Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Little Known by Janice Daugharty

What would you do if you found a bag of money from a bank robbery? Knot, a young black boy growing up in the segregated South, decides to keep it. His ultimate goal is to reform Marge so they can go live with her sister. The only problem with stolen money is it's hard to spend. Knot begins sending hundred dollar bills anonymously to people in his community. He is upset when they don't spend the money as he thinks they should. This is a coming of age story. Through his use of the stolen money, Knot finds himself.

What I thought: This is not a book that I would normally read, but I found that I couldn't put it down once I started. I wanted to see what happened with Knot and his efforts with the money. The Little Known is a perfect title for the book. Knot is unknown. His own mother won't claim him. He never had a father. Daugharty used just enough dialect to make the book culturally appealing. There was a definite lack of male role models in the book. Interestingly, Knot chooses the only respectable male, Reverend Troutman, to emulate. This was a book of misconceptions. Knot is sure the people will spend the money as he thinks they should. He mistakenly assumes Marge's sister is rich. Other characters also misjudge and underestimate Knot throughout the book. I liked seeing Knot's evolution from "the little known" to David with a family and a future. Overall, I liked the book and recommend it.

ARC provided by Publisher
(Memphis, TN: Bell Bridge Books, Feb. 2010)

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