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Belle Prater #1

Belle Prater's Boy

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An alternate cover edition can be found here.

When Belle Prater disappears, Belle’s boy, Woodrow, comes to live with his grandparents in Coal Station, Virginia. Woodrow’s cousin Gypsy is the town beauty, but she has hidden sorrows and secrets of her own. She wonders how Woodrow can accept his mother’s disappearance when she’s never gotten over her father’s death. That’s when Woodrow tells Gypsy the secret about his mother.

224 pages, Paperback

First published March 26, 1996

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About the author

Ruth White

73 books101 followers
I was born in the Appalachian hills of Virginia, which is the setting for Belle Prater's Boy and The Search for Belle Prater. I lived there until I graduated from high school and went away to college. Though I left the hills, they never left me. My memories of those years are quite vivid. I have always referred to that time as both traumatic and wonderful. I get most of my ideas for my stories from those memories of my childhood home, the small coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia.

I started writing at a very young age. I remember trying to write stories before I was even able to put long sentences together. It was just something I felt compelled to do, probably because I loved stories so much. We had no television because my family was very poor; my mother was raising my three sisters and me with very little money. So we read aloud and enjoyed each other’s company.

Eventually I became a teacher and then a school librarian. Working in the public schools among adolescents fueled my desire to write, and I suppose the age group I worked with helped me determine that I wanted to write for them instead of for adults or smaller children. I wrote my first book, The City Rose, based on an experience that happened when I taught seventh and eighth grade in Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina. The schools had recently been integrated, and I had two black girls in one of my classes. I noticed that whenever we went to the library, they didn’t check out any books. Finally, they told me that it was because they couldn’t find any books about black children. So I decided to write one.

For Belle Prater's Boy, my inspiration came from Grundy, like it has so many times. When I was small I used to ride through the nicest residential area there and look at the pretty houses and manicured lawns. I thought these were wealthy people who had ideal lives. Only in later years did I realize that the people living in those houses were quite average, living the way most Americans live. They had their own particular problems, which I could not even imagine. So I decided to set a novel there. First, I created Gypsy, the city mouse, who lived in one of those pretty houses, and Woodrow, the country mouse, who was from the sticks. Then I asked them to tell me their story.

I didn’t plan to write a sequel to Belle Prater's Boy. I thought Woodrow's theory about what happened to his mother would be enough for the reader, but it obviously was not. I had many letters from readers wanting to know what happened to Belle, and asking me to write a sequel. Actually, I did the first draft of the sequel in the late nineties. After many revisions, I created The Search for Belle Prater.

When I'm not writing, I like to walk in the park with my golden retriever, listen to books on tape, and watch movies. Away from home, I like to visit schools and talk to young people about books and writing. My daughter usually travels with me, and we have a great time together.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 505 reviews
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews47 followers
August 22, 2021
Belle Prater's Boy, Ruth White

Belle Prater's Boy (1996) is a young adult novel by Ruth White that tells the story of 12-year-old Gypsy and her aunt, Belle Prater, who mysteriously disappears one morning.

When Woodrow's mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents' home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

Everyone in Coal Station, Virginia, has a theory about what happened to Belle Prater, but twelve-year-old Gypsy wants the facts, and when her cousin Woodrow, Aunt Belle's son moves next door, she has her chance.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و یکم ماه آگوست سال 2014میلادی

عنوان: پسرخاله وودرو؛ نویسنده: روت وایت؛ مترجم محبوبه نجف‌خانی؛ تهران، افق، 1391؛ در 247ص؛ شابک 9789643698355؛ چاپ دوم سال 1392؛ چاپ سوم 1393؛ چاپ چهارم 1396؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

داستان «پسرخاله وودرو»، درباره ی پسری به نام «وودرو» است، که مادرش ناگهانی او و خانه‌ شان را ترک می‌گوید؛ «وودرو» مجبور است به خانه‌ ی پدربزرگ و مادربزرگش برود؛ در خانه‌ ی پدربزرگ، «وودرو» با دختر خاله‌ اش دوست می‌شود؛ داستانی «آمریکایی»، با موضوع اجتماعی و برای نوجوانان نگارش شده است؛ در چکیده ی داستان آمده: «وودرو»، پسربچّه‌ ای دوازده ساله است، که به همراه مادر و پدرش، در بالای درّه‌ ای دور افتاده زندگی می‌کنند؛ یک روز، مادر ناپدید می‌شود؛ «وودرو» پس از مدّتی، برای ادامه ی زندگی، نزد پدربزرگ و مادربزرگش می‌رود؛ «جیپسی»، دخترخاله ی هم سنّ «وودرو»، و زیباترین دختر شهر است؛ پدر «جیپسی» خانه را ترک کرده، و او به همراه مادر و ناپدری‌ خویش زندگی می‌کنند؛ دردهای مشترک و پنهان، صمیمیت میان دو نوجوان را بیشتر؛ امّا رویای آن‌ها برای بازگشت پدر و مادرشان ناکام می‌ماند؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Lars Guthrie.
546 reviews169 followers
June 15, 2010
I ripped right through this fantastic book. Belle Prater is the aunt of the narrator, a pretty sixth-grader named Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster. Belle's son Woodrow is her seemingly ungainly and cross-eyed cousin.

Apparently abandoned by his mother, who has mysteriously disappeared from "way far in the head of a long, isolated holler," Woodrow comes to live with the cousins' grandparents, residents of the tony part of Coal Station, Virginia. They live right next to Gypsy and her mother and step-father.

Woodrow is such a surprising and endearing character, one of the best I've come across in children's books. And Gypsy has her own unexpected aspects as well. I really liked it that although we learn what happened to her father (needed a hankie there), other mysteries are left unresolved.

Plus I'm a sucker for that time. It was my childhood, too. The references to politics and culture, and in particular, the music--"Tramp on the Street," "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain," "Oh My Pa-Pa," "Wings of a Dove" (oh how I love that song), even Dinah Shore singing "See the U.S.A. in a Chevrolet"--really resonated with me.

Those allusions to a time gone by are just bonuses to a rich tale full of magic and emotion, a tale where the poetry of Rumi is as important an underpinning as the lyrics to a Ferlin Husky song.

Highly recommended
Profile Image for Quirkyreader.
1,538 reviews43 followers
December 21, 2019
This is a good book for older children dealing with loss in their lives.

I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil it.
Profile Image for booklady.
2,324 reviews65 followers
April 24, 2015
Belle Prater’s Boy is set in 1953 Coal Station, Virginia. Belle’s son, Woodrow, is known for his infamous mother and then mostly for what she did. Early one morning, after a trip to the outhouse, she mysteriously disappeared from the little shack where she lived with her son and husband without leaving a trace. She never returned.

Some months later when nothing can be discovered about her whereabouts, Woodrow comes to town to stay with his maternal grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Ball. Next door is his cousin, Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster. They become fast friends, discovering each other’s secrets along the way. Although Gypsy is known for her beauty and seems to have everything Woodrow doesn’t, he is one of those old-young souls who bring joy wherever they go.

Woodrow has a story or joke or prank for every occasion. He manages to be the life of the party without inciting envy except in the one person who refuses to surrender center stage. For the most part a fun look at a year in the life of two cousins, their family and sixth grade friends, getting to know each other and themselves. It’s also a tender story about how appearances can be deceptive and a nostalgic peek into bygone days.

Great for young and old alike.
Profile Image for Ines.
321 reviews198 followers
April 23, 2019
che piccola perla......storia di una dolcezza infinita, l'amicizia, l'onore la riconoscenza.......tutto qui
Profile Image for Nicholas Perez.
439 reviews96 followers
Want to read
May 26, 2022
I think I might had read this book or part of it in my middle school years. I recognize one of the alternative older covers.
Profile Image for Yasmine.
144 reviews84 followers
June 13, 2020
omg me and my friend were SCREAMING on the phone looking for this book because we read it in like 4th? And I couldn’t remember the title and I had a heart attack when I found it.
that’s the review.
Profile Image for Linda Lipko.
1,904 reviews43 followers
May 7, 2011
Insightful, poignant, touching and sensitively written, this 1997 Newbery honor book is one I highly recommend. With shades of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, the reader observes small-town life through the eyes of a young, precocious young girl.

In 1953 Belle Prater left her house, her near-do-well husband and young son and vanished from Coal Station, VA, never to be found.

In 1954 Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster's view of life is about to change when she befriends her cousin Woodrow after he moves across the street to live with their grandparents. Years earlier Gypsy's father died, and she, like Woodrow knows the pain of loss.

As the story unfolds, we learn that Gypsy's mother was the pretty one; Woodrow's mother, Belle, was plain and could not compete when Gypsy's mother stole the heart of Belle's suitor and married him.

Cross-eyed and wearing hand me down clothes, Woodrow is Belle Prater's boy. Pretty like her mama, dressed in frills, Gypsy is about to learn that appearances are deceiving.

Lonely and abandoned Belle Prater's boy experiences snitty comments, not only at the hands of the town bully, but in particular by the small-town, nasty society mavens.

This is a story of multi-faceted layers, of looking past appearances, of sibling rivalry, of decisions that have a life-long impact and of small town life with its charm and chills.
Profile Image for Krista the Krazy Kataloguer.
3,873 reviews268 followers
September 15, 2010
Ruth White has again created a novel with unique and interesting characters who grab your attention and compel you to read to the end. This is a story of children's fantasy vs. adult truth, of physical beauty vs. inner beauty, of broken family, extended family, and stepfamily. Gypsy Leemaster and her cousin Woodrow Prater both have an unforgettable year in which they not only get to know each other, but also discover truths about themselves and the adults around them. The time period, 1954, was interesting to me because I was born around that time, and reading about school and what was on TV was like revisiting my childhood. I would probably have given this the Newbery medal instead of honor book status. The strong characters and vivid setting and time period make this an unforgettable story. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for elina.
14 reviews21 followers
November 29, 2020
كلا نميخواستم كتاب هايي كه دوران دبستان خوندم اينجا اد كنم. ولي به هرحال همين كتاب ها اون موقع برام دنيايي ساختن و حسي منتقل كردن
كه هيچ وقت فراموش نميكنم. اينم يكي از هموناست. دوست من وودرو:)
Profile Image for Michelle Isenhoff.
Author 55 books90 followers
January 27, 2012
Belle Prater’s Boy is just the kind of book I love – beautifully written, moving, and full of thoughtful conclusions. It’s 1953 and Gypsy’s Aunt Belle has disappeared without a trace. Her cousin, Woodrow, comes to live in Granny and Grandpa Ball’s house right next door. He looks rough, with his hand-me-down mining clothes and his crossed eyes, but the town finds that outward appearances don’t make the boy. Gypsy, on the other hand, is as beautiful as her mother, but no one ever sees the individual beneath the golden curls.

Nobody knows what happened to Aunt Belle, but Woodrow has some secrets he’s told no one but Gypsy. Together, they sort through family history and build a picture of a woman who never accepted herself. A woman who wanted to be invisible. Understanding his mother’s hurt, Woodrow is able to come to terms with her abandonment.

Gypsy has scars of her own. She’s always hated her stepdad, Porter, not because he’s cruel, but because he’s not her father. But who is she really mad at? Digging through the past uncovers memories Gypsy would rather leave buried, yet with Woodrow’s help, she finally faces her skeletons.

Themes of beauty, individuality, and value weave in and out of the pages of this Newbery honor book and tie together in some important scenes. When Gypsy mourns that no one sees her for who she is, Porter tells her, “You’re a fine person in your own right. Nobody can outshine you if you can just be yourself. Belle never learned that, and it caused her a lot of grief…She actually vanished years ago, when she was about your age. Now she is out there trying to find herself again.”

And in another crystal ball scene, Gypsy grieves her father’s death and cries to her mother: “Why did he do it? Why?” Her mother answers, “He was in a deep depression. He couldn’t accept his disfigurement. Do you remember that?” To which Belle replies, “I remember he had scars after the fire, but he was my daddy. I loved him and always saw him as handsome and wonderful.” Deep, powerful stuff with a myriad of lessons in it.

And in a sweet, sort of wrap-up commentary, Woodrow writes in his English assignment, “…it is my belief that Blind Benny, even with his poor sightless eyes, is the only person I know who sees with perfect clarity. Because Benny is able to see beyond appearance.”

Belle Prater’s Boy does get a little sappy in places, but it delivers a great story and an even better message. I give it a very high recommendation.
Profile Image for Dana.
418 reviews
October 24, 2015
This was a cute, quick read. It has a good message for younger kids- I wish the ending hadn't been so rushed, but it was still worth it.
Profile Image for 0r2b80.
166 reviews28 followers
January 6, 2021
من شخصا خیای مقاومت کردم که پسرخاله وودرو رو نخونم اما در نهایت ازش خوشم اومد
Profile Image for Richard (Rick).
423 reviews7 followers
September 30, 2019
this was really a delightful book. The colloquial Appalachian language was delightful, and the message about how to deal with difficult loss and family tragedy was very poignant. I liked this a lot more than I expected.
Profile Image for Ella.
207 reviews
January 25, 2020
This book was good at the beginning- it had the best first line I'd seen in a while. It had some good characters and an interesting premise. But there were a few things I didn't really like in it and it didn't go in the direction I thought it would. And, on further reflection, nothing really happened. It feels sort of like things are happening, but when you think about it, not much actually happened. The ending was just a little weird and I didn't know what was happening. (I had to read the excerpt of the sequel in the back to feel satisfied.)
Profile Image for nobody.
151 reviews
September 21, 2023
خیلی دوستش داشتم. داستان‌هایی که وودرو تعریف می‌کرد واقعا خوندن‌شون لذت‌بخش بود و رفتارش باعث می‌شد بارها با خودم فکر کنم که "عجب پسر فوق‌العاده‌ای".

از کتاب:
اگر بتوانی فقط خودت باشی، هیچ‌کس نمی‌تواند بیشتر از تو بدرخشد. بل هرگز این را نفهمید و همین باعث شد که خیلی عذاب بکشد.
Profile Image for Diane.
423 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2023
3.5 stars. A cute story with precocious and likable characters. Set in 1950’s Appalachia, it focuses on love, loss and coping from the eyes of sixth-grade cousins. Great for grade-schoolers but any age can enjoy it.
4 reviews5 followers
October 3, 2014
Belle Praters Boy by Ruth White is a very intriguing, modern realistic fiction book written about 12 year old Gypsy and her cousin, Woodrow Prater. Belle Praters boy. When Gypsy's aunt, Belle goes missing one morning, her son, Woodrow moves in with his grandparents that live right next to Gypsy, her mother and her stepfather, Porter. Gypsy and Woodrow create a everlasting bond that couldn't be broken, but Gypsy still could figure out why Woodrow took his mothers disappearance so steadily when she never got over the horrifying suicide of her father. She finds out that Woodrow may know where his mother disappeared too, just unsure how to get to her. Gypsy and Woodrow both share a similar issue of loosing one of their parents. Like for example, "My daddy was Aunt Belle's sweetheart first?" from page 19. Both Amos, who was Gypsy's dad and Aunt Belle who was Woodrow's mom both either left or died. Both where in the relation of the family, and they both share the same pain in losing a family member close to them.I really liked Belle Prater's Boy because it really captured my attention and it was hard to put down. I also think you can relate to it in many ways.
Profile Image for Niken.
23 reviews3 followers
August 1, 2007
buku ini bikin mata gw bengkak dan sesenggukan edan di beberapa bab terakhir. tiap air matanya mulai mengering dikit, udah ada lagi cerita yang mengharukan. jadi, buat yang lagi pms, atau yang sedang sedih tapi susah ngeluarin air mata, atau buat yang lagi pengen bikin efek mata bendol, bacalah buku ini.

oya, biar reviewnya lebih berbobot, yang bisa dipelajari dari buku ini adalah jadi cantik itu beban, jadi jelek juga beban, apalagi kalo tiap detik mikirnya adalah betapa jeleknya gw. hmm...begitu kira2. :P
8 reviews1 follower
November 29, 2022
I rated Bell Prater's Boy by Ruth White five stars because this book made me think I was inside of the story. Sometimes I would read for 2 hours straight because it was that wonderful. Bell praters boy is set in west virginia during the 1950s, the story follows 12 year old Gypsy and her 12 yearold cousin Woodrow. I discovered this book in the fifth grade but I had never read it. So during Thanksgicing break I was going through my bookshelf and found this book. I read the back and decided to read it, which I’m so glad I decided to. What I really liked about it was when Gypsy cuts all of her hair off. This event happens because Gypsey gets sad after having a dream her father was still alive. Her dad had shot himself in the face when she was 5 years old and she was the one to find him. When this happened in the book I was shocked and upset for Gypsy because she is only 12 years old. She describes how she felt the need to hold all of her emotions in and just move on from it so she wouldn’t be stuck in the past even if it hurts her. After she wakes up from the dream she starts crying and yelling asking why her dad did this and in a fit of rage and distraught she cuts all of her hair super short. I also liked when Gypsy and Woodrow go into the tree house at night and just talk to each other about what happened to Belle, (woodrow's mother). When this happened it made me happy because they just became best friends in s short amount of time. While talking about what they think happened to Woodrow’s mom, they have an understanding of each other since they both have one parent not present. I think this is important because it shows the reader that even if you feel alone and like no one will understand you, someone out there is feeling your pain.I would read another book by this author because not only is it a mystery but I loved the wordplay in this book. It was really nice to understand and it never threw out huge words that made me feel stupid. I think if you like books that are easy to read and have a lot of characters you’ll really like this book because there is so much dialogue and so many interesting characters.
Profile Image for Cindy.
301 reviews2 followers
February 3, 2020
What a lovely way to spend a “snow day”—reading a book that I should have reviewed a long time ago! I don’t remember how many years ago I first read this story...it was probably in the early 2000’s, when I was reading my way through the Newbery Challenge at the elementary school where I worked. I’ve read it many times since, and am now more than ready to add it to my “Absolute Favorites” bookshelf.
Belle Prater’s boy is a gawky, cross-eyed preteen named Woodrow. He grew up in a shack in a holler, located in the coal-mining region of Virginia. One day he woke up and his momma had disappeared off the face of the earth. So he came into town to live with his mother’s parents.
But Woodrow isn’t really the main character. His cousin Gypsy, who lives next door, is the narrator of this tale. She didn’t know Woodrow well, but when he moves in with her grandparents, they quickly became best friends. Gypsy learns to admire Woodrow’s quick wit and his ability to make friends. She is even a little jealous, because she feels like he was lucky to be appreciated for who he is on the inside, while she gets tired of being talked about because she is pretty and has a beautiful mane of golden hair.
**This story is a must-read for many reasons, as it deals with loss, loyalty, and the struggles that many people have with wanting to be seen for who they ARE, rather than what they look like. Gypsy and Woodrow both have to live every day with a heavy burden-he carries the weight of his mother’s mysterious disappearance, and Gypsy fights the sorrow she bears over her dear daddy’s death when she was only 5 years old. They come to lean on each other, and to defend each other, as they deal with these issues in a small town where everyone knows everything about you—or thinks they do. This book leaves you smiling and then leaves you aching for these young people. I just love it. It deserves my rarely-given rating of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Amanda .
773 reviews34 followers
October 9, 2018
I enjoyed this Newbery Honor book. Woodrow is a kind, wise, and inspiring character.
From the first page I opened to, quoting Antoine de Saint-Exupery: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.." I was reminded of a more recent story with a similar underlying theme on appearances, Wonder. The same quote can be found within that book.
I enjoyed the sense of time and place and the dialect in Belle Prater's Boy, set in the 1950's in an Appalachian coal town. It's a simple story that deals with deep topics. A middle grade book, it's neither too childish nor too grown up.

“.. It is my belief that Blind Benny, even with his poor sightless eyes, is the only person I know who sees with perfect clarity. Because Benny is able to see beyond appearance.”
(Woodrow, Belle Prater's Boy)

I picked my copy up at our local Friends of the Library Bookstore, and my sentiment toward the book grew even more when I noticed an inscription inside after reading it..
My 4th grade teacher was a woman I admired and respected, loved dearly, and her handwriting happens to be in this. Every Christmas she gave books to her students, I still have the Newbery book she gave me during my own 4th grade year. This copy of Belle Prater's Boy was a Christmas gift given to one of her students in 1999. I'm glad to have read it, and it's no surprise I liked it. She recommended great books to me in her living years. It tweaks my heart and brought tears to my eyes, that her suggestions are still finding their way into my reading hands after she's left our world. She lives on in memory, and in books. ♥
Profile Image for Helna.
54 reviews37 followers
March 24, 2009
Kehilangan berarti kesedihan tiada tara, derai air mata adalah buktinya. Namun, bagaimana jika kehilangan menjadi sebuah pembelajaran kehidupan. Akankah kesengsaraan itu sirna?

Rahasia Embusan Angin – Belle Prater’s Boy

Embusan angin di waktu fajar akan menceritakan rahasia kepadamu
Janganlah tidur kembali.
Mintalah apa yang sungguh-sungguh kau inginkan.
Janganlah tidurlah kembali.
Orang-orang pergi dan kembali melalui ambang pintu
Tempat dua dunia bersinggungan
Pintu itu terbuka lebar,
Janganlah tidur kembali

- Jalaludin Rumi, abad ke 13

Puisi di atas adalah karya Rumi yang membuat saya terkesan hingga sekarang. Tapi yang membuat saya lebih terkesan adalah ketika puisi ini menjadi bagian dari sebuah novel berjudul Rahasia Embusan Angin.

Singkat cerita :

Seorang perempuan yang sangat piawai bermain piano selalu iri dan ingin seperti kakaknya yang rupawan. Dia tidak pernah melihat bahwa kakaknya sama sekali tidak bisa bermain piano. Yang ada dalam benaknya adalah menjadi secantik kakaknya. Pergi ke sebuah tempat dimana dia berubah menjadi secantik bidadari. Pergi jauh meninggalkan keluarganya untuk sebuah impian. Pergi jauh meninggalkan anaknya untuk sebuah keinginan. Pergi jauh dan tak akan kembali.

Seorang laki-laki yang gagah dan tampan memiliki istri yang paling cantik di kota. Laki-laki gagah yang sayangnya tidak memiliki hati segagah tubuhnya. Sebuah kecelakaan yang membakar wajahnya telah membuat dia mengurung diri di rumah. Tak ada yang diinginkannya selain wajahnya pulih seperti semula. Ketampanan adalah segalanya baginya. Kepedihan akibat berkurangnya ketampanan telah menghancurkan dirinya. Tidak pernah dipikirkannya bahwa dia memiliki istri yang paling cantik dan juga anak yang mau menerima dirinya. Ketampanan adalah satu-satunya impiannya. Lelaki itu tidak sanggup menghadapi kepedihan.


Sekitar pukul lima pada Minggu pagi yang hangat Bibi Belle meninggalkan tempat tidurnya dan menghilang dari muka bumi. Semua orang di Coal Station, Virginia memiliki teori tentang apa yang sebenarnya terjadi pada Bibi Belle. Kesempatan untuk mengetahui kisah yang sebenarnya datang bagi Gypsy ketika saudara sepupunya Woodrow -- yang juga anak tunggal Bibi Belle -- pindah ke rumah kakek yang terletak di samping rumah Gypsy. Woodrow sengaja diajak pindah oleh kakek dan neneknya setelah melihat sepeninggal Belle, ayah Woodrow sering mabuk. Sebuah lingkungan yang tidak baik buat perkembangan seorang anak.

Satu hal yang sangat mengherankan Gypsy adalah Woodrow tidak gelisah karena kehilangan ibunya. Anak itu tenang-tenang saja seolah-olah tahu bahwa Ibunya baik-baik saja. Padahal Gypsy sendiri tidak bisa melupakan kematian ayahnya – yang membuatnya kini hidup dengan seorang ayah tiri. Seorang ayah tiri yang baik namun belum bisa diterima Gypsy sebagai ayah barunya.

Gypsy adalah seorang anak perempuan menawan dengan rambut panjang keemasan. Satu hal yang sangat menjengkelkan bagi anak periang itu adalah rambut panjang-nya mengharuskannya dirinya merawat dengan hati-hati dan rumit. Dua kali seminggu dia harus mencuci rambutnya dan akan memakan waktu lama untuk mengeringkannya. Ibunya selalu menolak untuk memotong rambut, karena menurut si Ibu, membiarkan rambut Gypsy panjang dan menawan adalah pesan mendiang ayah Gypsy. Namun anak itu menganggap dirinya seperti tenggelam dalam bayang-bayang rambutnya yang selalu dikagumi orang-orang di sekitarnya.

Woodrow adalah seorang anak-laki-laki dengan baju kedodoran dan topi kebesaran. Mata Woodrow yang mengalami kelainan kadang menjadi bahan ejekan. Namun Woodrow adalah seorang anak yang positif dan pandai bercerita. Kehilangan Ibunya juga bukan merupakan hal yang terlalu buruk bagi dirinya. Bagian buruknya justru dari pertanyaan-pertanyaan dari orang-orang yang ingin tahu kisah tentang kepergian Ibunya. Woodrow juga cukup tabah menerima keberadaan dirinya yang tidak semenawan Gypsy. Kedua saudara sepupu itu berteman baik, dan bersama menjalani kehidupan sekolah & keseharian di kota kecil dekat area pertambangan batubara.

Woodrow gemar menceritakan satu puisi favorit ibunya. Puisi Jalalaudin Rumi ini ditafsirkan sebagai penggambaran peralihan antara dua tempat. Antara masa kanak-kanak dan dewasa. Antara musim panas dan musim dingin. Antara pergantian hari. Juga saat jernih antara tidur dan terjaga. Menurut Woodrow Ibunya tergila-gila dan ingin pergi ke tempat peralihan tersebut. Sebenarnya Ibu Woodrow yang ingin secantik kakaknya – yaitu Ibu Gypsy – ingin pergi ke tempat dimana keinginannya akan terkabul. Sebuah tempat yang menjanjikan Bibi Belle mendapatkan sesuatu yang benar-benar dia inginkan – yaitu kecantikan—bila dia memintanya.

Perlahan-lahan Gypsy berhasil mengorek keterangan tentang kepergian Bibi Belle dari Woodrow. Anak itu banyak bercerita tentang Ibunya, juga tentang keinginan Ibunya untuk menjajaki operasi mata Woodrow. Satu-demi satu kartu terbuka. Kebenaran tentang perseteruan Ibu Gyspy dengan adiknya, yaitu Bibi Belle mulai terkuak.

Gypsy mendapati kenyataan bahwa Ayahnya adalah bekas pacar Bibi Belle yang kemudian beralih menjadi suami Ibunya –- karena kecantikan si kakak telah memikatnya. Sebuah kenyataan pahit yang membuat Bibi Belle pergi meninggalkan rumah dan kawin dengan laki-laki pertama yang mau menerima dirinya. Jadilah Bibi Belle kawin dengan seorang laki-laki pekerja tambang yang kemudian melahirkan Woodrow.

Cerita mencapai puncaknya ketika misteri kematian ayah Gypsy terkuak. Sebuah kenyataan pahit yang bertahun-tahun tak pernah dapat diterima oleh Gypsy dan juga orang-orang sekitarnya menghindari untuk membicarakan hal itu pada Gypsy. Kabur dari kenyataan pedih yang justru kemudian muncul dalam bentuk mimpi-mimpi buruk yang sering dialami Gypsy.


Pada akhirnya kedua anak itu berani menghadapi kenyataan. Bibi Belle telah sengaja meninggalkan Woodrow, seperti halnya ayah Gypsy pergi meninggalkan gadis itu. Kepergian mereka bukan karena mereka tidak mencintai anak-anaknya. Tetapi karena mereka tidak tahan menderita. Tidak cukup tabah untuk menghadapi kepedihan. Derita mereka lebih besar daripada cinta mereka.
Profile Image for Masoome.
413 reviews41 followers
April 20, 2019
این کتاب هم مثل بیشتر رمان های نوجوان، یک مدت از زندگی یک خانواده رو روایت می کرد که توش کلی اتفاقات اساسی می افتاد.

این اتفاق ها از فرار بلو، مادر وودرو و خاله ی جیپسی، شروع می شد. بعد از اون وودرو به خونه ی پدربزرگ و مادربزرگش می ره و با جیپسی رابطه ی خوبی بر قرار می کنه. جیپسی که از ناپدریش متنفره کم کم احساس بهتری نسبت بهش پیدا می کنه و دلیل فوت پدرش رو می فهمه و موهای زیبا و بلندش رو رو از ته می زنه، برای وودرو هم که چشمش چپه، یه دکتر خوب پیدا می شه که درمانش کنه و همه چیز خیلی بهتر می شه!!

با این کتاب خیلی چیزها رو می شد یاد گرفت. یکی ش این بود که به خاطر حرف مردم نباید غصه خورد! وودرو با این که می دونست همه ی مردم پشت سرش حرف می زنن، به روی خودش نمی اورد و با همه مهربون بود و سریع برای همه چیز داستان می ساخت و جوک تعریف می کرد.

یکی دیگه ش این بود که ظاهر چیزی نیست که اهمیت داره، باطنه که مهمه. چیزی که باعث فرار بلو و مرگ پدر جیپسی شده بود، همین موضوع بود، اون ها این رو درک نکرده بودن... خود وودرو هم ظاهرا کمی زشت بوده اما اونقدر شیرین و دوست داشتنی بود که بعد از مدتی کسی دیگه به ظاهرش اهمیت نمی داد.

یکی دیگه ش اینه که وقتی جای رو به رو شدن با مشکلات و حل کردنشون، ازشون فرار کنی، حل نمی شن و به دیگران هم ممکنه آسیب بزنن. مثل کابوس هایی که خود جیپسی می دید تااااا باز هم فرار بلو که باعث نا به سامانی وودرو شده بود و باز هم مرگ پدر جیپسی...

و آخرین چیزی که من یادم مونده هم اینه که آدم ها سفید سفید یا سیاه سیاه نیستن. همه اشتباهاتی دارن ولی این که این اشتباه خودآگاه باشه یا ناخودآگاه و کوچیک یا بزرگ مهمه.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for SilverNediya.
305 reviews
January 6, 2019
دوست دارم به این کتاب بیشتر از 5 ستاره بدهم
جیپسی و وودرو که با تفاوت‌هایی از زمین تا آسمان به همدیگر می‌رسند، در انتهای کتاب، درد مشترکی پیدا کرده‌اند. این دو شیوة کنارآمدنشان با مسائل متفاوت است، ظاهرشان هم همین‌طور
اما هر یک بردباری و مدارای خاص خودش را دارد
Profile Image for Cecilia.
42 reviews
October 19, 2018
I liked this book a lot. It is definitely not my favorite book, but it has great character development and a surprisingly fun hint of mystery. I think that this book was great
168 reviews
August 18, 2018
Fun, quick read. I forget how much I enjoy reading juvenile fiction books; entertaining and usually have a good lesson in them, too.
Profile Image for Brian.
17 reviews
October 19, 2018
This book is Great with plenty of life lessons, the journey from the start of the book to the end of the book was a roller coaster of emotions. Highly recommend this book to anyone!
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