“Ellison “Ellis” Coffey lived his whole life in Banner Elk, North Carolina. His Family ran a blueberry farm and that’s why Ellis’s finger tips looked like ink. He loved animals and insects. He was very funny and had lots of friends. Mr. Turnmire called him our class-clown-but-with- brains. The whole world was a better place because Ellis lived in it.” That was the obituary written as a class assignment by one of Ellis’ friends George. Ellis wished it was true but fact was it wasn’t. He had lived his whole life in Banner Elk and he often had blue finger tips because of the blueberries but when friends wanted him to play he had to rush home to care for his dad, do all the house hold chores, and his home work. His dad couldn’t work he had a herniated disk and they needed a thousand dollars for the surgery but they didn’t have it. Mom lost her good paying job at the phone company when the economy crashed. She now worked two jobs, cleaning houses and waiting tables. Plus she ran the farm. She always looked so tired.
One day, after finishing his chores, he took a walk to the lake. There he found some woolly worms! Was it his imagination that one seemed to listen to him? If he could train it to be the fastest…He could win the Woolly Worm contest at the Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival! The prize was a thousand dollars!
This is an absolutely endearing book about a precious young boy who tries his hardest to be a real hero. See if he succeeds. I LOVED this book!
Review by Andrea Van Wagoner, Arcadia Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: 3-6
The Worm Whisperer
Written by Betty Hicks, Illustrated by Ben Hatke
Roaring Book Press
Release Date: January 22, 2013
ISBN: 9781596434905 (hardcover)