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Sunday, November 7, 2010

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

My Book Talk Club just finished reading When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt. This book, which was published in 1999, received the prestigious National Book Award. The first line of the book is – “Nothing ever happens in Antler, Texas”. Things are about to change. Toby is missing his mother who left for Nashville to pursue her dream of becoming a famous country singer. An old car pulling a trailer comes into town. It’s a sideshow act…for just two dollars you can see “the fattest boy in the world”, Zachary Beaver. Toby and his best friend, Cal, become even more interested in Zachary when they realize that Paulie Rankin, the man collecting the money to see Zachary, has left town and doesn’t seem to be coming back anytime soon. What does Zachary Beaver do all day? What does he eat? Cal’s older brother, Wayne, is fighting in the Vietnam War. Toby looks up to Wayne and seems to miss him even more than Cal does. The boys’ friendship will be tested. Ultimately, they will join forces to make the impossible possible for Zachary Beaver. No one will be the same. Another book you may want to read by Kimberly Willis Holt is My Louisiana Sky.

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