Thursday, January 28, 2010
Fourteen-year-old Curtis Horner and his father, sister, and grandmother move during the summer of 1966 from the city to a small valley in northern Utah. They rent a house next to a dairy farm owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Pedersen and their several children. Adjusting to his new rural environment proves to be more than Curtis expected as he quickly makes new friends—and enemies. Curtis and his father’s pigpen project sparks a series of extraordinary events that teach young Curtis far more about himself and about life than he bargained for.
Curtis was just about to ask how it was Lloyd knew so much about Evelyn’s folks when Mr. Giles’s voice interrupted their conversation.
“You kids get to the back now,” he called out as the tractor reached the point where the road began its quick descent, and he shifted down a gear. The small jolt that resulted from the pin shifting an inch from the front to the back of the hole in the hitch combined with Eric’s foot—or both feet—pushing against the front bale as he scampered to the back to send that same bale—the one on which Ellen was kneeling as she turned at Mr. Giles’s command—tumbling off the front of the load. Bryce had at that moment reached for her hand to help her, but touched only her outstretched fingers as she followed the bale, plunging backward onto and then over the left rear wheel of the tractor. The corner of the bale struck Mr. Giles, and his foot slipped off the brake. By the time he’d recovered and found it again, the tractor had rolled down the hill another two or three yards. The front wheels of the wagon (this wagon had two axels) were now over the edge of the hill. The sudden jolting stop sent nine or ten more bales off the front.
Curtis and Lloyd had seen it all from the back of the load. Seconds after Ellen disappeared over the front of the wheel, they both jumped off the straw, hitting the ground in unison. Curtis was first to see the results. Ellen was wedged between the tractor’s large rear wheel and the dirt road. Mr. Giles was pushing the brake with his right foot and the clutch with his left with all his strength. His hat had been knocked off and he was shaking. His leathered face was pale as paste, and his eyes were full of fear.
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Tomorrow I'll be giving away, All the Stars in Heaven by Michele Holmes.
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