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ea. vol: CIP. Bethany House. 1987. pap. $5.95; large print pap. $7.95. Grade 7-10 In the first book, Belinda shows tender concern for any injured creature. At 14, she assists her brother, the town doctor, on amputation, birth ing, and burn cases. Wishing to be a boy so that she can become a doctor, she instead sets nursing as a goal. The story ends with a kiss from the boy whose arm was amputated and the promise of another book. Choosing a cousin's wallpaper, planning another cousin's surprise party, and persuading a destitute family to accept help are na ive or sentimental scenes that abound in a thicket of characters from earlier books. Faith is tried and proved in this Christian house on the prairie alterna tive to formula romances. Shura's Jes sica (Scholastic, 1984) includes teen emotions in a well-researched Kansas frontier setting without the jarring col loquial dialect. In The Winds of Au tumn, Josh, 15, spins his family's saga like a Huck Finn on the prairie. Camp ing trip mishaps fill a gap while the boys wait for a new teacher. The teacher's daughter mesmerizes the friends, and tutoring her introduces Josh to her fa ther's private library and the theory of evolution. When his aunt loses her first baby, Josh questions divine benevo lence. A heart-to-heart with Gramps about God's plan causes Josh to resolve his conflicts. Oke's Christian message overwhelms the events.Patricia G. Harrington, Phoenix Public Library
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
THE WINDS OF AUTUMN
I don't know who was most excited that morning my two buddies and I hoisted packs on our backs and started down the trail. Just before we got out of view of our yard, I turned for one more wave. You woulda thought we were marchin' off to war the way Aunt Lou sobbed into her hankie.
But I reckon we were just growing up.
I'm sure havin' a time of it tryin' to sort out all these new feelings. Lately, my mind keeps slippin' to the new schoolteacher's daughter, Camellia. I could tell right away that Jack Berry was sweet on her, too. But I never coulda predicted the lengths he'd go to steal her affection... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.