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

On the Road to Mr. Mineo's

On the Road to Mr. Mineo's

Fall 2012 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Barbara OConnor
ISBN: 9780374380021
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Living in Meadville, South Carolina, Stella and Gerald are friends who spend their long summer days playing cards on top of Gerald's flat-roofed garage. Stella is adventurous. Gerald is not. Stella leads. Gerald reluctantly follows, knowing that when Stella has a good idea, something bad almost always happens. One day, a beautiful one-legged pigeon alights on a small, rooftop shed built by the children. Stella immediately launches a plan to catch it, but she is not the only one. The distinctive one-legged pigeon landed on the local liar's head. Now Mutt Raynard wanted to catch it to prove his story. Stella's brother, Levi and his friends C.J. and Jiggs also saw the pigeon and tried to snatch it. Levi torments Stella by saying that he is going to catch it first and then it will belong to him. Ethel Roper becomes involved with the pigeon when she discovers a little brown dog in her barn after a one-legged pigeon fluttered into the rafters. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of town, in a rusty trailer, all of Mr. Mineo's homing pigeons faithfully returned home except Sherman.

With this ludicrous premise, Barbara O'Connor ties her disparate characters into a funny whole. She understands the thinking processes of children, and her characters ring true. Never patronizing, she nevertheless authentically captures the considerable humor to be found in eccentric southerners.

Kemie Nix   ©2012 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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