Monday, August 21, 2017


Skitterbrain. Irene Bennett Brown. 1978. 112 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Early dawn glowed softly across the harsh Kansas prairie outside the sod house where Larned "Larnie" Moran was just waking up.

Premise/plot: Skitterbrain is a coming of age novel set in Kansas in 1875. Larnie, the heroine, is responsible for the family's milk cow, Bessie. When Bessie wanders off, Larnie takes the family's mule and heads off after her. (She does not tell her mother or father where she's going or why.) Bessie is not an easily found cow. In fact, little of this search goes as planned. Bessie gets mixed up with other cattle in a cattle herd; Larnie's mule gets stolen; she's forced to decide how badly she wants this. Larnie thinks of only one thing: her mother is days away from having a baby. Her new baby brother--or baby sister--will NEED the milk from that cow to survive. Her mom is just not able. So finding this cow is a matter of life and death--as she sees it. Larnie proves her fierceness in this one.

My thoughts: It wasn't instant love. I can tell you that much at least. At first I was yelling at Larnie a lot. I just didn't understand why she didn't go to her Dad for help within minutes after discovering the cow was gone. Sure, he might have been upset. He might have called her "skitterbrain." But I still think that would have been the right thing to do--the responsible thing to do. I was also upset with the young thief whom Larnie ultimately ends up loving enough to bring back home to her parents saying, please adopt him. It wasn't just that he made one bad mistake; he kept on taking advantage of her time and time and time again. By the end, I was happy enough with how everything turned out. This book was a quick read, and I don't want my time back despite not loving it.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


J.G. 9:04 PM  

This sounds like an odd book, with bad choice after bad choice that still comes out right. It makes me wonder if the book was intended to teach lessons, and to make that happen the plot had to suffer.

Thanks for reading along with the BYRC!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP