going. Also, he didn't relate at all to the young boy who is taken in by a charismatic preacher who rolls into a small town and uses night time tent revivals to beget a lot of tearful conversions and short-lived devotion. H ...more
1987 Newbery Honor Book

Pete goes to church even though his parents don't and his best friend is a confirmed atheist. One day, he goes to a revival and is entranced by the traveling preacher there.

I wasn't sure how I felt about this book until I read the discussion questions at the end. They helped to put the book in perspective. The authors says she wrote about the themes of friendship, betrayal and heroes. I can see that in the book. I'm not sure I like where she left Pete at the end. On one ha
Alicia Stevens
May 31, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
13 year old Peter Cassidy has found God. The only problem is that his parents and best friend Rufus couldn't be more uninterested and couldn't care less. Needless to say, Peter is more than ecstatic-pretty much hypnotized, when a "Preacherman" comes into town and rials a lot of folks up. But when the Preacherman offers Peter an apprentice position by his side, Peter must decide between his love for God or his love for his parents.

This book is recommended for anyone who, is not trying to find God
Austen to Zafón
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Cassidy is a 13-year-old boy who is looking to connect with someone in his life. He goes to church every Sunday even though his parents have no interest in going and his best friend, Rufus, is an atheist. Then, the church has a revival and Reverend James W. Carson, the Preacher Man, comes to town. When Peter first sees him in the drugstore, he thinks he's a murderer. When he goes to the revival that night and sees the Preacher Man, he is shocked. But he is caught up in the religious fervor ...more
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pete is a 13-year old concerned with the nature of God. He has a spiritual side that is earnestly searching for more, even though his parents seem to not be interested in religion. Plus, his best friend Rufus is a declared atheist. A traveling minister comes to town and it begins a whirlwind summer where Pete experiences friendship and betrayal.

This would be a good discussion book, especially with a teenager. But, Pete is a different type of kid, and it left me having a hard time relating to hi
Claire Monahan
I really have no idea what I would have given this when I first read it - probably 3 stars. I read it quite a long time ago. However, it is also one of those books I've remembered periodically as time has passed, which makes me realize that some part of this story must have resonated within me. I never before realized it was a book so much about Christianity - that feature definitely passed over me as an elementary school girl. I just thought of it as a bond between the two main characters. The ...more
Ashley Brown
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is about a boy named Pete who gets involved with his local church and becomes very interested in religion. He craves salvation and he isn't getting what he wants. A man who he calls the "Preacher man" comes to his town and Pete believes he gets his salvation from the man. He starts to really like the man because no one else seems to understand what he is going through. All Pete wants to do is find himself and that man seems to be his only hope.

setting- various

grade- 5th

use- I would put
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seems to tackle a very deep topic that I'm not so sure junior readers could appreciate or even understand. I do believe, however, that young children can develop strong convictions of religion and God. And there will also be times when their faith is shaken by a particular individual as we've seen in the current news.

The author expressed well the wisdom gained from difficult situations. What we can we learn from our lows? Who do we care about the most, that will stand by us through th
Claire Grasse
Mar 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Depressing. Dispiriting. Left me wondering why this itinerant preacher wanted to run off with a 13 year old boy, and vice versa. I'm not sure if this book was supposed to be about secret homosexual yearnings, or pedophilia, or over-the-top religious fervor, or if the author is portraying them as one and the same thing. If it confused me, I imagine it would confuse a sixth grader, but perhaps I'm being presumptuous. Anyway, I expected more from a Newbery winner. I liked Cynthia Rylant better in h ...more
Stephanie Gamez
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fine White Dust book was a very good book. It tells you about how a boy that is very bad, and mean changes after a visit to church. He starts going to church everyday and changes his attitude with everybody. He then visits church and Preacher Man tells him to go out of town with him and he agrees. He waits for Preacher Man to arrive but never does. Preacher Man lied to him and went with someone else.
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An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she ...more
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“But I know now that you can't expect anything from anybody. If somebody loves you, it's because he wants to. And it's never because it's what he's supposed to do."

—Pete Cassidy”
“And, finally, I know, too. That throwing away this mess doesn't mean I'm giving something up. Or losing something I can't get back. It's just that there are too many pieces and too much dust. I'm just ready for something whole."

—Pete Cassidy”
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