Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

William S and the Great Escape

William S and the Great Escape

Fall 2009 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Zilpha K Snyder
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 141696763X
Hardcover Price: $16.99
After William and Jancy's mother died, they were tormented by their dreadful stepbrothers, and their ghastly stepfather reclaimed their younger brother and sister from their Aunt Fiona in order to claim more money from President Roosevelt's new welfare plan. With only school and his love of Shakespeare for comfort, twelve-year-old William has been saving money for years to fund his escape from his horrible family. When their stepbrothers flush her beloved guinea pig down the toilet, Jancy insists that they leave at once and take their younger siblings, Trixie and Buddy, with them. Knowing that their stepfather will track them down, the children make their escape in the middle of the night, heading for Aunt Fiona's house, more than a hundred miles away in Gold Coast, California.

Little goes as planned, of course. A hundred mile journey would be difficult enough for unaccompanied children, but being chased by a terrifying man adds great tension to the story. An interesting detour and a frightening incident close to the end make the ending that much more satisfying.

Kemie Nix   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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