Maryellen reviews Jubilee's Journey – The Reader Salute
“His death came as no surprise to anyone. He was one of the countless men forever lost to the mine. They were men loved and mourned by their families, but to the world they were faceless, nameless people, not worthy of mention in the Charleston Times.”
And so it begins, JUBILEE'S JOURNEY . For it was Jubilee Jones's father, Bartholomew Jones, who died that day in the mine leaving seven year old Jubilee and her sixteen year old brother Paul, alone in the world. The life of a coal miner has never been an easy one. Fraught with uncertainty and the seemingly never-ending debt to “The Company”, Bartholomew Jones did his best to provide for his children. In the end, the coal company would ask the children to leave the “Company house”, the only home that either of them had ever known.
Ever since Jubilee was a baby, Paul has been taking care of her. He made a promise that he'd always take care of his little sister.
With no place else to go and only the small backpack containing everything they own in the world, the children board a bus and travel to Wyattsville, VA in search of their only living relative, Aunt Anita. They have never known their Aunt Anita as she and the children's mother had been estranged for years.
Almost as soon as these children make it to Wyattsville, Paul and Jubilee become separated. Paul is in the wrong place at the wrong time during an armed robbery. As Jubilee waits hours for Paul to return, she meets twelve year old Ethan Allen, a precocious young man who lives with his Grandma Olivia. With no sign of Paul, Ethan Allen, convinces a scared and alone Jubilee to come to his Grandmother's apartment at the Wyattsville Arms Building. A building where one child is scarcely being tolerated, let alone two.
Bette Lee Crosby grabs you from the very first paragraph of this book taking you to the heart of Appalachia's coal mines. And then she takes your heart and wraps it around the tiny little finger of Jubilee Jones. Though this book is the second in The Wyattsville Series, it can also be read as a standalone. Fair warning though, once I read JUBILEE'S JOURNEY it was quite clear that I wanted to know more about Ethan Allen and his Grandma Olivia, both of whom were introduced in the first book of “The Wyattsville Series” called SPARE CHANGE .
✰✰✰✰✰ More if I could award them.