Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. 2009. William S. and the Great Escape. Simon & Schuster. 214 pages.
His birth certificate, if he even had one, probably just said Willy Baggett, but for most of the seventh grade he'd been signing his school papers William S. Baggett.
William S. has been planning his escape for most of his life. Since his mother's death, well, things have gone from bad to worse in the Baggett house. Too many people under one roof. Too many mean, abusive people. When his sister--distraught after the death of Sweetie Pie, her pet guinea pig--comes to him begging for help, then the great escape becomes more than a far-away dream; it becomes a reality. Jancy wants to run away with William S. and bring the two youngest along as well: Buddy and Trixie. Can these four kids make their way to Aunt Fiona's house? And what will await them if they do make it all that way?
William S. And The Great Escape is historical fiction. It's set in 1938. What makes this adventure story a bit more unique is the fact that William is so strongly attached to all-things Shakespeare. He carries his Complete Works of William Shakespeare around like it is the biggest treasure ever. He reads it to himself. He reads it aloud to his siblings. He quotes from it. He acts from it. He entertains with it. It symbolizes so much to him--represents a great promise of all that could be...if he wasn't stuck being a Baggett.
I enjoyed this one very much.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews