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Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family

Review

Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family

PART OF ME is a collection of stories that traces the history of four generations of a Louisiana family. The thread that connects these stories is the books that the family members have read and loved.

We first meet Rose McGee, the matriarch of the family, in 1939 right after her father abandons her, her mother and her two siblings. They leave rural Texas and drive to Houma, Louisiana to live with Rose's grandfather, Antoine Marcel. Antoine lives on the bayou in Louisiana and is known as the "oyster man" to all of the townsfolk. Although Rose is just a young girl of 14, her mother gets her a job driving the local bookmobile. Rose already is a book lover and seems much older for her age. She makes many friends and connections with the local community through her work with the bookmobile --- and even meets her future husband while making the rounds.

Merle Henry, Rose's son, is the next family member to whom we are introduced. He and his hunting dog, Blue, enjoy trapping in the woods. Merle isn't satisfied with the coons and possums that he's been catching; nothing but a mink will make him happy. His determination to trap one almost costs him dearly. In the short story "Trapped," his dog Blue is involved in a terrible accident that could have been prevented. Merle Henry and Blue's tale will cause readers to get a lump in their throats.

Annabeth, Merle Henry's daughter, wants to be more popular in eighth grade than she was in seventh, which was a disastrous year for her. Annabeth knows she won't win any popularity contests if people find out that she loves reading fairy tales, so she keeps it a secret.

Finally we meet Kyle, Annabeth's son, in the last few stories. Kyle loves Pink Floyd music and talking to his friends online. He hates reading, so it's funny when the only job he can get is at the library helping out with storytime for the kids.

The stories in PART OF ME are wrapped in a neat package when we meet up with Rose again in the final tale. She is a great-grandmother and has accomplished something she never would have imagined the first time she sat behind the wheel of the bookmobile. The characters in Kimberly Willis Holt's stories are both likable and believable. Readers can enjoy one story at a time, or soak up the entire history of this Louisiana family in one sitting like I did.

Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on August 22, 2006

Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family
by Kimberly Willis Holt

  • Publication Date: August 22, 2006
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0805063609
  • ISBN-13: 9780805063608