On the Road to Mr. Mineos

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Greetings from Nowhere: On the Road to Mr. Mineo's

Stella leads. Gerald reluctantly follows, knowing that when Stella has a good idea, something bad almost always happens. One day, a beautiful one-legged pigeon alights on a small, rooftop shed built by the children. Stella immediately launches a plan to catch it, but she is not the only one. The distinctive one-legged pigeon landed on the local liar's head. Now Mutt Raynard wanted to catch it to prove his story. Stella's brother, Levi and his friends C. Levi torments Stella by saying that he is going to catch it first and then it will belong to him.

Ethel Roper becomes involved with the pigeon when she discovers a little brown dog in her barn after a one-legged pigeon fluttered into the rafters.


Meanwhile, on the outskirts of town, in a rusty trailer, all of Mr. Mineo's homing pigeons faithfully returned home except Sherman.

With this ludicrous premise, Barbara O'Connor ties her disparate characters into a funny whole. She understands the thinking processes of children, and her characters ring true. A liar and a bully. As it turns out, pigeons do make pretty good pets, at least in a story by Barbara O'Connor. Sherman hangs out on the roof in a chalk village drawn by Stella and Gerald.

Common Sense says

He taps his foot to a singing of "Home on the Range. Meanwhile, back on his farm on the outskirts of Meadville, Mr.

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Mineo misses his homing pigeon. The other pigeons are unsettled. To add to the excitement, there's a stray dog on the loose and Mutt intensifies his efforts to thwart Stella's attempts to make Sherman her pet. If you think an entire novel about trapping an escaped homing pigeon can't possibly work, you don't know Barbara O'Connor's writing.

Then again, this one's about a lot more than pigeons. In "On the Road to Mr. Mineo's," eight characters narrate the action in short, carefully connected chapters and very distinctive voices. It's a complicated story wound tightly around a simple idea: If you stick to something you really want, whether it's a good friend or a one-legged pigeon, and if you do the right thing, eventually you will reach your goal. Now that's something we all can try to teach our children. O'Connor's newest novel is like spending a sunny afternoon looking at the world from a rooftop with a friend.

It's a special trip down dusty roads that lead to an unexpected adventure. It's standing up to the bullies even when your mom hasn't got your back. Read it aloud to a classroom. Share the book at bedtime with a special child. Wrap it for the holidays. This one's a keeper.

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    On the Road to Mr. Mineo's

    View newsletters By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy. Select free newsletters: The Weekender. Christian Science Perspective. Barbara O'Connor never disappoints. Like her other children's novels, this one is a keeper.