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Crossing the Tracks

Crossing the Tracks

For Ages: 12 and up
  • 5awards
At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts -- no home, no family, no direction. After her mother’s early death, Iris’s father focuses on big plans for his new shoe stores and his latest girlfriend, and has no time for his daughter. Unbeknownst to her, he hires Iris out as housekeeper and companion for a country doctor’s elderly mother. Suddenly Iris is alone, stuck in gritty rural Missouri, too far from her only friend Leroy and too close to a tenant farmer, Cecil Deets, who menaces the neighbors and, Iris suspects, his own daughter.

Iris is buoyed by the warmth and understanding the doctor and his mother show her, but just as she starts to break out of her shell, tragedy strikes. Iris must find the guts and cunning to take aim at the devil incarnate and discover if she is really as helpless—or as hopeless—as she once believed.

Lyrical, yet humorous, Barbara Stuber’s debut novel is the unforgettable story of a girl who struggles to cast aside her long-standing grief and doubt and, in the span of one dusty summer, learn to trust, hope, and—ultimately—love.
Choose a format:
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416997030 | 
  • July 2010 | 
  • Grades 7 and up | 
  • Lexile 680
List Price $16.99
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Video

Watch Iris CROSSING THE TRACKS

Stuck in 1920’s rural Missouri as a housekeeper, Iris cultivates an eccentric cast of folks into the family she never had and opens herself to love.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

APRIL 1926

I pull my hand from our mailbox, the letter bent in my fingers, my mind reeling. An official letter for Daddy from a doctor. A bud of panic starts to grow in me.

My father is sick.

I drift up our endless front walk, turn a slow circle on the porch before I open the front door. Up and down our street is empty and deathly still, like my heart.

I slide the letter under the mail-order catalogs on his desk and sit on the edge of the divan. He went to a doctor in another town to protect me from the bad news, to avoid the Atchison party line, the gossip. The gaping black... see more

About the Author

Barbara Stuber
Photograph by Tessa Elwood

Barbara Stuber

Barbara Stuber is the author of the novels Girl in Reverse and Crossing the Tracks, which was a finalist for the American Library Association William C. Morris Debut Award, a YALSA Best Fiction for YA and a Kirkus Best Book for Teens. When not writing, she is a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Visit Barbara online at BarbaraStuber.com.

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