Gib Rides Home

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

On a dark, cloudy afternoon in the fall of 1909, a strange thing happened on the... read more

On a dark, cloudy afternoon in the fall of 1909, a strange thing happened on the third floor of the Lovell House Home for Orphaned and Abandoned Boys. Something so downright mysterious that even firsthand witnesses could scarcely believe their eyes." Gibson Whittaker had returned--fairly well dressed and apparently healthy--carrying a handsome saddle. Why was he back? Rhe last the boys or anyone there had seen of him about a year ago, Gib had been heading for adoption. Or had it been indentured servitude? That was something Gib had begun to realize could happen to boys who left the cruel punishments of the orphanage to be "adopted." No wonder he stayed on his guard at the ranch where Ty taught him to work with the horses. He and Ty got to eat with the family in the big house, but they knew their place. Gib had to wonder why the girl Livy kept watching him work with the horses, and he had good reasons to wonder, as well, about what this family knew about his birth mother. Snyder's horse story is based upon her father's childhood in a Nebraska orphanage and his experience being "required to do a man's work when he was eight years old, beaten, mistreated." Her note in an afterword places some of the almost incredible elements of her gripping novel into a believable historical context. (Ages 11-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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