Katherine Paterson writes wonderful books, and has just received the International Board on Books for Young People's Hans Christian Andersen Award for lifetime achievement. Her scope is enormous, her style direct and lyrical, and her subject matter fascinating.
In this novel, a lunatic, Put, is brought to the Poor Farm, where Jip has been living since 1847. The relationship between him and the young hero forms the backbone of this novel. There is, however, a great deal more: surprises and revelations, and much to be learned about those who helped runaway slaves escape to freedom.