When I Crossed No-Bob: Historical Novel Society

Being an O’Donnell isn’t easy, but being an O’Donnell abandoned first by your Pappy and then by your Momma is even more difficult to live down. Quite unexpectedly, 12-year-old Addy finds herself living with the couple whose wedding her momma abandoned her at and feels she must at least earn her keep in order to repay their kindness. She sets herself to win the respect of Frank Russell, who only agreed to take her in because his new wife Irene insisted.

Told in the present in Addy’s voice, When I Crossed No-Bob is like hearing a story told from the heart by a friend. Author Margaret McMullan’s use of language and the characters she creates are richly evocative of post-Civil War times in the South. Addy is from No-Bob, a backwoods slum. Already a resourceful girl, her lack of parents gives her the gift of perspective on ways of life. Proving her worth to Mr. Frank allows her to become the sort of person who isn’t from No-Bob. Along the way Addy makes friends, something she doesn’t take lightly. When she and her best friend, Little Bit, witness a shocking event, Addy finds she must decide where her loyalties lie, with real kin or the people in her new life. A clear but uneasy choice.

When I Crossed No-Bob is a gem of a book that can be read again and again.