Cross Country Road Trip in Books:Day 4, Arkansas (skip previously visited states in between) and Ohio

It’s the last day of my trip. I had a great time seeing America. However, I may need a vacation from my vacation. I am super sleepy. Here are the last novels I have chosen to represent the states.

I really wanted to highlight Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, but it is a children’s book. I am going to give a little snippet, and then actually highlight a ya novel.

Where the Red Fern Grows is so quintessentially America in the 1930s. Billy lives in Arkansas, a more rural part of the country. He plans to earn enough money to buy his own hunting dogs, so that he can then go on to earn more money for his family from coon (raccoon) pelts. The dogs, Little Anne and Old Dan, are super sweet. Billy is a cutie. This is an American classic for a reason.

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Cullen’s town had always been completely boring, until this summer. A local bird watcher believes that he has spotted a woodpecker that was thought to be extinct. This draws people from across the globe to Cullen’s small Arkansas home town. Local business owners are capitalizing on this influx of people by giving their businesses a woodpecker theme. The town feels like one big festival. In the mix of all of this, Cullen’s older brother, Gabriel, disappears. The woodpecker sight-seeing overshadows the hunt for Cullen’s brother. As the days progress, Cullen feels more desperate to find his brother. Yet, it is almost impossible for him to redirect the town’s attention from searching for an extinct bird to searching for a missing teen.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
There are so many books set in Ohio. A good chunk of them are good. I recently read this novel and have been telling everyone about it, because I love it so much! It is a tween to children’s novel, but it is so good, everyone should read it.
Melody has a photographic memory and is probably the smartest person you will ever meet. She also has cerebral palsy, which means she only has very limited conscious control of her body. She is unable to talk, feed herself, or walk. However, she can move her thumb and finds ways to communicate with others. While in school, her special education class is integrated with the general education classes. It is through this that Melody finds out about assistive computers that can help her talk.  It is with this new communication that Melody’s world begins to open up. This book is empowering, brings readers to tears, and heartwarming. Love!

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