Grades 6 - 8
Grade level Equivalent: 5.6
Lexile Measure®: 860L
Guided Reading: T
Type of Book: Chapter Book
- Realistic Fiction
- Character and Values
- Growing Up
About This BookA new century is fast approaching ... but will the year 1900 mean the end of the world, as some say? Robbie Hewitt isn't certain. What he does know is that he wants to get in as much living as possible between now and the new year, just in case — which includes running Mabel Cramm's bloomers up the flagpole on Decoration Day, and taking a ride in a real motorcar.
Robbie doesn't care that his antics leave his preacher father and the upstanding citizens of Leonardstown, Vermont, heartily unimpressed. But when his high spirits and hot temper entangle him in a scheme that damages far more than his father's reputation, Robbie must choose whether to take responsibility for his actions — a decision that holds the life of a man in the balance.
In a ruminative tale of a 10-year-old freethinker, set in a small Vermont town at the end of the 19th century, Robbie decides to become a heathen, a Unitarian, or a Democrat, whichever was most fun, because he ain't got the knack for holiness. As it turns out, he's not very good at sinning either, and he grows emotionally and morally when he begins to see the consequences of his actions.
"Nourishing for mind and spirit both." — Kirkus