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A Hole in the World
Author - Sid Hite

Paul Shackleford was furious…all this for an innocent lie…a lie told to save a friend! Paul sunk deeper into gloom as he pondered over his punishment. An entire summer working as a farmhand at the Vallenport farm! An entire summer in a remote part of rural Virginia, away from his friends, away from their summer activities! He was doomed and he blamed his parents for it.
Paul's first meeting with the Vallenports further depressed him. The dog nipped and snarled at him and the family stared at him as if he had two heads. Despite all his misgivings, Paul decided to give his best to the farm work. Over the summer he cleans out a pigsty, mends the fence and hauls bales of hay under the hot sun! As the days go by, Paul learns about the late Hennley Gray whose death has left a hole in the farm and whose ghost is believed to haunt it. Paul also comes to know that the reason behind all the stares is the fact that he resembles the late Hennley.
He also gets to know the various characters on the farm: a dog that chases his dead owners' jeep, a farmhand who refuses to drive; Maya who performs séances; a pregnant sow named Vanessa; Granny Furr and her seemingly eccentric remarks and the beautiful Rebecca who becomes his closest friend.
The author Sid Hite has a simple but creative style of writing that has you gripped till the last page. Sid grew up in a small town in Virginia. After high school, he went through many jobs before he decided to become a writer. His other novels include Stick and Whittle, Cecil in Space, Those Darn Dithers and An Even Break. He has won several awards.

Excerpt:

As the wind whirred past him and he was pelted by the rain, Paul thought he heard a voice whisper his name. He turned and looked around. There was no one. Again, he heard his name whispered, and the voice said, "Are you leaving too?"
Startled and confused, Paul cried out, "What?"
He waited and listened.
Several moments passed, then, as quickly as it had arrived, the storm dissipated and the sky above Paul was clear. The voice must have been a trick of the wind, Paul told himself. It had to be.
"Leaving too?" What could that mean?


Book Details

Age Range: 12-15 yrs
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 204

Review - Himali Kothari

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