“Artie gazed at the sky stretching wide and blue above her—stretching far beyond Buck Creek, Caneyville, and the world she knew–reaching to all the places she longed to see…In only a few more years, she could hop that train she heard whistling in the distance. Go to Louisville where the buildings were tall and gracious. Go where the roads never turned to mud and where ladies wore pretty dresses every day.”
It is the Great Depression, and Artie Wilson is tired of being poor and wondering where her family’s next decent meal will come from. She’s determined toescape plowing the fields and milking the cow, longing to leave her life of poverty far behind. Despite the odds, Artie is determined that for her, poor is just a starting place.
MG historical fiction, ages 11-up Holiday House, Inc. 2005, Schoolwide, Inc. 2015
Kirkus Review says, “The Depression has hit hard in central Kentucky’s Buck Creek… Wyatt…offers a realistic and satisfying ending. It’s Artie’s eagerness and compassion that win, as she wonders about her connection to her ancestors, worries about her family’s health and economic means and discovers why her seemingly affluent school rival suddenly takes an interest in finding the long-lost Wilson family buried treasure. A fine addition to the Southern literature genre. (Fiction. 11-14)
School Library Journal says, “…Wyatt has created an accurate portrayal of life in the South during this period. This book has a lot of heart…
Booklist Review says, “…Wyatt avoids both heavy message and facile resolution. … The honest detail is memorable.
Poor is Just a Starting Place is based on true stories Leslie’s “granny” told about growing up in backhills of central Kentucky.