But finally, the review.
TRACKING DADDY DOWN
By Marybeth Kelsey
First line: The summer I turned eleven, my daddy, Earl Leon Wisher, took a gun and robbed the Henderson County Bank in Millerstown, Indiana.
Billie loves her daddy. And the fact that he has just robbed a bank doesn’t change that. In fact, it makes her more determined to see the good in him. After all, he’s lots of fun, he has a way with words, and he used to feed her Twinkies and fried bologna. (Before he dropped out of her life for nearly 3 years.) But he's back now and he's promised to buy her a new bike – a blue one with streamers coming out of the handlebars.
Her stepfather, on the other hand, is a standup guy (except that he’s stolen Mama’s heart). And he’s way too serious! Daddy Joe (as Billie grudgingly calls her stepfather) is all business. He won’t let Billie drink straight from the milk jug the way Daddy does. He makes her do chores and feeds her healthy food.
When Daddy robs the bank, he has help from Uncle Warren who is Cousin Tommy’s father. Billie hears that Daddy and Uncle Warren have headed out of town with more than $ 10,000.00. But she’s pretty sure that’s not true. In fact she thinks she knows where he’s hiding. And since she doesn’t want him landing in jail, she decides to track him down and convince him to return the money. Somehow she talks Tommy into going along.
And then, dear reader, the plot thickens…
Billie tells her story in a voice that is both sassy and wistful. She knows what she wants and what she doesn’t. And she intends to get what she wants. In the end, what she wants becomes all mixed up with what she has. Which somehow makes what she doesn’t have more bearable.
This is a story of longing that is filled with mishaps and adventure – told by a character whose voice is both strong and endearing! Do track it down.
Just a few of the lines that give you a glimpse into Billie’s spunky personality.
She might as well have stuck my finger in a light socket; that’s how shocked I was.
I wished I could just slip down the drain with the dirty dishwater.
Instead I stared straight ahead, humming “Onward Christian Soldiers”, hoping to get God on my good side, at least until I’d made it to the end of the bridge.
I really like that last one. It makes me wonder - If I hum "Onward Christian Soldiers" - will God forgive me for taking me so long to review this awesome book?
P.S. Tracking Daddy Down won a coveted spot on this list.
Way to go, Marybeth Kelsey!