Fourteen year-old Ricky Jo Winstead begins her high school career wanting to change her life and friends to become popular at her new school. Ricky Jo, who hails from a small town in Kentucky, used to belong to the 4-H club and went to church when she was in middle school. Now she desires to be popular and will do anything to accomplish that goal. She changes her name to Erica, begins to hang out with the more popular girls as well as longing to go out with a very popular boy. The biggest problem is whether she will be able to continue her lifelong friendship with Luke, the boy next door.
Tweens and Teens from the country and ex-suburbs will quickly identify with life in the small town. Hanging out with friends and talking about raising a cow, pig or sheep and of course the competitions that go along with 4-H clubs. Those from the city or suburbs may not immediately identify with Ricky Jo especially with what she does away from school. Many, however, will identify with the desire to be someone different in a new school and surrounding.
The author, Alecia Whitaker, creates characters that one can identify. The sub-plots of true friendship and alcohol abuse are easily identifiable to many readers. This coming of age novel moves quickly and is a very enjoyable read. Highly Recommended.
Disclaimer: I received an Advance Readers Copy from the publisher Hatchett Book Group.
I have been hearing a lot of dialogue about the decline of hunting in America. There are those that really don’t care that there are fewer people out there hunting. What they don’t understand is that it is the hunter and fisherman who through their buying gear and licenses they support conservation. In fact, they are probably provide the greatest funding to conservation in America today. The Atlanta Journal Constitution covered an article addressing this issue.
As being a female hunter, I am one of the groups that is a fast growing segment in this old tradition. I think women hunt for different reasons than men. Most often we hunt to share an experience with the men in our lives. This year, I was able to see many daughters and wives get their first deer. As I have written before, I hunt for the experience of being outside and the variety of things that I can observe. Harvesting a deer is a side benefit that I get which feeds my family and friends. Many people I know are always asking me for some venison.
This year, I was able to see my first pair of bucks sparing in the woods. They were young bucks but it was fun to watch them for twenty minutes or so. I was also lucky enough to see woodpeckers mate. I have never seen that before and it was very interesting to see.
Finally, I was able to harvest a nice six point buck. I was very proud to take this buck because I had wanted to place a stand in this part of the woods where I have seen deer move through over the years. I hunted for a little over a week before seeing this guy. I did see a bigger deer a week or so before but could not get a shot. The deer came right up the hill in front of my stand and was watching me. The six pointer walked to the right of my stand and walked down the hill. I had a split second to decide to harvest him and after missing him the first time was able to take him the second time I tried. There are few weeks left in the season but I don’t have any hope in getting anything else. I will have to wait eleven months until I can’t get back into the woods to sit in the cool weather. I hope I can see more women out there next year.