Novel about childhood in the American South
January 15, 2013 1:19 PM Subscribe
What was this young adult (or children's) novel I read about a girl growing up in Appalachia or the Ozarks? It might have actually been two different novels.
I would have read this book (or books) in the mid-80s to early-90s. I'm pretty sure it was all one book but it's possible it was two I'm conflating in my mind. What I remember:
- The main character was a young girl (maybe around 10-12), dirt poor, living in a small house in the Appalachians or the Ozarks.
- She's the only girl in her family (I think) and resents how much of the housework she has to help her mother with.
- There's one memorable scene where she's spent all day working hard and gets angry that her brothers get the first choice of meat at dinner, since she's the one who cooked it. She has an outburst and gets in trouble.
- Possibly as a result of this outburst, her parents decide she needs a break and send her to stay with city cousins, maybe in New Orleans or Atlanta. They are very glamorous to her. Her female cousin (aunt?) has never been awake early enough to see a sunrise, but has been told it looks like a fried egg.
- On her way to the big city, she shares a train with a group of soldiers headed off to war (WW2?)
- She and her classmates have to help with a cotton harvest (maybe because of the war) and get in trouble for jumping all over it (this is what makes me think I'm thinking of two different books, since AFAIK, there's never been a lot of cotton growing in the Ozarks or Appalachians).
I've tried just about every google search with these concepts and so far, nothing. Does anyone else remember reading this book or books?