8/28/10

THREE JUMPS AHEAD OF THE SQUIRRELS

by Gladys Mae Walter

The theme of Three Jumps Ahead of the Squirrels, as stated by the author, is "an education for the kids." It is an account of an average American family struggling through the depression of the thirties and learning along the way to trust in God.

Forced to move from their rented Nebraska home when the farm sells, the Hilton family (Doug, Curt, Alison, Brub, and baby Steve along with parents Sara and Rick) migrate to the Missouri Ozarks—"where they've got school buses." The journey in the Buick and "Old Fanny," the boys' wired-together Ford, is both poignant and hilarious.

Life with Sara's friend Minnie and the Gatherers demands resourcefulness but proves good until Rick becomes homesick for Nebraska. The story ends in Washington with the promise of better days back in Nebraska and with Curt and Alison off to Graceland College.

Readers will have no difficulty in relating to the characters in this simple novel of love, trust, and family togetherness.