Cover Image: Rabble Starkey

Rabble Starkey

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Member Reviews

Having read 'Rabble Starkey' years ago, it was lovely reading this reissue. As always, Lois Lowry does not disappoint. The story is touching and rereading it I could empathize with the mother more than I did on my first reading.  Thank you #HarperCollinsChildrensBook and #NetGalley for the opportunity to reread this novel.
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Rabble Starkey is a gem. Rabble is so full of emotions and longing and at the same time is very relatable. The storytelling is sublime. This is a must read!
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I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review. This book was first published in 1987. I love the cover of this new edition. The new cover makes it more interesting to a middle grade reader. This book was a quick read at 201 pages. I found it to be a wholesome feel good read about everyday life, our relationships, and our friendships. It leaves us asking. Who is our family? What is home? What is our past? What is our future?
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Rabble Starkey
by Lois Lowry
Pub Date 13 Jun 2023 
HarperCollins Children's Books,Clarion Books
Romance| Teens & YA

Netgalley, HarperCollins Children's Books, and Clarion Books sent me a copy of Rabble Starkey for review:

By the time she is twelve, Parable Ann Starkey, better known as Rabble, has seen her share of trouble. One month after Rabble was born, her father abandoned her and her teenage mother, and she went to live with her grandmother, Gnomie. 

Rabble craves stability more than anything else, and she may have found it now, living with her mother and the Bigelows. For the past four years, Rabble has lived with her mother, Sweet Hosanna, in the Bigelows' garage. Veronica Bigelow is twelve, too, and she's more than Rabble's best friend; she's like a sister to her.  

When Veronica's mother is hospitalized due to mental illness, the Starkeys move into the larger house to help Mr. Bigelow take care of Gunther, Veronica's younger brother. Rabble feels more at home as the two families grow closer. The feeling of being part of a family has been formed. This feels like forever for Rabble, but can it last?

I give Rabble Starkey five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you NetGalley. 

Rabble Starkey is geared towards the YA population, which in my opinion,  is generally easier for me to read, haha.   It's a shorter book about  a 12 year old girl named Rabble.   Rabble was raised by a teen mom.   After her grandma passes, Rabble and her mom move above the Bigelows garage, which is where Rabble meets her friend Veronica, whom is also 12.      Rabble has always craved stability, and this story is about how she finally feels like she's found that stability with the Bigelows and her mama. 

While this book was originally published in 1987, it's still relevant today.   There's no doubt or denying that Lois Lowry was always insanely talented.
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This was a great book and I enjoyed reading it! I look forward to seeing what this author comes out with next.
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So, I thought this book seemed familiar at the halfway point. Finding out it's a re-release made me feel so much better; I thought I was going crazy. Pretty sure I read this back in 1987, and guess what? I still love it. It certainly has that particular cadence from kids' books at the time- but I think 2023 kids will like it as much as I did originally.
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Rabble Starkey by Lois Lowry is a great story about how a young girl thinks family is one thing, but as she gets older she realizes that it's another.
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an engaging family novel, i enjoyed this read

thank you to netgalley and to the publisher for this review copy.
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Parable ‘Rabble’ Starkey and her mom Sweet Hosanna live in the rooms above the garage of the Bigelow family home. 

Ostensibly, Sweet Ho is the help - there to care for young Gunther, cook and clean - but when Mrs. Bigelow has a mental health crisis they move into the house full time and become more like a family unit. 

This is truly a coming of age focused on Rabble. But the overall story is about love in all its forms and what home really means. 

It’s a cozy, comforting read.
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I like this book, but the ending felt rushed--and I'm also not certain that I'd let a kid read it. I think it would depend on the child. Lowry is a master, of course, but this book felt a bit unfinished--which may have been the intention, but that doesn't mean I have to like it, ha.
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Rabble starkly
By Lois Lowry

A phenomenal author, whose books have showing windows in life from one decade to another. In this book she looks at rural American in the early 80's. Her book shows the ins outs of a brief period in Rabbles life. Like Lowry says in the book is, "About all kinds of loving, and about saying goodbye. And about moving on to where more things are in store. ”They’re about growing." A remarkable tale of the incremental growth and change in a young girl's life.
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I loved this story of Parable "Rabble" Starkey, a twelve-year-old girl growing up in a small town.

Rabble's mother has been hired as a housekeeper and babysitter by a man whose wife is mentally ill and is taken for care in a mental hospital. During the years that she is away, Rabble and her mother become a part of the family: twelve-year-old Victoria is Rabble's best friend, and they become as close as sisters; and young Gunther, who is taken care of by Rabble and her mother from his birth till age four.

There are twists and turns in their "family" life with lots of growth seen in both girls, Gunther, and especially Rabble's mother who wants a better life for herself and Rabble.

It is a lovely story told in first person, in a very straight forward manner, by Rabble herself. It is a very enjoyable tale and would be good for ages twelve to adult. I highly recommend it!

I’d like to thank NetGalley, Lois Lowry, and Harper Collins for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my unbiased review.
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When I saw a Lois Lowry book on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read what I thought was a new release from her! Upon diving into this book, I realized that this book is actually a re-release of a standalone book that she wrote and published in 1987. I'm not sure what prompted the publisher to do this with this particular book. 

Upon diving in, this book reads like it is historical fiction, and I suppose that it is now, given that from a few clues (the character's watch Karate Kid) that this book is set in the Mid to Late 1980's. But remove the few references to television and a specific movie, and this book actually feels much older. The things the characters talk about and do, the way that the Mom's mental health issues are treated, this book just feels more like something from the 1950's to me. 

Lois Lowry is a master at getting reader's invested in her characters and immersed into a specific place. It all was such a clear picture in my mind of the 2 main girls as they are going through their life. This is very much a coming of age story. And we do see our characters grow and change over the course of it. However, a lot of it just feels like it almost wouldn't even be relatable to today's children on many levels. Here's some of the reasons why, Rabble's mother's name is Sweet Hosanna, however, throughout the book she is called Sweet-Ho, I can already hear the middle schoolers giggling over that alone. Mrs. Bigelow, the mother of the other FMC in the book seems to be suffering from post-partum depression, the family deals with this mostly by ignoring it and her, and having Sweet-Ho come in and take over everything. Then when the mother has a breakdown she is institutionalized in a hospital for the duration of the novel. The third thing that was off putting for me, was that there is a male character in the book who throws a rock at the female characters on Halloween when they are trick-or-treating and actually hits the 90-something year old woman who owns the house in the head, injuring her! This is explained off, as boy's do things like this to get girl's attention. And while, this boy as a character also grows, he really never has to face any consequences of his negative behavior. Also, that's not how we get people's attention when we like them. There is a weird dynamic between Mr. Bigelow, the dad, and Sweet-Ho, the live-in housekeeper as well, when the mom is in the hospital that just made it all a bit weird.

So while there were things that I liked, there were also things that were a miss for me.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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"Rabble Starkey" is a slow-paced story but very well told in a unique and completely immersive narrative voice. Lois Lowry wrote the Southern dialect, euphemisms, and sense of humor so well I was honestly really impressed. The novel is short but gives a comprehensive view of Parable "Rabble's" life up to that point: her pregnant mother had her at fourteen, lived with her father for only a few weeks after her birth, and then was shuttled around the South by her mother as they struggled to make ends meet. Sweet Hosanna was a great character, and it gave me endless amounts of amusement whenever I read  the name "Sweet Ho." It was fascinating to read about mental illness from the 1970s and how it was viewed, especially in a woman. No one talked about it openly and simply referred to the whole situation as "your trouble." Which is both very mid-20th century and Southern of them. This was an overall light, easy read with some minor PG content: a brief moment of infidelity (a kiss), discovery by a child of a dead body, and an attempted drowning.
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Lois Lowry had a book that came out that I didn’t know about.  I guess it is because I was almnost done with high school and kind of past my Lowry stage.  I wish I hadn’t missed this one but I’m glad I found it now.  It brings me back to a different time.  Lowry had a way with these kinds of stories.
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A coming of age...

I think I read this when I was very young and Lois Lowry definitely left an impression on me as an author. Rabble is twelve and looking for security, family, stability. 
A mulit-layered coming of age story with a deeper understanding of acceptance. 
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I received an ARC from Harper and NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Middle Grade Historical Fiction
Theme: Coming-of-age, Growing Up, Love

Previously published in 1987.

The writing immediately drew me in. Rabble's and Veronica's voice are authentic kid and made me remember my childhood. The setting is in the 70s, and mental illness is represented as it would have been perceived in that time period. I think for this re-do, the mother: Sweet-Hosanna, who is nicknamed Sweet-Ho maybe should've been updated to Sweet-Ann. That's going to get to many snickers with a young audience.

Rabble and Veronica see themselves as sisters, and we get to see how their relationship changes. The entire book is about relationships and the different ways we see people. Characters range from their 90s to Gunther who is about four-years-old. The kids are a bit clueless that strikes true to form for being twelve-years-old.

*Rabble Starkey* received Vermont Golden Dome Book Award Nominee (1989), Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children's Literature Nominee (1988), Best Children's Books of the Year (Bank Street College of Education) (1987)

The themes are as poignant today as they were when it was originally published.

I recommend this book for all readers.

Happy reading!
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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Harper Collins Children's for my copy of Rabble Starkey by Lois Lowry in exchange for an honest review. It publishes June 13, 2023.
Here's a Lois Lowry title I had not heard of before this! This was a sweet coming-of-age book that was short, but packed a big punch for any middle-grader. There are some things that may not hold up great for today's audiences, but overall I thought it was pretty great!
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This little gem by Lois Lowry was first published in 1987! I missed it the first time around but thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins Childrens Books I got a copy for review and the book has a new look and a rerelease date in June.
Classic Lois Lowry
My daughter and I loved Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik books back in the day and the dialog and characters of Rabble are just as clever and engaging. The message of love and kindness is always needed.
Rabble and her mother are on their own. Abandoned by Rabble's father just months after her birth, Sweet Hosannah and Parable Ann, that's Rabble, make a life for themselves in the garage apartment of the Bigelow family. Veronica Bigelow quickly become Rabble's best friend and they face the challenges of middle school together.  When Veronica's mother struggles with depression and begins to slip away from her family and is eventually sent to a hospital, Rabble and Sweet Hosanna move into the house to help Mr. Bigelow keep things going. A new kind of family develops and Veronica and Rabble help out with little Gunther, the youngest Bigelow and Sweet Hosanna runs the house. Rabble is in heaven - she has a readymade family and it feels so right. 
There are several fun neighbors who add to the atmosphere of their little community. The themes of love, loss, self-worth, kindness, acceptance and most especially family resound throughout this wonderful story. 
#NetGalley #RabbleStarkey #HarperCollinsChildrensbooks
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