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Publishers Weekly

Moving back and forward in time, Tingle (Walking the Choctaw Road) offers a tribute to his grandmother, Mawmaw, in a quietly poetic story about dealing with adversity. As a young woman, Mawmaw moves from Oklahoma’s Choctaw Nation to Texas, where a rock thrown by a boy cuts her face, possibly causing her eventual blindness. The term “saltypie,” which the family uses to shrug off difficult situations, is coined after the incident by Tingle’s father (then a boy), who is reminded of cherry pie filling by the blood streaming down his mother’s face. Years later, when a young Tingle asks why the boy threw the rock, his uncle replies, “Your grandmother was Indian. That was enough back then.” The story shifts forward again as the family gathers at the hospital while Mawmaw undergoes a successful eye transplant. Using a nice variety of perspectives, newcomer Clarkson conveys Mawmaw’s fortitude and the family’s intergenerational bonds in gauzy paintings…most are distinguished by strong, recognizable emotions. Ages 7–10.
- April 26, 2010 

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