A Boy Called Preacher
Published May 16, 2020
About A Boy Called Preacher
Johnny “Preacher” Wilcox never planned on running a wheat farm at the age of twelve. When his father abruptly leaves the family on a Kansas farm during the height of World War II, Preacher is left with unanswered questions, wheat land to plow, and a broken tractor. The tractor mechanic is meaner than a bobcat, the creek is drying up, and Preacher’s best friend, Earl Floyd, betrays him (or, so he thinks.) At times, he feels his dog, Deke, is his only friend.
Through this engaging story for middle grade students, the reader will follow Preacher’s journey as he discovers the meaning of perseverance, loyalty, friendship, and forgiveness.
Southern fiction holds a special place in my heart, so when I read the first few pages of A BOY CALLED PREACHER, I knew I was hooked. Johnny’s southern voice and expressions had me grinning and laughing out loud. I loved the friendship between him and his dog Deke and even the complicated relationship he shares with Earl Floyd. The small Kansas town setting is vividly drawn and anchored in its World War II period.
The only struggle I had was that I wished there had been like 15 more pages to the ending. It felt a little abrupt, and it would have been great to see a little more reflection and conclusion. Other than that, though, I really enjoyed this book, and I read it in one sitting, totally engrossed. It also would have been nice to see more female characters on the page.
Southern fiction and historical fans will enjoy the rich setting and quirky small town characters. Fans of ELSIE MAE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY by Nancy Cavanaugh or THREE TIMES LUCKY by Shiela Turnage should check this one out.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
I think the characters are all white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Johnny attends church with his family and thinks about how the pastor is always saying everyone should love and forgive and what that means to him. He also wonders whether his mom will let him go hunting on a Sunday, or if that’s not appropriate for the day of rest.
Some scenes show hunting. The boys kill rabbits and a large snake.
A local man spits tobacco juice on the porch where Johnny stands.
Note: I received a free copy of A BOY CALLED PREACHER in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.