Beaver Creek Blues by Mary Ann Rose Hart
“Mary Ann Rose Hart’s Beaver Creek Blues is a nostalgic coming-of-age story that is rich in period details, including big issues from segregation to polio.
“Going on twelve years old, Willie is a self-described ‘Jelly Belly’ in the 1950s rural South. He loves baseball, and he grapples with family challenges and bullies in the year before he enters sixth grade. Hart vividly recreates his setting …
“The big issues that Willie, his baseball team, and his family members face are handled with sensitivity and optimism.
“In his last journal entry, Willie reflects ‘I know now that life is going to be full of hits and strikeouts.’ It’s an important epiphany, and one that will resonate with middle grade readers approaching adolescence.
“Quiet, thoughtful historical fiction suited for middle grade readers, Beaver Creek Blues has the potential to spark important intergenerational discussions in home and classrooms about the politics of the 1950s and beyond, and would make a great read-aloud for baby boomers to share with the young people in their lives.”
How does an eleven-almost-twelve-year-old boy deal with a jelly belly he never asked for, the never-ending taunting by bullies, and the need to level the playing field for himself and his friends? Life's not fair as Willie sees it! What's a boy to do when he is not good enough to play on a tournament baseball team? How is a boy to befriend the school's worst bullies at the request of the school principal? It's the 1950s and Willie is jolted into the reality that even skin color can cause problems for a boy. Baseball at Beaver Creek Bottom teaches Willie and his buddies, The Beaver Creek Nine, how to deal with hits and strikeouts in life.
This is the second book for Mary Ann Rose Hart. As in the first book, Mary Ann’s Mountain, Beaver Creek Blues continues with the theme of problems faced by preteens. Having taught grades 3-6 in the public schools for thirty-six years, the author knows “tweens” well. She has a master’s degree from Appalachian State University, emphasizing the emerging adolescent and reading skills instruction. The author served as a math lead teacher, writing math activities presented at regional and state math conferences.
It was her fifth graders and her husband who inspired this writer to create Beaver Creek Blues. Mary Ann and her husband, David, both animal lovers, live in North Carolina with a cat named Gus, their latest adopted orphan.
The author’s blog and free downloads for guided reading activities and math activities for this book are available on her website, www.maryannrosehart.com.