Gentle's Holler
Kerry Madden
Viking, 2005
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Gentle's Holler
The sixties may have come to other parts of North Carolina, but with Mama pregnant again, Daddy struggling to find work, and nine siblings underfoot, nobody in the holler has much time for modern-day notions. Especially not twelve-year-old Livy Two, aspiring songwriter and self-appointed guardian of little sister Gentle, whose eyes “don’t work so good yet.” Even after a doctor confirms her fears, Livy Two is determined to make the best of Gentle’s situation and sets out to transform the family’s scrappy dachshund into a genuine Seeing Eye dog. But when tragedy strikes, can Livy Two continue to stay strong for her family?

Livy Two assumes many of the child-care and household responsibilities. Still, she has time to dream of future travels, a home of her own, and her own country-music hits. Her worry over blind little sister Gentle dampens her dreams, but she finds creative solutions with the family's minimal resources. In spite of the poverty and hardships, this is a family story that's full of love and delight. ... Taken individually, these characters are very human, but together they form a strong unit that will help readers understand what it means to be a family.


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