1,473 Pages


The Barnhart family comes to live in a little town in Illinois, so that they can start a church. They end up living in a house right next to Mrs. Dowdel. With their first encounter with her being seeing her shoot off heads from rats, she does not seem very neighborly. Their church building needed a lot of work, and their family needed even more, but that very same neighbor may be able to solve their problems in her own peculiar way.

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Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age:14+
  • Reading Aloud Age: add your suggested read-aloud age

The town they live in contains bullies who failed in school and are worthy of jail time. They drink, causing a wreck later on. They also strip a new boy in town and they tie him up naked in his neighbor's bathroom. There is rude humor and some mild language. One main character (girl) sneaks out with a boy several times and goes through teenage rebellion. Another girl gets married, but it is hinted she might have been carrying a child even before it. 


  • Barnharts
    • Bobby
    • Ellen
    • Grachel
    • Jack
    • Phyllis
    • Ruth Ann
  • Waynetta Blalock
  • Aunt Madge Burdick
  • Mildred Burdick
  • Roscoe Burdick
  • Bonnie Burhoops
  • Orville Butz
  • Ernie Cowgill
  • Dowdels
    • Mrs. Dowdel
    • Brad Dowdel
    • Joey Dowdel
  • Ida-Belle Eubanks
  • Augie Fluke
  • Newt Fluke
  • Mr. Milton Grider
  • Barbara Jean Jeeter
  • Elmer Leaper
  • Elmer Leaper Jr.
  • Carleen Lovejoy
  • Vanette Pankey
  • Reba Pensinger
  • Delmer "Gypsy" Piggot
  • Mr. Sensenbaugh
  • Cora Shellabarger
  • Flora Shellabarger
  • C. P. Snokes
  • Edna-Earl Stubbs
  • Wilhelmina Weidenbach
  • Mrs. Effie Wilcox
  • Jess Wood

Famous Figures

  • Santa Claus
  • Gorgeous George
  • Elvis Presley

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