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A Hole in the World Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

Spending the summer on an isolated farm sounded like the worst possible kind of punishment. But that was before Paul got to know the people, the animals, and the ghost who lived there.

It didn’t turn out to be the summer that Paul had expected to have when his father told him that as punishment for lying, he’d be working on his cousins’ farm. He’d expected hard, dirty work, and he got it, from cleaning the pigs’ manure-filled pen to pulling tree stumps, stringing fence wire and baling hay. But he also got paid, so it wasn’t the slave labor that he’d assumed it would be.

And when he wasn’t working, Paul thought about Hennley, a farmhand who’d killed himself not long before Paul arrived. Hennley’s death has left a hole in the farm. His quiet wisdom and careful, attentive listening made people around him feel important and unique. And Paul’s presence on the farm seemed to bring back everyone’s memories of Hennley, because Paul had an uncanny resemblance to him. Who was Hennley, and why did his spirit still permeate the farm? Was there a deeper reason for Paul’s’ presence on the farm, some task Hennley wanted him to accomplish?

Spend the summer with Paul, Hargrove, Frances, Inez, Dundas, Ellis, Rebecca, and Einstein, and find out.

This booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart

 

  • Subjects:
    Friends and Friendship
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