With her debut novel, Maria D. Laso (who died in 2015) offers a rich story populated with colorful characters, a setting so vivid you feel as if you could step right into the pages, and heaping doses of humor and heart.
Possum Porter has had to endure a change that no young child should: the loss of her beloved Mama. Now that it’s just her and Daddy, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that no more change comes their way. But when a new teacher, Ms. Arthington, comes to their small town, it looks like Daddy might have different plans. He wants to send Possum to school for the first time, which is an atrocity considering that Mama already taught her everything she needed to know during their lessons at home. Worst of all, Ms. Arthington seems to be eyeing a new suitor—Possum’s very own daddy. To prevent more change from uprooting her life, Possum must find a way to prove that she already knows everything she needs to, all while keeping Daddy out of her new teacher’s clutches.
Laso’s writing shines with all the charm of a small Southern town, and each character, from nosy and meddlesome Miss Nagy to Possum’s cherished canine companion, Traveler, has a personality as genuine as it is distinct. At the heart of it all lies an unforgettable heroine with all the grit, spunk and charm fit to share the ranks of such treasured predecessors as Scout Finch and Laura Ingalls Wilder.