Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Search for Belle Prater

The Search for Belle Prater

Ruth White
For ages 12 and up
Perfection Learning, 2007   ISBN: 978-0756972745

   On Woodrow’s Prater’s birthday he gets a phone call and though no one speaks he somehow knows, in his heart, that his missing mother is on the other end of the line. After this event Woodrow is determined that he will find his mother and his cousin Gypsy, being his best friend, joins him in his search. The two cousins also take Cassie, a new girl in school, with them. Cassie may be small and she may have lived in a holler most of her life, but she is also single minded, tough, and touched with the same gift of magic and hope that Woodrow and Gypsy share.

   One their first expedition to the town where the phone call came from, the three children end up helping another child. Joseph is the first black boy that Woodrow has met. Abandoned by his gambler father years ago, and more recently by his elder brother, Joseph is looking for his dad or for some clue as to his whereabouts. Naturally Woodrow shares the story of his missing mother with Joseph and soon the lost boy is one of the group. Surely with all four of them looking, they will be able to find Belle or some news of her.

     Poignant and funny, surprising and thought-provoking, this sequel to “Belle Prater’s Boy” is both delightful to read and satisfying in its conclusion.